.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

American Indian Movement of Colorado

Spirituality • Self-determination • Solidarity • Sobriety
Colorado AIM home page

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Reggie Rivers on Ward Churchill

Our Fragile Nation
by Reggie Rivers
I sometimes forget how fragile America is.

When I think about our 9.6 million square-kilometer landmass, our 280 million population, our $10 trillion economy, our enormous military, unique constitution, and our long-heralded commitment to the rule of law, I foolishly believe that we would be hard to destroy.

But many Coloradans, including Gov. Bill Owens, believe that our nation is so fragile that the words of Ward Churchill literally have the power to destroy us. Owens said recently, "Churchill has clearly called for violence against the state, and no country is required to subsidize its own destruction. That's what we're doing with Ward Churchill."

This fear has been repeated on talk radio and on the streets by people who sound extremely agitated and fearful that Churchill's words are effective. Generally, I don't think it's fair to cherry-pick small quotes from someone's statements and act as if that represents their complete thoughts on an issue, but since that's exactly what Churchill's detractors are doing, it seems fair to wonder what people mean by "destruction."

Words are powerful. The childhood retort, "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me," isn't entirely true, because words can do great harm - but only when they're targeted at a particular person or a particular group, or if they slander, libel or incite immediate violence.

But words that are aimed at an entire nation or at past events are only harmful if they're tied to an action. As a professor, historian and commentator, Churchill makes observations based on research and his own biases. Sometimes he's right, sometimes he's wrong, but he's just one source of information. There's no need to silence him, because there are many other sources.

Churchill's accusers seem to be most concerned about his words that are aimed at the future. They say Churchill wants to destroy the United States and, apparently, they believe that he has the power to do so. They believe that if the taxpayers continue to finance him, we will be destroyed.

If Churchill actually has this power, it isn't apparent. Unless I missed something, he hasn't been accused of committing acts of violence. In fact, when he was arrested with dozens of other protesters at last year's Columbus Day Parade, he was committing nonviolent civil disobedience. And, as far as we can tell, his words haven't inspired anyone else to commit violence, either.

If his words are not connected to an action, then they're just words. In 1748, French philosopher Montesquieu wrote, "Speech does not form a corpus delicti: It remains only an idea ... . How, then, can one make speech a crime of high treason? Wherever this law is established, not only is there no longer liberty, there is not even its shadow ... . Speech becomes criminal only when it prepares, when it accompanies, or when it is followed by a criminal act."

No one is talking about charging Churchill with a crime. His accusers just want to see him fired from his job at CU. Isn't that interesting? Here's a guy who the governor and countless others honestly believe is in the process of destroying us, yet they don't want him to be arrested or thrown in jail. They merely want to kick him off the state payrolls so that we don't have to finance our own destruction.

We need to remember that we're not defined by our population, our landmass, our military, our leaders or our critics. We're defined by our ideas. We hold dear the idea that people should be free to think and speak without fear of state retribution. When we lose sight of our ideals and start to persecute people because they say objectionable things, that's the moment at which we're financing our own destruction.

Former Denver Broncos player Reggie Rivers writes Fridays on the Denver Post op-ed page.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Ward Churchill's February 8th speech


What Did I Really Say? And Why Did I Say It?


Editors' Note: The following is a the first written transcript of Ward Churchill's February 8, 2005 speech at the University of Colorado. CounterPunch thanks Clarke Iakovakis for laboriously transcribing the introductions by Emma Perez and Russell Means, Churchill's speech and the rowdy Q&A. A video of the event is available online at: http://www.c-span.org/. --AC / JSC

Ward Churchill: Hello my relatives; you humble me. Bill Owens: do you get it now? [applause] If you can count on your toes, you'll be able to count the percentage points of contribution to the budget the University of Colorado you and your ilk have reduced the taxpayer contribution to. It comes to seven. I do not work for the taxpayers of the state of Colorado. I do not work for Bill Owens. [applause] I work for you. [loud student cheers & applause] That's my institutional role and I take it very seriously; I take the institution and its well being, its mission, it's ability to perform that mission very seriously. That's one piece. That's where I am and that's who's invited me to speak. But here is another reality: I am not an abstract, detached academic. I have responsibilities and grounding in an actual community. I take those responsibilities very seriously - in fact, they are preeminent. I don't answer to Bill Owens; I don't answer (in the sense that they think I do) to the Board of Regents. The Board of Regents should do its job and let me do mine. [applause] And if Tom Lucero and his friends want to debate the propriety of that, I welcome them to come and join an open dialogue. I have not yet been officially informed they are even having a meeting about me. I read it in the Rocky Mountain News, I watch it on TV, I understand I am being reviewed. I haven't been notified of that in any official sense either. [audience boos]

But my [inaudible] as I said, is that I come from an actual community and I have responsibilities to that community. And it comes from what I was taught and the values that were imparted to me within that community, and a piece comes from a Muskogee elder by the name of Phillip Dare, which some of you older people in the room may actually even have heard speak on this campus; he's a very important man. And he gave me certain instruction at one point, which had to do with the way I was raised, which was outstanding outside of my tradition; it was in my twenties before I was even allowed the opportunity, given the nature of the experience of my people at the hands of the United States. I was in my twenties before I was given any opportunity to make a direct connection , and Phil said that can be to your advantage: 'You understand our ways - you did not grow up in them, you understand them, you understand the values, you understand the issues and you are able to frame those - because of the way you were raised - in terms that are understood by others, and it's your job, you take that, which your Creator gave you, and you follow that path. You make your words your weapons and you say things that you understand to be true, and you understand them clearly and you never, ever back up.' And that's what I do. [applause]
full speech at: http://www.counterpunch.org/churchill02212005.html

Friday, February 18, 2005

Lyons article from Indian Country Today

The following article comes from Indian Country Today

Lyons: The termination and removal of Ward Churchill
Posted: February 17, 2005
by: Scott Richard Lyons

It's been a bad couple of weeks for Ward Churchill. After being savaged by the corporate media for an essay he wrote over three years ago, then finding himself abandoned by an academic culture that used to profess belief in freedom of thought and expression, it was finally revealed that ... gasp ... Ward Churchill might not even be an Indian. Stop the presses!

Outside of his personal circle of aging enemies, did anyone really care that much about Churchill's enrollment status before this controversy? For the record, the Keetowah Band of Cherokee gave Churchill an ''associate membership'' in the early '90s, but did not bestow the rights and privileges accorded to fully-enrolled band members. He has recently gone on record as three-sixteenths Cherokee - which, incidentally, would be one-sixteenth more than legendary Cherokee Chief John Ross of the 1820s. Unlike the fullblood ''Treaty Party'' who signed the illegitimate agreement with the Americans, thereby paving the road we now call the Trail of Tears, the light-skinned Chief Ross is fondly remembered by many Cherokee today as a great leader who fought hard against the ethnic cleansing that eventually took place. Ross, too, was very critical of Americans and their policies.

At the very least, even the toughest identity police among us will have to admit that, as a United States citizen, Churchill has the right to ethnically self-identify in any way he wants, as is the official policy of the U.S. Census Bureau. But even if he is a white man (which I am not prepared to admit as fact, since all the ''evidence'' seems based on hearsay), my question is: so what? It's not like an author of his stature and reputation needs the helping hand of affirmative action to land a job.

He doesn't write about himself. And I definitely don't get the sense that he wants to make his living as a painter. If Churchill is in fact 100 percent white - which no one will ever know for certain - then what exactly would that make him? Seems to me he would then occupy that time-honored position of a colonizer ''going Native;'' that is, taking on the habits and perspectives - not to mention the politics - of the colonized. He would be what racial theorists call a ''race traitor;'' one who denies and decries ''white privilege'' by refusing to participate in ''whiteness'' as a system of privilege. How exactly would that harm Indian people? I know real Indians who do a lot worse.

