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Thursday, November 18, 2004

articles-november 18

AFN calls for immediate $10,000 payment to residential school survivors
Last Updated Wed, 17 Nov 2004 21:21:45 EST

OTTAWA - The Assembly of First Nations is calling on Ottawa to give every former student of a residential school a minimum cash payment of $10,000. That recommendation is part of a sweeping series of reforms the AFN is proposing to the current system of compensation.

National Chief Phil Fontaine says the govenment's handling of residential school abuse cases is deeply flawed, but not beyond repair.

Ottawa is faced with nearly 12,000 lawsuits stemming from residential school abuse. Last year it launched an alternative dispute resolution system. The voluntary system doesn't recognize loss of language or culture. It only provides compensation for verifiable acts of abuse, not for the consequences. full article

Tribe tells of questionable practices by lobbyist
Senate conducts second hearing in lobby scandal

WASHINGTON -- A Washington lobbyist and his associate worked behind the scenes to shut down a tribal casino in Texas, then got the same tribe to hire them to lobby Congress to try to reopen the casino, according to e-mail and documents disclosed at a Senate hearing Wednesday.

The documents indicated that lobbyist Jack Abramoff and public relations consultant Michael Scanlon worked with conservative activist Ralph Reed to persuade Texas officials to shutter the Speaking Rock Casino, which was operated by the Tigua Indian tribe of El Paso.

"We should continue to pile on until the place is shuttered," Abramoff wrote in an e-mail to Reed in January 2002, a month before the casino was closed. full article

What's next for Delaware Tribe?
"We have several options before us "
Sam Lewin 11/18/2004
The former leader of the Delaware Tribe of Indians says the tribe has several options in the wake of a federal decision to revoke the tribe’s sovereignty.

The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals said the Delawares gave up their independent sovereignty when they signed a treaty with the Cherokee Nation in 1866. In doing so the court has reversed an earlier decision by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. When the BIA granted that recognition Curtis Zunigha was leader of the tribe. Now back on the tribal council, the court decision came as an unpleasant surprise.

“ Within the first week of being back the court has issued this decision in favor of the Cherokees,” Zunigha told the Native American Times.

He says the tribe now has to look at the next step. full article

Ruling helps salmon, not developers
Flood insurance must consider environment

Development alongside rivers and streams in the Puget Sound region might have to be curtailed or stopped to protect endangered chinook salmon under a new federal court ruling.

In a case with potentially far-reaching effects, U.S. District Judge Thomas Zilly of Seattle held that federal flood insurance supporting development in many fast-growing towns must be conditioned so as not to harm salmon.

Environmentalists rejoiced at the legal victory. Representatives of development interests were outraged.

Although targeted at protecting local runs of chinook salmon, the ruling could set a precedent across a broad swath of the West -- from California to Washington and east across Idaho to western Montana. full article

Few Indians will be celebrating Lewis and Clark commemoration
The Daily Herald

Mary Annette Pember

The Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commemoration essentially celebrates discovery by conquest, and as an American Indian, it sticks in my craw. Indians did not benefit from the Lewis and Clark expedition. In fact, it signaled the beginning of genocide for us. This is not an occasion for celebration in Indian country.

I do not laud the group of history buffs, clad in19th-century garb, who are retracing the steps of Lewis and Clark. These voyageurs began in Missouri in August and were to reach Bismarck, N.D., on Nov. 4, where they intend to winter over before continuing along the trail in the spring.

Nor do I rejoice in the National Park Service-sponsored Lewis and Clark Visitor and Interpretive Centers that dot the trail. These are beautiful monuments to modern museum science and design. The buildings and grounds are immaculate with large bathrooms and parking lots. The gift shops sell Meriwether Lewis and William Clark books, CDs and all manner of themed items, including dolls and candy. full article

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

articles-november 17

Manitoba First Nation sues Ottawa over mouldy homes
Last Updated Wed, 17 Nov 2004 11:30:51 EST

WINNIPEG - The Dakota Plains First Nation of southern Manitoba is suing the federal government in a claim that states every home and building on its reserve is contaminated with toxic mould.

The lawsuit cites chronic health problems with the possibility of fatal consequences for children and the elderly.

Chief Orville Smoke says a doctor has ordered two families to leave. "I think the lawsuit will bring attention to something that has been ongoing," said Chief Smoke. full article

LaDuke inspires green living
Posted: 11.17.2004

Greg Mulholland/TECHNICIAN

Winona LaDuke speaks about the opression of Native Americans and the taking of sacred Native American sites on Tuesday in Witherspoon. LaDuke, a former running mate of Ralph Nader, hails from the Ojibwe tribe of Missouri and works with the White Earth Reservation.
Katie Akin

The audience in Witherspoon Campus Cinema last night looked on with fascination as Winona LaDuke began her lecture by greeting them in her native Ojibwe language -- thanking them for their honor and interest.

Winona LaDuke is a Native American, a member of the Ojibwe tribe, a Harvard graduate, an environmental activist, a mother of five and author of many articles and several books, including: “Last Standing Woman,” “All Our Relations: Native Struggles for Land and Life,” “The Sugar Bush” and “The Winona LaDuke Reader. full article

Thanksgiving holiday rife with negative stereotypes of Native Americans

Wednesday, November 17, 2004
last updated November 17, 2004 12:50 AM

Because November is American Indian Heritage Month, we want to share with the greater Stanford campus known issues and events that are currently affecting our Native community here on the Farm. As early as 1915, there was a nationwide push for a holiday observing the “First Americans,” even though Native Americans were not granted citizenship until 1924.

Although countless Native leaders throughout the decades championed the cause, it was not until President George H.W. Bush signed a joint resolution in 1990 that November would be the designated month that American Indian heritage would be recognized.

In 1994, President Bill Clinton began the trend of re-issuing the national recognition each year of American Indians. This year, the theme for American Indian Heritage Month is “Celebrating Our Strengths.” This past Nov. 2 not only marked one of the most important election days in history, but it also marked the 80th anniversary of American Indians being granted the right to vote. full article

  Scientists Upset Over Bill That Would Redefine "Native American"
Claim that changing the definition would put Kennewick Man out of reach
Jennifer Tedlock 11/17/2004
A bill introduced by Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell, R-CO, would change the definition of "Native American" as it applies to NAGPRA, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act.

Now, some scientists are worried that the change would reverse an appeals court decision earlier this year, and send the remains of Kennewick man – a nearly 9,300-year-old skeleton – right into the hands of the four tribes who have been fighting to repatriate them.

