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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
WASHINGTON DC
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

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