Frankly, I was always more interested in what Ward Churchill had to say than in playing the tiresome ''Is he really Indian?'' game. In fact, what I have found most frustrating about this witch hunt is the sense that hardly anyone has actually read his now infamous essay, ''Some People Push Back: On the Justice of Roosting Chickens.'' Instead of musing about what Churchill allegedly is not - ''un-American,'' ''non-Indian'' - shouldn't we be talking about what he actually wrote? full column

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Denver Cops provoke a confrontation with CO AIM

Last night,(feb 16) Denver cops provoked a confrontation with CO AIM members when they harrassed and then assaulted 2 members of the CO AIM youth council as a CO AIM meeting concluded.

A CO AIM member was leaving the meeting early and noticed a cop outside with a clipboard writing down information. Suspecting he was writing down license plate numbers, the CO AIM member approached the cop and asked him what he was doing. The cop responded by telling him to mind his own business and drove off.

Inside, the meeting was coming to a conclusion a little after 9 p.m. 2 members of the CO AIM youth council (ages 14 and 15) took their 1 year old niece outside and got into the vehicle of the mother of the 15 year old. They sat in the car listening to the radio, visiting and playing with their niece.

A cop car drove by slowly and shone the spotlight into the vehicle. The cop then went to the end of the block, made a u-turn and returned, stopping beside the car in which the 2 youth members and their niece were sitting. The cop asked them if they had broken into the car. The 15 year old explained that it was his mother's car, he had the key and that he was keeping an eye on his 1 year old niece. The cop responded by asking him to get out of the car, which he did.

The cop then told him to place his hands against the car so that he could be searched. At this point, the 15 year old told the 14 year old to go into the CO AIM meeting and let people know what was happening. As the 14 year old crossed the street, another cop car pulled up and a cop jumped out and grabbed the 14 year old before he could reach the building. The 15 year old began yelling out that they were being arrested which got the attention of the other AIM members in the building.

CO AIM members rushed out of the building and towards the cops. The cops had both of the youth members in choke holds but released them when they saw the group running towards them and yelling for them to release the youth members.

Within a few minutes an addional number of other cop cars arrived. One AIM member counted at least 14 cop cars that were there within 5 minutes after the 15 year old began yelling they were being arrested. Several of the cop cars had 3 to 4 members and the gang unit was in the mix as well.

The youth members were taken away by some AIM security members and escorted back into the building. The rest of the CO AIM members remained in the street getting into heated exchanges with the cops about their harrassment of the youth members. It took around 15 minutes for all of the cops to leave and for CO AIM members to return to the building.

In an amazing instance of coincidence (or maybe not) we recognized one of the cops who had choked one of the youth members because he had testified in the suppression hearings of the Columbus Day trials. It has not yet been determined whether or not this was the same cop who was earlier spotted outside the building, writing info on his clipboard.

The Denver Police Department had spent years developing a spy file on CO AIM and had accumulated well over 1,000 pages before they were caught. These files were uncovered during a lawsuit and led to the Spy Files Scandal that embarrassed the city administration and the Denver Police Department. One of the tactics that the DPD had used was to record all of the license plate numbers of cars who were parked near the vicinity of an AIM meeting. Several people unaffiliated with AIM, such as neighbors, were included in the spy files simply because they happened to park near a CO AIM meeting.

At this point, we're not sure why so many cops were conveniently in the area so that they could take down a 15, 14 and a 1 year old. 14 cars, 3 and 4 cops deep, would seem to be a little excessive in dealing with 2 teens and a baby minding their own business.

On the other hand, it might not be so excessive but rather business as usual. After all, these are the same cops who murdered a mentally handicapped 15 year old teenager (Paul Childs) and also murdered an unarmed, 63 year old, handicapped man(Frank Lobato) who was sleeping in his own room.

Viewed in that light, perhaps we shouldn't be surprised that the Denver cops provoked a confrontation in the first place, but rather that they didn't use the incident as a justification to murder someone and claim self defense.

Below are some picures taken after the initial altercation.

Facing North

Facing north

Facing north

Facing North

Facing West

Academic Freedom Forum tonight at Duane Physics

‘Academic Freedom, Free Speech, Ward Churchill’ Tonight (Thursday 2/17) At University of Colorado – 7– 9 p.m.
Room: G1-B30
With State Representative Tom Plant and State Senator Ron Tupa.

To read the proposed resolution to terminate Ward Churchill, click on the following link. Resolution in PDF format

Press Relese from Bob Robideau-appproved by Leonard Peltier

Released on 02/17/05

Press Statement

The history of the unjust 29-year imprisonment of Leonard Peltier is well-documented. As recently as late 2003 by the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit stated, "Much of the government conduct on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and in the prosecution of Mr. Peltier is to be condemned. The government withheld evidence. It coerced witnesses. These facts are undisputed." Others, such as Peter Mathiessen In The Spirit of Crazy Horse, have chronicled the outrageous government misconduct which has kept Leonard unjustly in prison.

Now we face a renewed government effort of spreading misinformation which is intended to seal Leonard's fate.In light of the recent trial of Arlo Looking Cloud and the current extradition process of John Graham, both of which have been extensively covered on this website and elsewhere, certain misinformation is being spread which requires us to address THE FACTS and destroy the fiction. During the trial of Looking Cloud, the government planted the idea that Leonard was in some way responsible for the murder of Anna Mae Aquash began to circulate. For instance, one Canadian television program recently stated, "At his [Looking Cloud�s trial the question was raised that Leonard Peltier ordered the execution fearing she was an FBI informer." An examination of the trial trascript will prove that no such statement was ever made. The persistence of this inaccurate perception can only be understood in the context of the ongoing FBI campaign to deny not only Leonard Peltier justice, but justice for Anna Mae as well.

Leonard had nothing to do with Anna Mae�s killing. Not only had he shared Anna Mae�s concerns about Durham with AIM leadership, but as the events leading to her death were unfolding, he was living as a fugitive incommunicado in Canada, where he remained until his arrest and extradition. Further, Paul DeMain, editor of News From Indian Country, who in recent years has made outragiously inflamitory accusations about Mr. Peltier stated, "I neithr believe nor feel that Mr. Peltier ordered, or was capable of ordering, the death of Anna Mae Aquash. I would have never said that Leonard peltier ordered Anna Mae�s death because first of all I don�t believe that is the way that happened and second of all even if Peltier wanted her dead there was no authority for him to have ordered something like that....but the first proposition is that I never would have said that."

The historical record shows, along with Anna Mae Aquash, Leonard was one of the AIM members to first suspect that Douglas Durham was an FBI infiltrator. Anna Mae raised these concerns with AIM leadership, including Vernon Bellecourt and Dennis Banks, who, for whatever reason, dismissed them. Her threat to Douglas Duraham�s cover, initiated a "bad-jacketing" campaign by the FBI. Dennis Banks and Vernon Bellecourt targed Anna Mae as a result of actions taken by the FBI which led them to believe she was working with Durham.

An examination of the facts ineluctably lead to a different conclusion. We know, for instance, that after Anna Mae�s murder was made public that Vernon Bellecourt flew to California to meet with Dennis Banks, Clyde Bellecourt and John Trudell. At my trial in Cedar Rapids in 1976, John Trudell, who participated in meeting with Banks and Vernon Bellecourt shortly after her body was discovered, gave damning testimony, stating under oath, "I was sitting in a car with Dennis [Banks] when he said,"You know that body they found? That is Anna Mae." I didn�t know about a body..." According to Trudell this information was provided by Banks before the body had been identified. He gave similiar testimony at the Looking Cloud Trial.