Campbell’s office says wouldn’t necessarily happen, according to a report by the Washington Post. The tribes – the Umatilla, Yakama, Nez Perce and Colville – would have to prove that Kennewick man “is or was” Native American and that the tribes had a “cultural affiliation” to him. full article

Assembly of First Nations Releases Report on Residential Schools: Points the Way Forward to Move Beyond the Current Adversarial Dispute Resolution Process

OTTAWA, Nov. 17 , 2004 - Assembly of First Nations National Chief
Phil Fontaine released the AFN's Report on Canada's Dispute Resolution Plan to Compensate for Abuses in Indian Residential Schools in Ottawa today. The report analyzes the federal government's current Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) process, administered by the federal office of Indian Residential Schools Resolution Canada. Only 19 claims have been settled under the current ADR process and it is estimated there are as many as 12,000 residential schools survivors involved in class action law suits.

"We have always said that healing is about more than cutting a cheque,"
said National Chief Fontaine. "Fair and reasonable compensation is due for the survivors but we must also deal with the emotional, physical, psychological and cultural trauma that stem from these schools. Our communities are still dealing with this attempt at forced assimilation. It was nothing less than an assault on our children, our communities and our culture. Children were apprehended from their home and families, beaten if they spoke their language and forbidden to practice their traditional spirituality. The after-shocks are still being felt today and we cannot move forward until we have healed ourselves as individuals and as a country."

The report notes that, at the current pace, it will take 53 years to
settle all claims at a cost of $2.3 Billion in 2002 dollars, and this does not even include the actual settlement costs. If the government adopts the approach set out in the AFN report then all claims can be resolved by December 2010 in a more timely and cost-efficient manner.

"The current ADR process is an adversarial system that is not working and is in fact re-victimizing many survivors," said National Chief Fontaine. "It is failing Canadians by wasting taxpayers dollars. It is failing First Nations and all Canadians by denying timely and just compensation. Most importantly, it failing all of us because it is not leading to the healing and reconciliation that is required at a national level so that we can finally put behind us, in an honourable way, the legacy of this disgraceful and sad chapter in our history." full article

Student’s anger over Indian skit garners apology

By Courtney Craig, ccraig@bgdailynews.com -- 270-783-3243

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

A Bowling Green High School student of American Indian heritage has received an apology from school officials after she was offended by a skit performed at a pep rally.

Sarah Berry, 16, a member of the Choctaw Nation, said a Sept. 24 pep rally at the school that included some Bowling Green High football players dressed as American Indians was offensive to her heritage. Sarah described the skit as a mock “violent slaughter” of the American Indians by students dressed as Purples, Bowling Green High’s mascots.

The pep rally skit was performed in advance of the school’s game against the Adair County Indians.

“It was pathetic,” Berry said. “It was discriminatory and horrible.” full article

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

articles-november 16

Blackfeet tribe lays claim to park land

BROWNING - More than a century ago, Montana's Blackfeet Indian Nation lost a sprawling expanse of sacred land. Today they begin the process of getting it back.

"The Badger-Two Medicine area is important traditionally," said John Murray, the tribe's historic preservation officer. "It's land that we've used historically, and that we still use today."
Trouble is, others want to use it, too - namely, developers looking for oil and natural gas.

Tribal officials are to meet today at the edge of the wilderness they hold sacred, dressed in traditional regalia, gathering to announce a tribal proclamation calling for "the return of the Badger-Two Medicine to the Blackfeet people, the rightful owner of the Badger-Two Medicine. full article

Nebraska bows to Indian inmates' worship needs

By The Associated Press

LINCOLN, Neb. — Nebraska prison officials have agreed to new rules to accommodate the religious and cultural needs of American Indian inmates in order to settle a federal court action.

The settlement agreement, obtained on Nov. 11 by The Associated Press, arose out of a complaint filed by inmate Richard T. Walker, an American Indian sentenced to a life term in 1966 for second-degree murder in Thurston County.

His complaint was filed in U.S. District Court - Nebraska in Lincoln on behalf of the prison system's approximately 200 American Indian inmates.

Among Walker's allegations was a claim that prison officials made so many demands for qualifications on a medicine man that he stopped coming to the prison to conduct religious and cultural affairs for the Indian inmates. full article

Education focus: Tribal educator helps pass along lifetime lessons

Matt Wallis / Skagit Valley Herald
Environmental educator Kaia Smith tells children at the Swinomish Tribal Community Day Care about the perils of polluting the water. Smith was hired more than a year ago because of the perceived need to extend environmental teaching into the classrooms. Here, she uses a program called "Tox-in-a-Box," a visual lesson about toxins and the river.

When Kaia Smith was a girl, her stepfather often took her fishing on the Skagit River during salmon season. As she peered over the metal edge of the skiff, she could see bright pink chum salmon swimming all around the small boat. It seemed to Smith that the salmon were everywhere.

Nearly two decades later, the number of salmon making seasonal journeys up Skagit County's waterways has greatly diminished.

"Now, when you go down the river, you're lucky if you catch one," she said. full article

Health Canada chops aboriginal quit-smoking funds

WINNIPEG - Manitoba First Nations are blaming Health Canada for forcing them to cancel programs that would have helped band members quit smoking.

Almost 65 per cent of aboriginal Manitobans smoke – one of the highest rates in the world.

Health Canada had approved more than $500,000 for on-reserve tobacco-control programs this year. However, about $300,000 of that money is being redirected by the regional office to pay for other health costs, forcing First Nations to scale back tobacco-reduction programs and lay off staff.

Del Assiniboine, a health advocate with the Southern Chiefs Organization, is disappointed the money won't be spend on desperately needed quit-smoking programs. He says the decision is short-sighted, because Health Canada will have to pay later for many costly health problems related to smoking. full article

Still battling for survival
Indigenous Colombians caught between factions
By Indira A.R. Lakshmanan, Globe Staff  |  November 16, 2004
NABUSIMAKE, Colombia -- Caught in the crossfire of a conflict not of their making, Colombia's indigenous tribes say they are fighting the greatest threat to their survival since Spanish colonizers reached their shores 500 years ago.

Deadly attacks against Colombian Indians have steadily worsened as their land has become a war zone in the battle between the government and left-wing rebels.

