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American Indian Movement of Colorado

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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


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