I am confident that John Trudell�s knowledge of the involvement of AIM leadership will eventually be revealed. Kamook (Banks) Ecoffey testified similarly regarding the invovlement of her former husband at the Looking Cloud trial.

During the Farmington,N.Mex., AIM Convention, Banks and Vernon Bellecourt expressed their concerns to Mr. Peltier, whom they then had interrigate her in an effort to discover the truth. Their suspicions sparked a series of accusations and confrontations by other AIM members which Anna Mae suffered and endured.But, she refused to be driven out of the Movement that she had come to embrace. Despite these accusations, Anna Mae remained a member of our group throughout the aftermath of the Oglala firefight.

Here, it is worth noting the continued involvement of Banks and Bellecourt in the Looking Cloud and Graham cases, consistent with their ongoing support for the FBI�s campaign to frame Leonard Peltier for the murder of Anna Mae, a campaign that includes accusing Peltier representatives, including myself and Ward Churchill, of being FBI agents.

Leonard felt obligated to withdraw his support from John Graham when it became clear that Graham, who has acknowledged having a role in Anna Mae�s murder, was attempting to establish a connection between himself and Leonard, specifically claiming that following the Oglala firefight he hooked up with "Leonard and them , and they were in the hills there. Anna Mae and all of us stayed..." As I was one of the people with Leonard at that time, I can unequivocally state that this is a lie.

False statements by Mr. Graham and lies by Kamook (Banks) Ecoffey [a/k/a Darlene Nichols] have been embraced by the media, which is reporting these outrageous accusations against Leonard. In the case of Kamook, who said that Leonard "...believed [Anna Mae] was a fed, and he was going to get some truth serum and give it to her so that she would tell the truth," her own sister, Bernie Lafferty, said in a taped interview that she knew this to be a lie.

Further, there is no association official or otherwise between John Graham and the LPDC. In fact, we have requested repeatedly, both privately and publicly, that Mr. Graham�s support committee remove Leonard�s statements and links to the LPDC website from their website, to no avail.

We know now that Anna Mae was not killed for what AIM members who participated in killing thought, but because of personal fears of some AIM leaders of going to prison. All old suspicions about Anna Mae came back to haunt them after the Oregon state police road block, which Banks escaped. Banks had participated in Bombing on the Pine Ridge Reservation with Anna Mae and she knew that he had been with them at the road block . In a personal reprimand, Banks expressed, in his recent book Ojibwa Warrior, doubt's about himself, "Did I do the right thing? DID I ABANDON MY PEOPLE JUST TO SAVE MYSELF? We believe that these fears and suspicions were expressed to John Trudell, who Banks called to pick him up from the road during the escape. We are confident that John Trudell, who photo identified John Graham in Canada, will reveal this information.

Finally, it is necessary to underline the continuing attacks against Leonard Peltier and his support network by the FBI and their affiliated websites, as well as the on going attacks on leading AIM members connected to the LPDC by Vernon Bellecourt and Dennis Banks. Their well documented participation in these efforts is echoed here as an attempt to destroy the on going work to raise the consciousness for justice and freedom for Leonard Peltier.

I phoned both Dennis Banks and Vernon Bellecourt to inform each of them that I was releasing this statement to the press with the approval of Leonard Peltier. Dennis wanted to know,"Did Leonard issue this Statement?" I told Dennis no that I was issuing the statement because I know that not only the FBI was setting him up but also you [Dennis Banks]. His response was, "That is a pretty strong statement Bob." Dennis Banks who refused to hear the statement stated, "Who is going to believe you Bob." and Vernon Bellecourt who did listen to the statement said,"You're a trouble maker, Bob."

Robert Robideau
International/National spokesperson
Legal Assistant to Leonard Peltier and Barry Bachrach

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

"Great White Father" article

The Scanlon and Abramoff Scam was one of the stories we were following during the Autumn of 2004. We've also referred our readers to the Cobell vs Norton website, which is mentioned in the following column as well. To read more about Cobell vs Norton, click HERE

Great White Father Has a New Scam
The GOP's fleecing of tribal casinos is just the latest in a long line of scandals that spark outrage but rarely solutions
by Paul VanDevelder

On long winter nights beside the Knife and Little Big Horn rivers, tribal elders still sit around fires and tell their grandchildren stories to help them make sense of the world. It's a custom as old as silence.

Here's a story: A black man, a white man and an Indian arrive at the Pearly Gates, and after welcoming them to heaven, St. Peter invites each man to pick the afterlife of his dreams. The black man asks for great music and lots of friends. St. Peter grants his wish and sends him on his way.

Up steps the Indian, who asks for beautiful mountain streams, deep forests and plenty of food to eat. "Say no more, chief" says St. Peter, and sends him off. Lastly, he turns to the white man and asks: "What do you want heaven to look like?" And the white man says, "Where did that Indian go?"

Ever since Columbus waded ashore, say the elders beside the Knife and the Little Big Horn, white men have been asking, "Where'd that Indian go?" In this context, there's the recent scandal involving Jack Abramoff and Michael Scanlon, lobbyists who fleeced six casino tribes out of some $80 million by promising them, well, a little slice of welcoming heaven in Washington, D.C.

Scanlon and Abramoff stand accused of mocking tribal leaders as "morons" and "monkeys" at the same time they were stealing tribes blind. Each man pocketed about $10 million for his services, then distributed the rest to Republican Party coffers. During a preliminary hearing before the Senate's Indian Affairs Committee last fall, Arizona Sen. John McCain said this was the most "sordid affair" he had encountered in his political career. full column

Defend Ward & protect Academic Freedom petition

The petition can be found HERE

Columns and articles about Ward

Columns and articles about Ward.

Controversial Colorado prof dropped from UO conference

EUGENE (AP) -- The University of Oregon canceled an appearance by a professor who has come under heavy criticism for an essay suggesting the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorists were justified.

Ward Churchill, an ethnic studies professor at the University of Colorado, was scheduled to appear at an April 1 conference on race and immigration issues in the post-Sept. 11 era.

The university removed him from the list of speakers more than two weeks ago, shortly after his planned appearance at New York's Hamilton College pushed him into the national spotlight. Hamilton officials had to cancel his appearance after receiving thousands of protests, including threats of violence. Oregon's decision to follow suit is at least the fourth engagement struck from Churchill's calendar. full article

The following column comes from Jack McCarthy
Buchanan Does a Churchill


The attack on the U.S. by al-Qaeda was a result of U.S. imperialism and interventionism in the Middle East.

And interventionism is the cause not the result of terrorism.

Another rhetorical fussilade from Ward Churchill?

No, that was Churchill nemesis Joe Scaraborough's frequent guest host Pat Buchanan speaking on Meet the Press a week after the media feeding frenzy over Churchill's essay.

On Meet the Press for February 13th Pat Buchanan debated former Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky on U.S. policy in the Middle East.

The moderator was the unctous Tim Russert who sat passively as Patsy uttered his Churchillian--as in Ward--analysis of the events of 911. full article

A column by Ted Rall

Tue Feb 15, 6:40 PM ET
By Ted Rall

NEW YORK--Nothing should appear in a newspaper unless it has first been approved by a government censor, say half the high school students in a recent poll. So free-speechers are losing the never-ending war over freedom of expression. This is because censorship is being redefined.

The latest skirmish over the First Amendment concerns Ward Churchill, an ethnic studies professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder, which is a liberal enclave in a conservative state. Hamilton College in upstate New York, which had invited Professor Churchill to speak about American Indian activism, cancelled his appearance after someone Googled his name and found an essay he had written three years earlier--which appeared without a smidgen of attention at the time, much less controversy. full article

This is the statement from the Native American Cultural Awareness Association

Statement from the Native American Cultural Awareness Association
The student-run organization, the Native American Cultural Awareness
Association (NACAA), and the office of Native American Support Services
(NASS) at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater would like to take the
opportunity to carefully explain our position on the upcoming March 1st
Ward Churchill presentation, as a component of our annual Native Pride
Week event.