This month alone, a 70-year-old high priest of one tribe and the 50-year-old governor of another and his son were executed in their homes by presumed members of the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC. A governor of a third tribe and three other indigenous men were kidnapped in the last few weeks. full article

Studies offer glimmer of hope but mostly bad news
One in five tribal members in Oklahoma have diabetes

Sam Lewin 11/15/2004
A series of unrelated health studies offer differing opinions on what it means to be Native American and live in Oklahoma.

First the good news: the United Health Foundation has reported that the Sooner State saw its best-ever performance in 2003, with average health increases of more than five percent, including headway in public health spending, exercise and disease prevention.

There continue to be discrepancies among racial groups. Both African and Native Americans reported the most health problems leading to what the study called "premature death." This was true even in the healthiest states, like Minnesota, New Hampshire and Vermont. full article

Reporter's notebook: On the road with the Zapatistas
Posted: November 16, 2004
by: Brenda Norrell / Indian Country Today
A fragile peace in Chiapas
Part two
MADRE DE CARACOLES, Chiapas - In the extreme heat of Sonora's midsummer, with suffocating temperatures up to 118 degrees in the desert, Maria and Jose Garcia once again headed out of Tucson, Ariz., for Chiapas in their non-air-conditioned car. Before going to the southeastern state of Chiapas, they drove down the other side of Mexico, down the western coast to pick up the Mayo leaders in the struggle for autonomy.

At sunset in the Mayo's coastal village, on clean swept dirt roads, a gentle Mayo man came over the hill with a goat cradled in his arms.

Then, Mayo leaders told how the Mexican government had already arrested one of their leaders in the movement for sovereign Indian rule and how Mayo wanted jobs and to live in dignity.

After the rugged trip to Chiapas, at the Zapatista command center in the high mountains of the Lacandona jungle near the border of

Guatemala, Maria once again made tamales, stripping the banana leaves from the trees, and laughing as she worked with the young Mayan women of the Zapatista women's cooperative. With their white cotton handbags embroidered with masked Zapatistas and parrots spread out on the wooden benches, they worked over an open fire. full article

Monday, November 15, 2004

articles-november 15

COLUMNIST LLOYD OMDAHL : White man of the 1800s is back

The white man of the 1800s is back. He is the same white man who made solemn treaties with the Indians and broke them at his convenience; he is the same white man who waged genocide when Native Americans got in his way; he is the same white man who drove them onto marginal lands called reservations.

Many of us never have considered ourselves guilty partners with this white man because our families still were fishing in Trondheim or plowing in the Ukraine when this mayhem was going on. But since this predatory white man has returned in this century and we are now here as witnesses, we will be counted with him unless we repudiate his plans.

It seems that the 1800s white man never was able to keep his word when something of value was at stake. Now that Native Americans have developed a successful casino industry, the white man is casting a greedy eye toward the profits - just as he did when gold was discovered in the Black Hills. In spite of a treaty setting the area aside as an Indian sacred place, prospectors rushed into the Hills while the government sat by and watched. full article

Native American Church Abuse Lawsuit Dismissed

The first judge to rule on a lawsuit alleging widespread abuse at Native American boarding schools has dismissed the claim.

Lawyers for the former students on South Dakota reservations, says the ruling simply means the lawsuit will be re-filed against the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

The students say they were sexually, physically and mentally abused by Catholic priests and nuns who ran the schools during much of the 20th century. Their legal team will use a treaty from the 1800s to try to prove the case.

The new lawsuit will be filed next month. It will ask for 25 billion dollars in damages. The students are also suing the Catholic church. LINK

Using Courts in Brazil to Strengthen an Indian Identity

Published: November 13, 2004

OA VISTA, Brazil

ON all her official papers, she is known as Joênia Batista de Carvalho. But that is not the real name of the first Indian woman to become a lawyer in Brazil, just a name a clerk randomly selected when her parents were first brought from their Amazon village to have their births registered.

Whether her preoccupation with issues of cultural identity and autonomy stems from that incident, Ms. Batista is not sure. Still, when she went to the United States earlier this year to receive a Reebok Prize for her human rights work, she chose to accept the award as Joênia Wapixana, using the name of the tribe to which she belongs.

"Everything I do is aimed at focusing attention on our community, so that others, outside, can see who we really are," explained Ms. Batista, staff attorney for the Roraima Indigenous Council here in Brazil's northernmost state. "Why have we as a people been able to continue to exist? Because we know where we come from. By having roots, you can see the direction in which you want to go." full article

Benetton agrees to hand land to Indians

John Hooper in Rome and Hannah Baldock in Buenos Aires
Wednesday November 10, 2004
The Guardian

Luciano Benetton, the Italian textile magnate, has agreed to give up 2,500 hectares (6,200 acres) of land in Argentina to end an indigenous land rights controversy which risked wrecking his company's caring image.

Mr Benetton said he was putting the land at the disposal of Argentina's Nobel peace prize winner, Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, whose campaign against the fashion house gave the row worldwide prominence.

The concession was announced two days before a meeting of Nobel laureates in Rome which would have given Mr Pérez Esquivel a fresh opportunity to embarrass the
Benettons. full article

Saskatoon fires police officers in Stonechild case

Last Updated Fri, 12 Nov 2004 21:51:40 EST
SASKATOON - Saskatoon's police force has fired two constables that an inquiry linked to Neil Stonechild, an aboriginal teen who froze to death in a field on the city's outskirts in 1990.

police Chief Russell Sabo says the two constables can appeal their dismissals within 30 days. (File photo)
Saskatoon police Chief Russ Sabo dismissed constables Bradley Senger and Larry Hartwig on Friday. They were suspended two weeks after an inquiry concluded they had Stonechild in their custody on the night he died.

Sabo said he didn't believe the officers left the 17-year-old in the isolated spot where his body was found, but found them "unsuitable for police service by reason of their conduct." full article

Let the games begin--Post-election round-up
Posted: November 15, 2004
by: Tom Wanamaker / Indian Country Today

This year's election proved to be a mixed bag for the Indian gaming industry. Several states had gaming-related referenda on the ballot, the outcomes of some of which will have definite impact on Indian country. Here is a brief look at some of those results, followed by a glance at developments in Minnesota and Upstate New York.


In a non-binding referendum, voters in the Badger State approved a proposal to allow the construction of an $800 million tribally-owned casino at a greyhound track in Kenosha, a suburb of Milwaukee. Approximately 58 percent of those casting ballots voted ''yes.''

