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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


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