We certainly understand that Mr. Churchill’s comments regarding the 9/11
tragedy have offended a large number of people. However, we, along with
our co-sponsor the College of Letters and Sciences, support first
amendment rights and academic freedom. A great deal of students, faculty,
and staff would like to hear what Professor Churchill has to say, and we
support their right to hear him speak. We also support the rights of
students who do not wish to attend the lecture.

We contacted Mr. Churchill in July to give a lecture on the topic of
Racism Against the American Indian.� We selected Churchill on the
basis of his Native American scholarship and commitment to the cause, not
his ethnicity as a "real" Indian man. He is a past national spokesperson
for the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee and has served as a delegate to
the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Populations. We selected
Churchill based on his long history of working with indigenous communities
and his expert understanding of Indian affairs.

To address some of the concerns of those offended by Mr. Churchill, we
will also be co-sponsoring another lecture to take place during this
spring semester. We intend to work with faculty to select a speaker that
can properly address some of the differing viewpoints. We certainly
welcome the dialogue, and hope that this effort demonstrates that we are
truly in support of academic freedom, having a genuine desire to hear all
points of view. Out of respect for those offended by Mr. Churchill’s
comments, his presentation will not be supported by state funds.

By continuing to host Mr. Churchill’s presentation we certainly do not
advocate hatred and certainly do not wish to perpetuate the image of the
>American Indian that hates all white people. In terms of our Native Pride
Week as a whole, we've done our best to present a fair and balanced
perspective of Indian issues. In particular, Jim Northrup, most certainly
a patriot, will be giving a lecture about the involvement of American
Indians in the Vietnam War.

This country needs a certain degree of “healing� in regard to race and
ethnic relations. The following are our goals in this year’s Native
Pride Week program:

We've asked Ada Deer to highlight some of the significant
contributions Indian women have made to this country.

We™ve asked Ward Churchill to articulate some of the painful racism
that really does exist in Indian country; many students do not have a
complete and accurate understanding of current Native American social

We™ve asked Jim Northrup to discuss the experiences of the Indian
people who have served in the military for this country.

And we especially look forward to Mr. Neil Hall’s conclusion of the
lecture series, teaching us how to find this healing we need through
prayer and ceremony.

We are confident in the ability of our campus community to behave in an
appropriate manner, even though Mr. Churchill may challenge their own
point of view. We are also committed to ensuring a safe learning
environment on the UW-Whitewater campus.

This Native Pride Week series was created to educate the campus community
about current Native American issues and our ultimate goal is to educate
and unite, not offend.


University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

artticles-feb 16

News from around ndn country

Tribes appeal Kennewick Man ruling, seek role in future finds
2/16/2005, 8:04 a.m. PT
The Associated Press

KENNEWICK, Wash. (AP) — Indian tribes that failed to block the scientific examination of the 9,400-year-old remains known as Kennewick Man are appealing a court ruling in hopes of gaining a role in future discoveries.

The appeal of a ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was brought Monday by the Nez Perce Tribe, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation and Yakama Indian Nation, which claim Kennewick Man as an aboriginal ancestor.

"It's a fundamental right to protect the grave of your ancestor," said Audie Huber, intergovernmental affairs manager for the Umatilla Reservation's Department of Natural Resources. full article

Abenaki Speak Out For State Recognition
Wednesday February 16, 2005

Melody Walker broke down in the middle of her testimony at a state Senate hearing Tuesday regarding state recognition of the Abenaki Nation.

More than a dozen people testified at the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum as to why they believe Joint Senate Resolution No. 9 - sponsored by state Sen. Julius Canns, R-Caledonia - should be approved. The resolution calls for state recognition of the Abenaki Nation as a Native American tribe.

Walker, a senior at the University of Vermont, started crying as she testified about how the Abenaki Nation has helped pay her way through college. full article

Native groups speak out against mine

JUNEAU - The Taku River Tlingit First Nation in British Columbia and the
Douglas Indian Association in Juneau issued a joint statement against the
proposed Tulsequah Chief mine on Thursday.

Representatives for two tribes met for three hours on Tuesday in Juneau
before attending a forum on the Canadian mine. At the meeting, the groups
agreed to work together on their common concerns.

"We hope to establish regular meetings," said Ed White, an environmental
planner for the Douglas Indian Association.

In a written statement, Taku River Tlingit First Nation spokesman John Ward
said, "The Tlingit people on both sides of the border have a long-term
commitment to the land while the mining company (Redfern Resources Ltd.) has
only a short-term interest in this land. Their cash register is empty and
they want to use our land to fill it." full article

Utah tribe may store spent nuclear rods
Indians' sovereignty could play major role
By Dana Wilkie
February 16, 2005

WASHINGTON – An hour's drive from Salt Lake City, between Utah's Cedar and Stansbury mountain ranges, there lies a lonely, arid valley marked by perhaps three paved roads and the homes of a few American Indian families.

Skull Valley – a longtime dumping ground for hazardous waste, low-level radioactive debris and the byproducts of biological and chemical weapons testing – is a literal and figurative wasteland.

But in a matter of weeks, it could be on its way to becoming a gold mine for some, or further cursed for others. full article

Group seeks to abolish Native rights(my headline)
One Nation United says tribes should observe U.S. laws, regulations
By Eric Leach
Staff Writer

Saturday, February 12, 2005 - After decades of fighting in obscurity, a Thousand Oaks woman says her battle to bring Indian tribes under the same laws and regulations as the rest of the country is growing into a united front -- thanks in part to California's heated recall election and a new focus on Indian gaming.

Barb Lindsay, the new national director of One Nation United, says her group now has more than 300,000 members in all 50 states, including homeowner associations, local government agencies and trade groups.

One Nation United seeks standard tax laws and regulations across the United States to even the playing field between Indian tribes and non-Indian businesses full article

Friday, February 11, 2005

column about and interview with Ward Churchill

This column ran in today's edition of the Denver Post.

Can't governor be offensive, too?
By Reggie Rivers

For anyone who truly believes in the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of speech, it's difficult to urge severe penalties against University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill just because his words are provocative.

There are many debates about whether the freedom of speech should extend to movies, paintings, novels, profanity, pornography, etc., but I've never heard any First Amendment defender argue that dissenting political speech should not be protected.

We may disagree with Churchill's words, but they are profoundly political. That means they represent exactly the type of speech that was supposed to be protected by the First Amendment. full column

The following interview ran in this weeks edition of the Boulder Weekly. This is an excerpt.

The Man in the Maelstrom
by Pamela White

Boulder Weekly: What were you doing on Sept. 11 when you first heard about the terrorist attacks?

Ward Churchill: I was on the word processor working on an extended essay on American Indians in films, which I had been working on for some time... The phone rang. It was Kathleen Cleaver. She said, "Is your TV on?" I said, "No." She said, "Well, turn it on, because a plane just hit the World Trade Center." So probably within five minutes from the time the first plane hit I watched it in real time.

I suppose like everybody else, I was stunned... I knew it was real, but still there was this disbelief thing. And to be fair about it, that was probably affecting everyone, including the people who had set up the cameras and were filming the thing as it occurred—probably more so for them because they were watching it for real.

But it struck me even before the first building came down that this was already being framed. It was proclaimed to be "senseless" before the first building came down, and senseless means "without purpose," and that seemed absolutely absurd to me on its face. How could they possibly know? There are planes being hijacked all over the country. Two of them have hit the World Trade Center. One of them has hit the Pentagon. There's another one loose. But whoever's doing this has no purpose.