Estimates say that the 223-acre facility, to be owned by the Menominee tribe, would take in some $500 million annually, of which 3 percent ($15 million) would go to local governments. The tribe also pledged to make an annual $2.5 million payment to a local school district, a one-time $5 million donation to area charities, and to fund a program for problem gamblers to the tune of $150,000 per year.

The Menominee casino would employ some 3,000 people, generating an annual payroll of some $138 million. Through a seven-year management agreement, the casino would be developed and operated by the Mohegan Tribe, whose Connecticut casino is among the world's largest and most lucrative. full article

Cochiti Kids' Opera Gets 'Colores!' Spotlight

Journal Staff Report
A group of Cochiti Pueblo children who produced and performed their own opera last year will be the subject of a documentary airing 7:30 p.m. Wednesday on KNME-TV.
The 50 elementary school children were participants in the Santa Fe Opera's Pueblo Opera Program, a 15-year-old effort aimed at introducing young people to the art of opera by having them create one.
The documentary, "River Where We Dream," shares its title with an opera that the Cochiti children conceived after they took a field trip to Tent Rocks National Monument. full article

Friday, November 12, 2004

articles-november 12

Arctic climate change takes aim at coastal villages
Posted: November 12, 2004
by: Jerry Reynolds / Indian Country Today
WASHINGTON - An eight-nation report on climate change has confirmed that Arctic warming is under way and that human activity is the probable cause.

The Arctic Council released its four-year, 144-page study on Nov. 9, and an early summary appeared in the New York Times. The principle finding is that Arctic air leads the world in average temperature increase. So-called greenhouse gases, mostly carbon dioxide emissions released into the atmosphere where they trap heat, are thought in many quarters to have caused the global warming trend of an average 1 degree Fahrenheit over the past century.

The comprehensive Arctic Council findings confirm previous evidence of a much higher average temperature increase across the Arctic. Though no unanimity exists as to the reason(s) for this relative Arctic heat wave, a leading candidate is melting ice. Sun rays reflected off ice generate fractional radiation - heat energy. But as icepacks melt, the surface beneath of earth or water absorbs the energy, leading to accelerated melting.

Human and animal communities can buy time to adapt by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, according to the report. But the build-up of heat-containing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere throughout at least the past century means the warming trend will inevitably play out in some part, with consequences that are global, unavoidable, and to a degree unknown. full article

Jamestown S'Klallam tribe acquiring Tamanowas Rock in Chimacum area

CHIMACUM -- The Jamestown S'Klallam tribe has acquired buyer's rights to lands adjacent to Tamanowas Rock, a sacred Native American site that tribal members want for a sanctuary.

The Blyn-based tribe in October assumed the rights to close the deal, purchasing adjacent land north of the Rock, which is on the eastern border of Anderson Lake State Park.

``We have up until mid-February to close it,'' said Ron Allen, Jamestown S'Klallam Tribal Council chairman.

``I don't see any problems whatsoever" full article

Fulbright in Peru gives new meaning to 'American Indian'

By MSU News Service

Wayne Stein knows his way around indigenous issues.
But Stein, a member of the Turtle Mountain Chippewa tribe and a veteran Native American studies professor at Montana State University, learned this summer that there is a world of difference between the indigenous in Montana and their brethren in South and Central America.

"We saw a very different world," said Stein said of the month-long Fulbright fellowship trip he and 13 other educators took to Peru and Guatemala this summer.

Walter Fleming, chair of the MSU Center for Native American Studies and a member of the Kickapoo tribe of Kansas, concurred. full article

Decision on police involved in Stonechild case imminent
Last Updated Fri, 12 Nov 2004

SASKATOON - A decision about the future of two Saskatoon police constables, linked by an inquiry to the Neil Stonechild case, will be revealed on Friday.

Saskatoon police say Chief Russell Sabo expects to complete his review and make a decision by Friday afternoon.

Bradley Senger and Larry Hartwig are currently suspended with pay. The action was taken about two weeks ago after the release of the inquiry report into the November 1990 death of Neil Stonechild. full article

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Articles-november 11

Our gloom: American Indians lost out as Bush won on that dark Tuesday

Eddie Chuculate
Color Nov. 2 black. Just about every ballot issue or candidate who could have benefited American Indians was beaten down convincingly, after brainwashed Bible thumpers and rubes had their way.


In Albuquerque, voters overwhelmingly passed a bond issue that approves millions of dollars of funding to build a road through Petroglyph National Monument, on land considered sacred to American Indians. Because such a measure failed last October, it's only fair to stage a special election in October 2005 to reconsider.

In South Dakota, Sen. Minority Leader Tom Daschle, who worked hard for Indians and lobbied President Bush personally for more money for the Indian Health Service, was sent packing in an upset by fresh-face John Thune, who has no clout in Washington. full article

Saskatoon police near 'mutiny' over Stonechild report
Last Updated Wed, 10 Nov 2004 12:41:37 EST
SASKATOON - Faced with what some fear could become a mutiny in the ranks, the police chief in Saskatoon has apparently again put off a decision on firing two officers involved in the death of Neil Stonechild.

Police Chief Russell Sabo was to make an announcement on Wednesday about the fates of constables Bradley Senger and Lawrence Hartwig. The announcement has been put off indefinitely.

The officers had 17-year-old Stonechild in their custody on the night he disappeared in November 1990, an inquiry concluded last month. His frozen body was found days later on the outskirts of Saskatoon. full article

Controversy over Squaw Peak
By Annie Reynolds Daily Universe Staff Reporter - 11 Nov 2004

Kyle Morgan
Squaw Peak is lit up as the sun goes down. To the average Provo resident, the word "squaw" in the name of Provo Canyon's Squaw Peak is not offensive. But the Native-American word directly translates to the female reproductive organ.

To the average Provo resident, the word "squaw" in the name of Provo Canyon's Squaw Peak is not offensive. But Venita Taveapont, language program coordinator for the Ute Tribe, said for Native Americans the word directly translates to the female reproductive organ, making the name Squaw Peak undoubtedly crude and offensive.

Many states are changing geographic names of places that have the word "squaw" to be more sensitive to Native Americans.

In Phoenix, their Squaw Peak mountain was changed to Piestewa Peak in 2003 to honor Lori Piestewa, a Hopi Tribe member who was the first woman soldier to be killed in Iraq. Other states changing names include Minnesota, Montana, Maine, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Oregon. full article

Indian vote draws Clinton, top Democrats to airwaves

Associated Press

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - Democratic Party superstars, including former President Bill Clinton, called a small FM station on a South Dakota Indian reservation in a last-ditch, Election Day attempt to save their party leader's job.

Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and the Rev. Jesse Jackson also called KILI radio on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation to tell residents there still was time to get out and vote.

Most of them mentioned their support of Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, who despite the effort lost to Republican John Thune by about 4,500 votes. full article

North Kitsap tribe expands its reservation with multimillion-dollar bid

By Suzie L. Oh, SUN Staff
November 10, 2004

The Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe successfully bid $4.4 million on 390 acres of state land adjacent to its North Kitsap reservation in a public auction Wednesday afternoon. The acquisition will increase the tribe’s 1,300-acre reservation by almost a third.

The auction ended a heated controversy over the property, which is held by the Department of Natural Resources for a school trust fund. full article

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

articles-november 10

Evolving views of the holidays

By Susan Llewelyn Leach |
Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

This is "Indian season," José Barreiro - a senior editor at Indian Country Today - notes dryly. Between Columbus Day and Thanksgiving, the news media and schools dust off their American Indian stories in a sort of Black History Month for natives.
Despite that somewhat contrived focus, the attention is not unwelcome, many natives say. It's an opportunity to temper romanticized views about Indians and provide a more just telling of history, one that acknowledges the history of their demise following Columbus's arrival on the continent.

The battle over how the story should be told in schools, museums, and other public settings - and how the darker aspects of these holidays as seen from a native point of view should be acknowledged - came to a head in 1992, the year of Columbus's quincentennial. What emerged from the worldwide protests and boycotts of those celebrations was more in-depth research and ultimately a more nuanced account.

South Dakota changed the holiday's name from Columbus Day to Native American Day in 1990. And protests regularly erupt across the United States each year, Denver often taking the brunt of them. full article

Not heroes to everyone

By Mary Annette Pember

Special to Knight Ridder/Tribune

The Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commemoration essentially celebrates discovery by conquest, and as an American Indian, it sticks in my craw. Indians did not benefit from the Lewis and Clark expedition. In fact, it signaled the beginning of genocide for us. This is not an occasion for celebration in Indian country.

I do not laud the group of history buffs, clad in 19th-century garb, who are retracing the steps of Lewis and Clark. These voyageurs began at the mouth of the Missouri River in May and passed through Bismarck, N.D., last week.

Nor do I rejoice in the National Park Service-sponsored Lewis and Clark Visitor and Interpretive Centers that dot the trail. These are beautiful monuments to modern museum science and design. The buildings and grounds are immaculate, with large bathrooms and parking lots. The gift shops sell Meriwether Lewis and William Clark books, CDs and all manner of themed items, including dolls and candy. full article

Native American fund may be reformed

By Michael Kan and Iris Perez, Daily Staff Reporters
November 10, 2004

More than a century in the making, the largest legal case in Native American history may finally come to a close within the next year.

Although Cobell v. Norton was not filed until 1996, its origins lie in the United States government’s supervision of Indian trust funds dating back to 1887. In that year, the government established the trust to manage Native American land, but it now admits to mismanaging it from its outset by underselling the land and failing to retain documents proving the payments.

After years of grinding through the courts and colliding with the Department of the Interior on nearly every proceeding to remedy the system, the case’s resolution is almost in sight — an appellate ruling that may bring at least $10 billion to half a million Native Americans, said Keith Harper, a leading attorney for the case.

“We’re getting to that place to where there’s a light at the end of the tunnel,” said Harper, who is from the Cherokee tribe and is a senior staff attorney for the Native American Rights Fund, a Colorado-based organization that provides legal representation for Native Americans. full article

Wal-Mart sued over racial harassment
Ex-employee charges slurs, threatened with a gun

Sam Lewin 11/9/2004

An armed services veteran is suing the Wal-Mart Corporation, charging employees there with racial harassment that includes pointing a loaded gun at his head. The alleged incidents happened at a Wal-Mart in Chadron, Nebraska, a border town located about fifty miles south of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.

Greg Clements, a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, says that while he was working at the store in June of this year several other employees taunted him about an archaic law apparently still on the books in the Nebraska town of Crawford that states that if two or more American Indians are found on or crossing a bridge they can legally be shot at. Clements’ lawsuit claims that he “did advise his immediate supervisors about this inappropriate harassment, nothing was done to address and correct the behavior of the non-Indian employees. The situation continued to escalate right up to the end of the work shift when a Wal-Mart co-worker offered Mr. Greg Clements a ride home. As [Clements] approached the co-worker's truck, the co-worker inquired if he wished to see the type of firepower he had and pointed a loaded .380 automatic pistol at [Clements]. The co-worker kept the weapon leveled at...Clements while explaining the capabilities of the weapon. Naturally, Mr. Greg Clements declined the offered ride home.” full article

Conversation in an Italian garden
Ethnobotanist Linda Jones discovers that traditions are never really lost

TURIN, Italy - At the end of October, ethnobotanist Linda Jones, Catawba, traveled to Turin, in the Piedmont region of Italy, to attend Terra Madre, an historic agricultural conference. At the meeting, nearly 5,000 indigenous and traditional food producers from around the planet came together under the auspices of Slow Food, an Italian organization that supports the production and enjoyment of artisanal food worldwide.

Potato growers from the Andes, algae gatherers from Chad, wild rice pickers from the White Earth Chippewa Reservation in Minnesota, piki bread makers from Tesuque Pueblo in New Mexico, and many more - some of whom had never before left their tiny communities - aired their common problems, including the pollution of heirloom varieties by genetically modified ones, competition from agribusiness, and land and language loss.

The delegates also brainstormed to find solutions, such as the development of local markets, the formation of cooperatives, and the empowerment of women, who are the majority of the world's farmers and the keepers of the knowledge that underlies the world's biodiversity, while, for the most part, toiling in a state of near-slavery. full article

State accuses tribal fishermen of illegal catch
November 9, 2004, 1:47 PM

MUSKEGON, Mich. (AP) -- The state's authority to regulate tribal commercial fishing operations in the Great Lakes will be tested by the seizure of nearly two tons of fish caught near Ludington.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources officers seized 3,857 pounds of fish that two American Indians allegedly caught illegally in Lake Michigan using a commercial fishing boat and huge trap nets.

State officials say the men captured the whitefish, lake trout and chubs after the tribal fishing season had closed at noon EST Saturday.