And then there's the outrage: How can this happen? Well, there's various ways you could take it, like, "How did they penetrate the air defense?" But I don't think that's the nature of the question. That was not my sense. It was more like, "What could possibly provoke somebody to do this?" OK, that question and, "Why do they hate us?"

All of that [struck me]—both the framing of it as being senseless and the amazingly stupid questions as to what would provoke somebody to do this.Full interview

native news-feb 11

Newcomb: On challenging wrongful ideas
Posted: February 10, 2005
by: Steven Newcomb / Indigenous Law Institute

We, as indigenous peoples, have a sacred and solemn responsibility to continually challenge the dominant society. One of the most meaningful and powerful ways of doing so is by challenging wrongful ideas that are used as weapons against us.

Let me be clear on this point. Ideas shape and create reality. This is a truism that bears repeating. All human realities are constructed on the basis of ideas combined with human behavior.

A short story will help illustrate the point I'm trying to make. In his wonderful book ''Native Roots: How the Indians Enriched America'' (1991), Jack Weatherford tells the story of Garcilaso de la Vega, who was born to a Spanish conquistador father and the Incan mother Chimpa Ocllo.

As a young man, Garcilosa traveled to Spain where he became educated and mastered many European languages. He eventually became an incredible scholar who wrote a 1,500-page history of North America largely based on first-person accounts from Spaniards who returned to Spain from Florida, as the North American continent was then known to the Spanish.

According to Weatherford: ''When El Inca Garcilosa wrote, many people still saw the Indians as animals, little more than the monkeys and chimpanzees from Africa. When he started his work on Florida, the Spanish [royal] court was still considering the question 'What is an Indian?'... the issue was far more than an intellectual debate, for its answer would determine how the Indians must be treated.''

Notice that Weatherford is making the subtle point that the ideas formed by the Spaniards ''would determine how the Indians must be treated.'' Weatherford further said that if the idea of Indians as ''natural slaves'' prevailed, ''then the subhuman Indians could be enslaved at will by the Spanish without regard for their souls.'' In other words, the Spaniards' ideas about the ''Indians'' predetermined how the Spaniards would behave toward them. This story illustrates the way ''reality'' is constructed through the combination of ideas and human behavior.

The question arises: Why are we, as indigenous nations and peoples, continually allowing ourselves to be controlled and governed by the ideas of the dominant society? Shouldn't we be saying, and saying loudly, that the dominant society has no right to force its ideas upon us and then call those ideas ''the law?'' To the extent that we as indigenous peoples passively accept the ideas that the dominant society uses against us, we have, to that degree, thereby relinquished vitally important mental powers of sovereignty and self-determination. full column

Feds hiring private eyes to check abuse claims
Last Updated Feb 10 2005 03:46 PM CST
CBC News
WINNIPEG – The federal government is about to spend millions of dollars to send private investigators to check out the claims of former students who say they were abused at Indian residential schools.

Ottawa has issued a request for proposals from private investigators across the country, hoping to hire 21 firms to track down alleged abusers and people who may have witnessed physical and sexual abuse. In Manitoba, three companies will be hired.

The government is prepared to spend almost $3 million per year for three years on the project.

The project is designed to verify about 13,000 compensation claims that former students have filed against the federal government over its role in setting up and running the schools, starting in the early 1900s.

Aboriginal leaders and former students are outraged about the plan, which they say is both a waste of money and a provocative gesture that implies the government doesn't believe the abuse happened.

Ray Mason, who attended residential school, is appalled Ottawa is ready to spend millions of dollars to check out the stories of his former classmates.

"They are proposing to put these investigators to investigate whether we are telling lies," he says. "The only people that are going to benefit are the investigators. They going to get fat on the expense of our legacy, what we went through." full article

Last few Whulshootseed speakers spread the word

The Seattle Times

AUBURN, Wash. - (KRT) - At age 81, she is a cultural treasure at the Muckleshoot Reservation, even though she doesn't act like one and her outward demeanor can sometimes seem a little gruff.

Ellen Williams is the last person alive here fluent in the tribal language, the last one who can fully understand and speak a language that, with its clicking and consonants with popping sounds, is so vastly different from English.

Throughout the 26 federally recognized tribes in Washington state that scenario is being repeated, with elders who are fluent dwindling to a handful in each tribe.

When she recently visited the Muckleshoot Tribal College's native-language classroom, Williams was tearfully presented with a school T-shirt by Donna Starr, one of its two language instructors.

Starr became tearful because she feels so strongly about preserving the language, Whulshootseed, which she teaches to high-schoolers four days a week. Starr learned the language from her mother and then took classes in the language, rating her fluency as intermediate. But she has Williams to ask for correct pronunciations and meanings.full article

Park land a battleground over Indian burial site

By CHRIS G. DENINA, Times-Herald staff writer

For thousands of years, American Indians buried and cremated their dead in what's now known as Glen Cove Waterfront Park.
Today, the area at Vallejo's south end has become a battle ground as local organizations debate the site's future.

While the Greater Vallejo Recreation District solicits proposals to reopen a decades-old park mansion to the public, opposing groups are trying to build support for their side.

On Thursday, the Vallejo Inter-Tribal Council argued to preserve the burial grounds in a forum hosted by the Solano Peace and Justice Coalition.

Less than a mile away, Glen Cove Community Association members asked the GVRD board to create a natural park open to the public. full article

State lawmaker comes out in opposition to mascot bill
Indian leaders urge him to change his mind

Sam Lewin 2/10/2005

Native American activist leaders say they are “disappointed” that an Oklahoma lawmaker has come out in opposition to a bill that would ban the use of some Indian mascots.

Oklahoma State Senator Judy Eason McIntyre, a Democrat from District 11, said that the legislation, SB 567, was necessary because “I realized it is offensive to some people. As an African American I know how hurtful some words can be.”

Now State Rep. Mike Reynolds, (R-Oklahoma City), says he thinks the bill is taking “political correctness too far.”

“Words once meant as terms of honor now seem to be derogatory terms,” said Reynolds. “I think we’re letting political correctness run amok when we start legislating names for football teams. full article

Thursday, February 10, 2005

If you sent email after Feb 03

For anyone that sent email after feb 03, your email was not received due to server problems.

column from the Black Commentator

The following excerpt was taken from a column named "Killing is Good"
by Margaret Kimberly/

Bill O’Reilly is an odd person to express outrage over what he calls hate speech. Here’s what he said on his show of March 31, 2004:

“I don't care about the people of Fallujah. You're not going to win their hearts and minds. They're going to kill you to the very end. They've proven that. So let's knock this place down . . we know what the final solution should be.”

Churchill learned the hard way that using provocative words may get attention, but if those words criticize the powerful they are regarded in a worse light than the war crimes that kill thousands of human beings around the world. O’Reilly very nearly got his wish for a final solution in Fallujah. American troops killed an estimated 6,000 people before destroying that city and making it uninhabitable.

While unfortunate hyperbole brought about violent language and very nearly violent deeds at one college, students at a Christian university engaged in a sickening homage to bloodlust. The College Republicans at Jesuit-run Marquette University raised money for an organization called “Adopt a Sniper.” The aforementioned charity raises money to “Help real snipers get the real gear they need to help keep us safe.” In order to help get real gear for real snipers students sold bracelets bearing these lovely words: “1Shot, 1 Kill, No Remorse I Decide.” Fine words at a school run by the Society of Jesus.

Politicians of all stripes are outdoing themselves to get Churchill fired from his job and run out of town on a rail. Like the College Republicans at Marquette these same people argue in favor of violence as long as the U.S. military is the only group doing the killing. No remorse. I decide.

The corporate media who propagandize Americans with photos of Iraqis voting in a rigged election will whip us into a frenzy about a college professor whose name few of us knew. They refused to tell us about torture in Guantanamo and the phony case for occupying Iraq. Israel is on the verge of attacking Iran with the permission of the United States, and we hear nothing about the horror that act will bring to the world and to the American people. Murderers are in charge at the Justice Department and the State Department but college professors who are too eager to be provocative must get the heave ho.

Churchill should change professions. He should write memos explaining how to get away with torture and he should tell lies about the threat of mushroom clouds. He could run United States foreign policy and no matter how many people he killed, he would always stay employed. full column

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

"Didn't we get rid of these people years ago?"

Last night a couple of us listened to one of the rabid, redfaced, rightwingers wring his hands about the Ward's speech last night. He didn't address any of Ward's main arguments but chose to spend his time complaining about the drumming and complaining that he is a victim at the hands of Indigenous Peoples who commit the crime of recounting history accurately. Apparently, these right wingers don't like what they see when the mirror is held in front of them.

This column appeared in Today's edition of Counterpunch

"Didn't We Get Rid of Those People Years Ago?"
Reflections on Empire and Uppity Indians

I should have known better than to listen in to the conversation immediately to my left, sitting as I was in the Northwest Airlines World Club, in Detroit. Unlike most of the folks who have paid their $450 for an annual membership--which entitles one to little more than some free booze, cheese, crackers and coffee, along with a comfy chair between flights--I am hardly, after all, the typical "business traveler." I usually spend my time in such places, hastily composing one or another radical screed (like this one), while waiting to fly somewhere to deliver a speech that will, in some small way, move forward the cause of social transformation.

This is not the purpose for which the guy talking about mutual funds in the cubicle next to me, is here.

But this time, I couldn't avoid hearing the discussion between the two men, appropriately white and with matching blue suits and red power ties, whose familiarity with a bottle of scotch had apparently reached intimate proportions.

They were ruminating on the recent goings on at the University of Colorado, where Ethnic Studies professor, Ward Churchill is under siege for an article he composed back in the immediate aftermath of 9/11; an essay in which Churchill sought to explain that a nation really ought not be surprised when its policies abroad--which have resulted in the slaughter of millions of innocent civilians--cause some in those nations to "push back" and seek to exact a similar collective death upon the people of that first country.

While Churchill's essay was indelicate in places, it was hardly more so than any of the bloodthirsty things said by representatives of the state or the denizens of talk radio around that same time--folks who were itching to level Afghanistan, turn the Arab world into a parking lot, or, as Bill O'Reilly put it, put a bullet to the heads of any Afghans who weren't sufficiently supportive of our ousting the Taliban for them.

I remember reading Ward's missive at the time, and being bothered by the "little Eichmanns" reference (for those who worked in the World Trade Center), not because I thought Churchill actually believed these folks deserved to die, but because I knew the statement would be taken out of context and used to smear not only him, but the larger left of which we are both a part. In other words, Ward was perhaps guilty of naiveté, assuming that people are far more capable of discerning nuance and irony than they really are.

But to the two men in the World Club, he was guilty of a lot more than that. To them, Churchill's most egregious crime was not having died, "like all the other Indians."

I shit you not. One of the men, fuming about the article that now has Ward facing down the barrel of a Board of Trustees looking for any reason to fire him, despite tenure, turned to the other and said: "Just when you thought we'd killed all the Indians, one pops up talkin' some shit like this, and reminds you that we didn't finish the job after all."

White guy number two laughs, in fact, damn near spits Dewar's and soda all over the leather barca lounger he's plopped down in, finding this affable romanticizing of genocide to be the funniest fucking thing he has apparently had the luxury of hearing, at least since the last time he and his buddies sat around in a sports bar, farting, and trading jokes about fags, or some such thing.
Full Column

articles from the Post and the News

Last night, Ward Churchill gave a talk on the University of Colorado-Boulder campus. Sicangu Elder, Yank Bad Hand, led the way with the eagle staff followed by the drum group from Pine Ridge, SD. They were followed directly by CO AIM members, Ward included, and were all surrounded by the CO AIM security team. Pictures will be posted later today.

From the Rocky Mountain News
'I do not work for taxpayers,' prof says

Churchill throws down gauntlet at speech in Boulder

By Charlie Brennan, Rocky Mountain News
February 9, 2005

BOULDER - A defiant Ward Churchill told an overflow audience of more than a thousand at the University of Colorado on Tuesday night that he will not back down or be silenced.

Most of the crowd that packed CU's Glenn Miller Ballroom for Churchill's speech appeared to be pulling for him in the fight of his professional life. It was his first public talk since becoming embroiled in controversy for his 3-year-old essay on the Sept. 11 attacks.

Click to learn more...
"I'm not backing off an inch. I owe no one an apology," he said, during his highly anticipated speech, which was advertised to be one hour but ran just about 35 minutes.full article

From the Denver Post

Prof: Never back down
By Howard Pankratz and George Merritt
Denver Post Staff Writers

Post / Andy Cross
CU professor Ward Churchill ignites a crowd Tuesday at the university’s Glenn Miller Ballroom. Churchill and supporters spoke in defense of an essay he wrote three years ago that compared some 9/11 victims to “little Eichmanns.”

Boulder - Met by wild applause Tuesday night from hundreds of supporters, controversial University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill strongly attacked Gov. Bill Owens and the CU Board of Regents and said he would never back down from his comparison of some 9/11 victims to Nazi Adolf Eichmann.

Looking out on the mass of adoring supporters, with hundreds more listening outside in the cold, Churchill said loudly, "Bill Owens, do you get it now?"

"I do not work for the taxpayers of the state of Colorado. I do not work for Bill Owens. I work for you," he told the CU audience.full article

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Ward to speak tonight at 7pm, at the Glenn Mlller Ballroom at CU Boulder

Ward Churchill's talk tonight, is going ahead as orignally planned. The University of Colorado cancelled the event, citing security concerns. Attorney David Lane filed an injunction against CU and a hearing was set for 4 pm this afternoon, but CU reversed their decision and agreed to allow the talk to go ahead as planned.

So the talk will be tonight (feb 08) at 7pm, in the Glenn Miller Ballroom on the CU Boulder Campus. See you there.

Courtroom information for today's hearing

The hearing to get an injunciton against the University of Colorado, thereby allowing Ward Chuchill to speak on campus, will be held at 4pm, today(feb 08) at the Denver Federal Courthouse. The Courthouse is located at 901 19th street, which is between 19th and 20th streets and also between Champa and Stout Street.

The hearing will be in the courtroom of Judge Robert Blackburn and his courtroom is located in room Courthouse A741 / Courtroom A701

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Column by Alexander Cockburn

From Alexander Cockburn

OK to call for Arundhati Roy to be blown up, but not Arnold Schwarzenegger?
Alexander Cockburn
February 1, 2005
When it comes to left and right, meaning the respective voices of sanity and dementia, we're meant to keep two sets of books.

Start with sanity, in the form of Ward Churchill, a tenured professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder and, until a few minutes ago of this writing, chairman of the department of ethnic studies. Churchill is known nationally as an eloquent radical writer on Native American issues.
Back in 2001, after 9/11, Churchill wrote an essay called "Some Push Back," making the simple point, in his words, that "if U.S. foreign policy results in widespread death and destruction abroad, we cannot feign innocence when some of that destruction is returned."