The case is believed to mark the first time the state has pursued criminal charges under a 2000 federal court decree that gave the DNR authority to regulate tribal commercial fishing operations in Michigan's portion of the Great Lakes, The Muskegon Chronicle reported Tuesday. full article

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

articles-november 9

Fast Arctic Thaw Threatens People, Polar Bears

by Alister Doyle
OSLO - Global warming is heating the Arctic almost twice as fast as the rest of the planet in a thaw that threatens millions of livelihoods and could wipe out polar bears by 2100, an eight-nation report said on Monday.

The biggest survey to date of the Arctic climate, by 250 scientists, said the accelerating melt could be a foretaste of wider disruptions from a build-up of human emissions of heat-trapping gases in the earth's atmosphere.

The "Arctic climate is now warming rapidly and much larger changes are projected," according to the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA), funded by the United States, Canada, Russia, Denmark, Iceland, Sweden, Norway and Finland.

Arctic temperatures are rising at almost twice the global average and could leap 4-7 Celsius (7-13 Fahrenheit) by 2100, roughly twice the global average projected by U.N. reports. Siberia and Alaska have already warmed by 2-3 C since the 1950s. full article

U.S. judge rejects motion to dismiss Teck Cominco polluting lawsuit
11:07 AM EST Nov 09

YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) - A judge on Monday rejected a B.C. mining company's motion to dismiss a lawsuit accusing it of polluting the Columbia River for decades.

Teck Cominco Ltd. of Vancouver had argued the lawsuit should be thrown out because the U.S. government cannot impose rules on Canadian companies that operate on Canadian soil. U.S. District Judge Alan McDonald disagreed, saying the United States' environmental laws are intended to clean up pollution inside U.S. borders, regardless of where it originated.

"The Upper Columbia River site is a domestic condition over which the United States has sovereignty and legislative control," McDonald wrote in a ruling issued out of Yakima. full article

Fighting a deadly plague
Gila River Indian Community steps up attack on diabetes

Nov. 9, 2004 12:00 AM
They came dressed in modern clothing, fighting a modern disease.
But their faces were those of traditional Native Americans, the same faces as their ancestors who eked a living from this land of daunting beauty and unforgiving sun for centuries.

They are members of the Gila River Indian Community, gathering for the dedication of a new medical building. They are fighting their No. 1 enemy, diabetes, an illness unheard of a century ago. advertisement

A combination of genetics and lifestyle changes, from farmers who ate sparsely to people with modern conveniences and high-calorie diets, has taken its toll. Pimas have the highest rate of Type II diabetes in the world, with more than half of all adults contracting it. full article

Tim Giago: On the cutting edge of "moral values"
Notes from Indian Country
Tim Giago (Nanwica Kciji) 11/8/2004
And so the crux of Election 2004 turned on the whims of moral values? How frightening!

Whose morals and values? If God created man in his own image, which image did he use as a pattern? Because those who voted for George W. Bush and John Thune have certain values, are the rest of us expected to adhere to those values?

When the settlers and their armies converged upon the people of the Great Sioux Nation in the late 1800s, they noticed that the Lakota families often consisted of one man and two or more wives. Their Christian values immediately presumed this to be morally wrong. Did they bother to find out why this was a way of life? No, they saw what they believed to be a moral issue and set about to change it to fit their own mores. full article

Brazilian Indians gaining political ground

BRASILIA, Brazil (Reuters) -- From isolated villages in the Amazon jungle to far-flung settlements in the vast savannas of the interior, Brazil's Indians are venturing as never before into mainstream politics.

Initial results from last month's nationwide local elections show four Indians were chosen as mayors and five as deputy mayors and final results are expected to give Indians more than 100 posts.

The numbers may seem small but they represent a jump from one Indian mayor elected in 2000. full article

Labeling of U.S. corn is sought

Sacramento Bee
November 09, 2004

- An international review of a controversy over bioengineered genes in Mexican corn recommends that Mexico combat the biotech intrusion by requiring labeling or milling of kernels imported from countries such as the United States.

The suggestion, made by a panel of scientists advising the Commission for Environmental Cooperation of North America, was not welcomed by the U.S. government, which offered harsh words after the report's official release on Monday.

"This report is fundamentally flawed and unscientific," said a statement issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

"The authors acknowledge that no economic analysis of their recommendations was conducted, and that many of these recommendations are based solely on sociocultural considerations." full article

Monday, November 08, 2004

Note to our readers

We apologize for not having more updates in the past few weeks but we will be making more entries in the coming weeks. We are going to be reorganizing and redesiging the website as well. The colorado aim website, in it's current form, is simply a temporary design and we are in the process of making it more expansive and informative. Thanks for your patience.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

articles-november 4

State's native voters face challenges

By JODI RAVE - Missoulian - 11/03/04

RONAN — They lost a Native voter. "He's large. He's really dark. And he has a really booming voice,'' said Ruth Quequesah, a volunteer vote coordinator on the Flathead Indian Reservation who has worked for months to register voters and get them to the polls Tuesday.

Quequesah felt the citizen of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes was treated unfairly at the polls because he was Native. And when an election judge in Polson failed to offer him a provisional ballot, the man left the polling place upset. He never did return to vote.
It was just the sort of situation Get-Out-the-Vote volunteers hoped to avoid. And it was the reason students at the University of Montana's Indian Law Clinic canvassed Montana's seven reservations on Election Day with nearly 50 lawyers and student volunteers full article

Polling Location May Move Off Santo Domingo Pueblo

By Joshua Akers
Journal Staff Writer
    The governor of Santo Domingo Pueblo wants Sandoval County to consider moving its polling location off the pueblo.
    Gov. Sisto Quintana said in a telephone interview Wednesday that he closed the voting location on the pueblo Tuesday because it was the All Souls Day feast.
    "The pueblo was closed for the feast and no outsiders were allowed on the pueblo," Quintana said. "I don't have to explain any more. Maybe next time, they should pick another site so it doesn't interfere."
    Quintana closed the pueblo around 7:30 a.m. Tuesday and asked three election observers from the U.S. Department of Justice to leave.
    The polls reopened around 5 p.m. Tuesday, and voters were allowed to cast their ballots full article

Haskell students aim to tackle diabetes
Educating youngsters about risks, prevention

Native American Times 11/4/2004
Students at Haskell Indian Nations University are launching an effort to prevent diabetes among school-age children living on Indian land.

The collegians will travel to the Royal Valley Elementary School in Hoyt for Health and Wellness day, an inaugural event marking the beginning of the implementation of the diabetes educational program. Haskell is located in Lawrence, Kansas.

The daylong program in Hoyt features hands-on activities focused on healthy eating, prevention of type 2 diabetes, the benefits of physical exercise, differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes, how diabetes affects people, and how to modify a traditional tribal recipe to make it a healthy choice. full article

PUD, Tribes settle after 40 years
By: Crysta Parkinson 

Signatures and handshakes marked the end of nearly two years of negotiation and 40 years of strife Monday as the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation and the Douglas County Public Utility District reached a settlement.

The deal, if approved by a federal commission, will settle a dispute over annual charges owed to the Tribes since the Wells Dam flooded tribal lands in the 1960s.

The agreement, which includes a lump sum payment, transfer of land, power and power sales rights, will now go on to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for approval.

"I'm feeling pretty happy about the outcome," said Joe Pakootas, chairman of the Colville Business Council. "The Tribe is finally going to receive some significant compensation for its past damages. A lot of our members may not feel complete with it, but at least compensation is started. The settlement is far better than years of litigation." full article

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

articles-November 2

Colville tribes, utility settle fight over dam

The Associated Press

YAKIMA — The Douglas County Public Utility District and the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Indian Reservation announced an agreement yesterday in a nearly two-year dispute involving payment for use of tribal land near Wells Dam.

The PUD holds the license for the 840-megawatt dam, which was built in 1967 on the upper Columbia River. The license requires that the utility make annual payments to the Colvilles for use of tribal lands.

The two sides have differed over how much compensation has been paid over the years, as well as which land the Colvilles own.

Last year, the tribe sought $950 million from the utility district as compensation for fishing grounds flooded by the dam. full article

AIM case hearing set for December

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — An American Indian Movement activist charged with murder in South Dakota almost 30 years ago may learn more next month about the strength of the U.S. case against him.

John Graham is charged with first-degree murder in the 1975 killing of Anna Mae Pictou Aquash, a fellow AIM member, on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

Another man, Arlo Looking Cloud, was convicted in February and was sentenced to life in prison.

Witnesses at Looking Cloud's trial testified that Graham shot Pictou Aquash in the back of the head as she begged for her life. full article

Rumors of vote buying continue
By Kevin Woster, Journal Staff Writer

The Tripp County auditor and her deputy have charged a Republican poll watcher with being disruptive at a satellite voting station on Rosebud Indian Reservation, a charge the man denies.

In addition, Auditor Kathleen Flakus said in a signed statement sent to reporters Monday that she heard Republican poll watcher Paul Brenner of Burke, Va., tell voters coming to the station last week that they could be paid $10 to vote.

Brenner presents a different version of the incident in his own affidavit, also sent Monday to the Journal. He claims to have found evidence of vote buying on the Rosebud Reservation on behalf of Democrats.

Brenner said he was discussing the issue with voters who said they expected to be paid for their vote, as well as a driver who said she sometimes had to split the money she received for hauling voters to the polls with some of those voters. full article

Let the games begin -- Extortion in Minnesota
Posted: November 02, 2004
by: Tom Wanamaker / Indian Country Today

Pawlenty's price tag - $350 million

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty finally tipped his hand. Since January the Republican has pressured the state's gaming tribes to renegotiate - ''voluntarily'' of course - their compacts to include revenue-sharing provisions. After recently claiming that the 18 casinos operated by 11 of Minnesota's tribes are a $10-billion business, a figure he seems to have pulled out of thin air, the governor has announced his version of the tribe's ''fair share'' - $350 million annually.

According the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Pawlenty informed the tribes in an Oct. 12 letter that in return for a total annual payment of $350 million, they would enjoy gaming exclusivity in the state for a ''time period to be agreed upon.'' He invited tribal leaders to meet with him on Oct. 27 to contemplate a new arrangement between state and tribal governments to replace the current compacts, signed in 1989. Those agreements mention neither revenue sharing nor exclusivity, but do mandate that the tribes pay $150,000 in regulatory expenses. They have no expiration date and are supposed to be re-negotiated only if both parties agree to do so.

The Star-Tribune on Oct. 22 reported that Pawlenty's $350-million price tag exceeds revenue generated by Minnesota's motor vehicle sales tax, and equates to slightly more than half of the state's projected corporate income tax payments for 2004. The governor also reportedly sent his chief of staff on a recent trip to Las Vegas to meet with officials from several commercial casino operators, including MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay and Harrah's, to explore their interest in Minnesota. full article

Onboard with the Zapatistas
Posted: November 01, 2004
by: Brenda Norrell / Indian Country Today

Reporter's notebook

The toughest Indians in the world

HERMOSILLO, Mexico - Seated on the motel bed with her backpack ready, Maria Garcia, great-grandmother who packs sack lunches for these trips, said she was prepared to die for this cause, the struggle for indigenous rights in Mexico.

The year was 1995. The Zapatistas had emerged in armed struggle the year before, and now, the military and paramilitary were executing Mayans in remote villages. Garcia was on an indigenous delegation to Chiapas and all were volunteering to serve as human shields. They were also delivering thousands of pounds of food to mountain villages.

But all things go better with good friends, even looking down the barrels of the Mexican military's automatic weapons on isolated dirt roads.

Maria's husband Jose Garcia, Tohono O'odham, was joined by Dennis Ramon, then chairman of the Tohono O'odham Legislative Council in Sells, Ariz. and Tohono O'odham tribal councilman Mike Flores of Gu:Vo.

With them were Jose Matus, Pascua Yaqui ceremonial leader and border rights activist; Guy Lopez, Dakota activist; Larry Gus, Navajo-Hopi photographer; supporter Bruce Black and this reporter. full article

Monday, November 01, 2004

articles-november 1

We need to get educated, seize the day before it's too late
Southeast Tides

Ted Wright
I used to think that one or another of our Native corporate or tribal executives and elected officials would take a vacation or retire and experience some sort of revelation about the illegitimacy of the way most of our entities are organized and managed. In recent years it even seemed that a few of those who have been in power for more than 25 years had begun to wake up. But as of this fall, I haven't heard anything but variations on tired themes. Among the messages I am waiting to hear are:

• As a financial fiduciary, the corporation doesn't make sense as a foundation upon which to build our future as Native people.

• The tribal government invariably ceases to be legitimate, as getting and spending soft money becomes the primary end of most of its activity and planning.

• Education is the key to survival and success in both modern and traditional society; so we should have our own schools, curricula and teachers.