That piece was developed into a book, "On the Justice of Roosting Chickens," most of which is a detailed chronology of U.S. military interventions since 1776 and U.S. violations of international law since World War II. Of his posture toward 9/11, Churchill says, "My feelings are reflected in Dr. King's April 1967 Riverside speech, where, when asked about the wave of urban rebellions in U.S. cities, he said, 'I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed Ö without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today -- my own government Ö '

"I mourn the victims of the September 11 attacks, just as I mourn the deaths of those Iraqi children, the more than 3 million people killed in the war in Indochina, those who died in the U.S. invasions of Grenada, Panama and elsewhere in Central America, the victims of the transatlantic slave trade, and the indigenous peoples still subjected to genocidal policies. If we respond with callous disregard to the deaths of others, we can only expect equal callousness to American deaths."

The bottom line of Churchill's argument is that the best and perhaps only way to prevent 9-11-style attacks on the United States is for American citizens to compel their government to comply with the rule of law. "The lesson of Nuremberg is that this is not only our right, but our obligation."

What's wrong with any of this? The late Susan Sontag said much the same sort of thing in the New Yorker shortly after 9/11, and though there was some huffing at the time, her sentiments seem to be commonsensical, as in these words: Full column

Friday, February 04, 2005

Reggie Rivers Column

The following column appeared in today's edition of the Denver Post.

Churchill Rant Has Some Truth
by Reggie Rivers

It's easy to attack University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill. He went too far in his essay "Some People Push Back: On the Justice of Roosting Chickens." He made overstatements, praised the Sept. 11 terrorists as noble heroes and labeled their victims as criminals who deserved what they got.

The essay is not a scholarly document. It's not subtle, reasonable or balanced. In fact, Churchill states in the addendum that it's more of a "stream-of-consciousness interpretive reaction to the Sept. 11 counterattack than a finished topic on the piece." I'd say that's a fair assessment.

I can only assume that in a true scholarly work, Churchill wouldn't describe former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright as "a malignant toad" or "Jaba (sic) the Hutt." I assume that he wouldn't call President Bush the "Scoundrel-in-Chief," or refer to the FBI as "a carnival of clowns."

But while it's easy to attack Churchill's inflammatory words, it's harder to deny the core argument of his essay. It is a critique of U.S. policies around the globe, particularly the 12 years of sanctions in Iraq that former U.N. Assistant Secretary General Denis Halladay denounced as "a systematic program ... of deliberate genocide."

I have long been a vocal opponent of sanctions in Iraq, because everything I read on the subject revealed that it was regular citizens, not the leadership, who suffered under sanctions. Saddam Hussein easily circumvented the restrictions, made billions of dollars and built more palaces. It was regular Iraqis who died for lack of clean water, sewage-treatment facilities and basic medical supplies. full column

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Diane Carman column about CU

This article appeared in today's edition of the Denver Post.

Churchill brouhaha echoes previous dissent at CU

By Diane Carman
Denver Post Columnist

"Let your light shine forth."

- The University of Colorado motto engraved on the medal of honor awarded to Morris Judd on Nov. 7, 2002.

Ward Churchill is under siege.

The CU ethnic-studies professor has admitted writing an inflammatory essay three years ago about terrorism, U.S. foreign and economic policy, and chickens coming home to roost.

So the CU regents have scheduled a meeting today to discuss what to do with the unapologetic tenured professor with the radical viewpoint.

Before they convene, though, they might take a moment to review what was said two years ago about courage, intellectual freedom and the cherished tradition of dissent at CU.

After all, Churchill isn't the first faculty member to insult the fragile political sensibilities of the time. full article

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Johnson's column about Ward's essay

Bill Johnson has a column in today's RMN that contextualizes Ward's essay as it compares to that of another professor.The title of his column is Churchill not alone in pointing accusatory finger.Bill Johnson notes that Ward's premise is also shared by U.S policy experts. Bill Johnsons article is more thoughtful and discerning than those being penned by the redfaced reactionaries.

I was curious about this so I pulled up his photo to see if there was some noticable difference between him and the other "opinion shapers" that have been blathering about Ward.

Here is Bill Johnson's photo.

I stared for quite some time before it hit me. He wears glasses and the others guys don't. It's possible that may be the reason he understands that "some people push back" while the other guys don't. Does anyone else notice another difference between Bill Johnson and his counterparts?

Here is an exxcerpt from his column.

What struck me the most, though, is how familiar it all was. The Eichmann reference clearly was stupid and was designed to be incendiary. A fair reader of the essay will not, though, be tripped up by it. In no way was he saying children, police officers and firefighters deserved to die.

Instead, he is saying they were the enemy's "collateral damage," no different from the innocent Iraqis, Afghans, Vietnamese and a host of others who have been killed when our military weapons miss and, sometimes, hit their targets.

The familiarity of what Ward Churchill wrote comes from the books and extensive articles in national publications that have been written in recent years on this very subject, with the same accusatory finger for Sept. 11 pointed directly at the U.S. and its citizenry for closing a blind eye to our country's adventures overseas.

"(We) now have several thousand of our own disappeareds, and we are badly mistaken if we think that we in the United States are entirely blameless for what happened to them.

"The suicidal assassins of Sept. 11, 2001, did not 'attack America,' as our political leaders and the news media like to maintain; they attacked American foreign policy."

Chalmers Johnson wrote this in the Nation magazine on Oct. 15, 2001, about the same time Ward Churchill wrote his essay.full column

Glenn Morris & David Lane to appear on Peter Boyles Show tonight

Colorado AIM member, Glenn Morris, and Transform Columbus Day attorney, David Lane, will appear on the Peter Boyles Show tonight. The show will be live on KBDI, Channel 12, and will begin at 7 p.m. This is a call in show and the phone number is 303-296-1253.

Address for tomorrow's regents meeting

The meeting of CU Regents is scheduled to take place at 3pm, tomorrow(feb 03) at the Fitzsimmons campus in the Ben Nighthorse Campbell Building.
The address is

13055 E. 17th Avenue
Aurora, Colorado 80010

The number of CU President Hoffman's office is (303-492-6201)

For contact info for the regents, clicke here

Remind them that they have a fountain named after Dalton Trumbo. To read more about Dalton Trumbo, click here

Colorado AIM Press Release


Denver, CO 



Dr. Tink Tinker (303) 229-7756 – Elder’s Council representative
Colorado AIM – 303-871-0463 

The Elder’s Council and the Leadership Council of the American Indian Movement (AIM) of Colorado confirm our support for Ward Churchill as a member of our chapter, and as a member of the Leadership Council of Colorado AIM. Colorado AIM further condemns the transparent, racist attacks against Churchill by those who seek to silence alternative voices. While Churchill’s particular statements about events of September 11, 2001 were his personal views, his broader critical analysis of U.S. domestic and foreign policy is consistent with Colorado AIM’s perspective.

Colorado AIM is one of the largest and most active AIM chapters in the United States. Our strength, power and authority springs from our spirituality, from the example of our ancestors, and from the members of our community who embrace our principles.

We neither recognize, nor do we accept, the dictates of any person or persons who pretend to speak for us. Any person or entity that purports to speak on behalf of Colorado AIM other than our Elder’s Council or the Leadership Council, is being dishonest. Each AIM chapter is independent and autonomous, and our authority emerges from the voice of the people in our community, and we support Ward Churchill.

Ward Churchill has been an important member and leader of the American Indian Movement (AIM) of Colorado since at least 1984. His analysis of U.S. law and policy has been an essential tool in educating both indigenous and non-indigenous people on the history and the current circumstances of native peoples in the Americas. Ward has been tireless in his defense of indigenous peoples’ aspirations for freedom and justice around the world, and we applaud him for his numerous contributions.

Colorado AIM is painfully familiar with racist attacks against our movement, and against individuals in our movement, of which this is simply the most recent. We do not have to agree with every statement, or with every position that members of our chapter take in order to rally to their support when they are subject to an unprincipled, anti-Indian lynch mobs.