• The community and family are critical in maintaining our way of life and our values, so we should concentrate most of our attention and resources on programs that strengthen them.

• The lands and waters of our homeland belong to our children and must be nurtured as we would the heritage of our ancestors, not squandered according to the vagaries of foreign markets.

• We were strong once and we still are. Whatever we decide to do we can do, with or without the corporation, the tribe, or the federal government. We depend on no one, but rely on each other and draw courage from the memory of those who came before us. full article

GOP at Pine Ridge: 'We'll be there'
By Bill Harlan, Journal Staff Writer

Republican Party election observers will be on the job on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation this morning, despite a tribal court order restricting some of their activities.
"We'll be there, regardless," Jason Glodt, executive director of the South Dakota Republican Party, said.

Glodt said Republicans might ask a federal court to strike down the restraining order today, but he emphasized that party officials were also relying on the opinion of U.S. Attorney James McMahon, who called the order illegal.
Oglala Sioux tribal Judge Marina Fast Horse signed the order on Friday. Glodt said it appeared to bar Republican Party workers from poll watching. full article

Mohawk: Reality is out of sync
Posted: October 29, 2004
by: John C. Mohawk / Indian Country Today

The election season revealed many truths about the direction America is taking. The president kept insisting that ''liberty is on the march'' in Iraq and Afghanistan, but some very disturbing patterns have become common in the United States. Trends have been afoot which change the definition of conservatism to one which most people who identify themselves as conservatives would not embrace. We can see signs of it everywhere.

On or about Oct. 22 a news article went across the land from the Associated Press, written by Jonathan Fowler, alerting people to something I think most people suspect: ''Ecologists Fear Mankind Is Killing Earth.'' The news was that the WWF, the World Wildlife Fund, had issued a report which warned that consumption of nonrenewable resources was taking place at a pace 20 percent greater than the Earth could replace them. The 40-page report came to an unpleasant conclusion: ''We are running up an ecological debt which we won't be able to pay off unless governments restore the balance between our consumption of natural resources and the Earth's ability to renew them.'' The subtext, one may conclude, is that it would be better if people consumed less of these renewable resources and that government should play a role.

But wait. The article goes on to state that Fred Smith, president of the Washington-based Competitive Enterprise Institute, on a telephone interview, had a counter: The report is ''static'' and fails to notice the benefits people get from resource consumption. Smith's comments were deemed newsworthy enough to cause the news agency to solicit a telephone interview. Most of us can be sure that if we phoned any institution - a prison, or a hospital for the psychologically distressed - that we could find someone to talk to who has an opinion about what the World Wildlife Institute had said. If the newspapers would identify the sources of such interventions, we could have a fair valuation of what they are worth. But here we have a perfect example of what is wrong: Smith works for a non-profit organization that enjoys as its main source of funding the Exxon Mobil Corporation. It was Exxon Mobil who wants us to hear, as though it is on an even footing with people who are actually paying attention to resource consumption, that resource consumption ''benefits people.'' The people it benefits most are, of course, people who own oil companies. Don't take my word for it, google Competitive Enterprise Institute. full article

Native Americans fight their second biggest killer

By: ADRIENNE A. AGUIRRE - Staff Writer

RINCON INDIAN RESERVATION ---- Last summer Elijah Duro was a typical teenager eating junk food and lounging around the house. Today he's injecting insulin twice a day and fighting to change his life.
Last month, the 16-year-old Pala tribal member joined the 107,000 Native Americans diagnosed with diabetes. According to medical officials, the disease is the second largest killer of Native Americans and many of their children won't make it to elderhood if it's not combated.

"We're seeing more and more of younger people being diagnosed and that's pretty scary," said Corinna Nyquist, a nurse at the Indian Health Council on the Rincon Indian Reservation near Valley Center. "There's a lot of obesity in the (Native American) community and obesity is a major risk factor for diabetes." full article

Porcupine dialysis unit eases burden
By Jomay Steen, Journal Staff Writer

PORCUPINE -- American Indian patients have one more dialysis center at which they can receive treatment on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
After the South Dakota Department of Health issued a Medicare number to Porcupine Clinic, it is now allowed to open its doors to more dialysis patients for treatment.

The clinic opened on a provisional basis on Aug. 23. On that date, the South Dakota Department of Health inspected its policies, procedures and the facility to ensure that the unit was in compliance with state regulations to be licensed.

According to Allen Rada, Dialysis Management Group chief executive officer and a registered nurse, Aloysius Tail was the first dialysis patient to go through treatment at the center so that the state could observe procedures and begin the review process. full article

80 years ago, tribes won right to vote

Frank Varga / Skagit Valley Herald

Imogene Bowen, former chairwoman of the Skagit Country Democratic Party and an Upper Skagit tribal member, has spent much of the election season registering new voters, including numerous Native Americans.When Paul Martin got the vote, he didn't want to miss his chance.

It was 1924, and Martin - like most other American Indians - had just been made a citizen. On Election Day, he headed for the polls.

Poll workers at the Rockport polling place were not pleased to see him, said Imogene Bowen, Martin's granddaughter. They said he couldn't vote because he was an American Indian.

"He didn't leave," Bowen said. "He stayed right there until finally they had to let him vote to get him out of there."

Bowen is proud of her grandfather's stand, but said its equally impressive that he understood so quickly the importance of this new right.

"This wasn't anything that was part of our culture, but he was smart enough to understand that it's important to vote," the Upper Skagit tribal member said. full article

Bush is Selling His Version of '1984'
by Les Payne
Will the Tuesday election duly mark the efficacy of the Big Lie? Has George Orwell missed his dooms-date for reality by these past 20 years? The voters will get the last word.

If George W. Bush is indeed elected for real this time around, it would signal the triumph of White House falsehoods continuously told. The prime lie, for those who yet believe that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, took a country to war under false pretenses that Saddam Hussein posed a nuclear threat to the continental U.S. A corollary, that 41 percent still believe, held that the Iraqi dictator supported the al-Qaida consortium that brought down the World Trade Center towers.

So weak was the evidence on the eve of the U.S. invasion that even this space doubted Bush would strike. "The war against Iraq cannot be," I wrote against the advice of our Washington bureau chief, who knew better. "Such criminal activity is ill-advised and should be illegal in a civilized world. Nor should America target for extermination those heads of state who displease the ruling circle of this republic . . . under the skeletal pretense spelled out so far, this war just cannot be." It was, of course, and still is. full article