Churchill is not under attack because of a couple of statements that he made about the events of September 11, 2001. He is under attack because he has exposed the pain and the suffering caused by U.S. domestic and foreign policy. He does so without apology, and from the perspective of an indigenous scholar. He is under attack by racists who would prefer to silence indigenous voices altogether, and who would erase the history of indigenous peoples from the memory of the Western Hemisphere.

Our view of Ward Churchill is not through the lens of a few sentences taken out of context for calculated purposes. Our view is of an indigenous man who has devoted decades of his life to the defense of indigenous peoples’ self-determination and freedom.

The fact is not lost on us that the attacks on Churchill began immediately after the acquittal of him and others in the Columbus Day trials in Denver. Colorado AIM is proud of the actions of Churchill and the other Columbus Day resisters. We will continue our efforts to remove the slave-trading, Indian killer Columbus as a national hero, and we will continue with our numerous other initiatives to promote indigenous peoples’ freedom.

We are especially mindful of Governor Bill Owens’ hypocritical statements condemning Churchill. By making such statements, Owens takes his place along side other racist governors such as John Evans, one of the main instigators of the Sand Creek Massacre of 1864. Just this past fall, Owens had the audacity to refer to the Cheyenne and Arapaho people as “blackmailers” and “extortionists” for their economic development plan in Colorado. Now, he is attacking one of the few tenured American Indian professors in the state, using such McCarthyist claims that Churchill is “un-American” and a “terrorist defender.” Owens should immediately apologize to Churchill, and should keep his uniformed and ignorant statements to himself.

We also call on the Board of Regents for the University of Colorado to respect their own rules on academic freedom, and to affirm Ward Churchill’s right to speak openly and freely as a scholar and a freethinker, and to continue his duties as one of the few indigenous academics in the University of Colorado system. 

Whats happening in ndn country-feb 02

We haven't been running any of the newsbites as we did in the fall. Now is as good a time as any to start doing that again. These are taken from various media sources.

Premiere: 'Homeland: Four Portraits of Native Action'
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The feature-length documentary ''Homeland: Four Portraits of Native Action'', telling the story of Navajo, Northern Cheyenne, Gwich'in and Penobscot environmental and human rights violations, will premiere Feb. 3 at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

Produced by the Katahdin Foundation, Homeland reveals American Indian children playing near radioactive waste, tribes forced to fish in poisoned rivers, and tribal lands hemmed in on all sides by strip mines and factories whose smokestacks spew noxious fumes. ''Homeland'' takes an in-depth look at the environmental hazards that threaten Indian nations, and at the handful of activists who are leading the fight in these new Indian Wars

Navajos Mitchell and Rita Capitan, Northern Cheyenne Gail Small, Gwich'in Evon Peter and Penobscot Barry Dana tell their stories of fighting big industry on tribal lands.

Rita Capitan, a school secretary for 25 years, and her husband, Mitchell Capitan, supervisor with Navajo Tribal Utility Authority, were unlikely activists living quiet lives in Crownpoint, N.M. That was until Rita noticed in a local newspaper in November 1994, that uranium mining was once again targeting her home community.

The area was already the site of the largest radioactive spill in U.S. history at Church Rock on July 16, 1979, with the radioactivity flowing downstream through Navajo water sources.full article

Hunting confrontation had start in web of state and Indian laws

Of The Gazette Staff

Depending on whom you talk to, the confrontation on Carter Miklovich's ranch south of Lodge Grass was either a gross violation of hunters' rights or an unreasonable reaction to a lawful request by Crow Fish and Game officers to see bird hunting permits.

Either way, everyone agrees that the Nov. 5 incident escalated to an angry exchange that stirred the always simmering stew of jurisdiction conflict and confusion within the exterior boundaries of the Crow Reservation.

"It was just a courtesy check and it kind of blew out of proportion,'' said Henry Rides The Horse, director of the tribe's Natural Resources Department. "The officers asked to see their permits, and they started fleeing. When they start fleeing, you have to respond."full article

Ho-Chunk say they won't pay state $30 million

Associated Press

MADISON, Wis. — The Ho-Chunk Nation does not plan to make its payment of $30 million a year to the state, citing a court challenge that found the governor exceeded his authority in making a similar gaming compact with another tribe, a spokeswoman says.

The development prompted Republican Rep. Dean Kaufert, co-chairman of the Legislature's budget committee, to call on Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle to do whatever necessary to get the payment or "shut down all the Ho-Chunk-operated casinos in the state" until the issue is resolved.

Tracy Littlejohn, public relations officer for the Ho-Chunk, told the La Cross Tribune in a story published Tuesday that the tribe is not legally obligated to make the payments and would not make any under the terms of the compact.full article

Sweetgrass burning banned

Paul Barnsley, Windspeaker Staff Writer, Edmonton

In provincial jails in Alberta, a ban on smoking tobacco products has been extended to include the burning of Sweetgrass, a plant considered sacred to Aboriginal people and burned to send prayers to the Creator on the smoke.

Andrew Reid says the decision to ban Sweetgrass use means freedom of religion is now something reserved for only the non-Aboriginal people at provincial correctional facilities and he's made up his mind to do something about it.

The 46-year-old member of the Buffalo Lake Métis Settlement recently completed a four-month sentence at Fort Saskatchewan Correctional Institution (the Fort), located on the northeast edge of Edmonton. He was convicted of unlawful entry and incarcerated during the months after the smoking ban was implemented in September 2004.full article

Aboriginal massacre memorial vandalised

Vandals have attacked a site commemorating the murder of dozens of Aborigines in northern New South Wales.

The Myall Creek Massacre occurred in the 1830s near Inverell when white settlers killed dozens of Aboriginal men, women and children.

An act of reconciliation between the local Indigenous people and the wider community led to the construction of the memorial highlighting the slaughter.

Vandals have defaced a number of plaques at the site by trying to scratch out the words "murder, women and children". full article

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Colorado Governor Bill Owens demands that Ward resign

Colorado Governor Bill Owens, who once threatened to call out the Colorado National Guard so that the Convoy of Conquest could continue to celebrate the genocide of Indigenous Peoples, has decided that Ward Churchill should resign because his point of view is offensive.

We can now add him to the list of opinion shapers, media mouthpieces and establishment protecters who have been denouncing Churchill and anyone associated with him.

Here are just a few of them

Vincent Carroll(Rocky Mountain News)Claims indians were cannibals

Craig Silverman(Former Prosecutor for the State of Colorado)

Dan Caplis(Colorado Republican)

Mike Rosen(talk show host)

Bill O Reilly(Talk show host)Isn't this the same guy that got sued for being a sexual pervert?

And now...Bill Owens.

This gallery could be called"Attack of the angry, powerful, wealthy white guys."

Lest anyone think Bill Owens is a man of compassion, keep in mind that he likened the descendants of those massacred at Sand Creek to thieves. Owens also states, in his letter, that "words have meaning." Well, yeah, that's what we've said all along when explaining our opposition to the Convoy of Conquest. Owens didn't seem to grasp that when those words were ones that tried to justify the very structure that legitimized his sense of power-but let them be words that call into question the policies he supports and suddenly he realizes that words do have meaning. Those words have meaning of such significance that Bill Owens would like to have them silenced.

Death threats bring silence-College Republicans to storm Wards class today

From today's Denver Post
N.Y. college cancels Churchill's appearance amid death threat

By The Associated Press

Clinton, N.Y. - Citing death threats, an upstate New York college today canceled a panel discussion featuring University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill, who compared the World Trade Center victims to Nazis in an essay.

Hamilton College spokesman Michael DeBraggio said multiple death threats were made against both college officials and guest speaker Churchill, who resigned Monday as chairman of Colorado's ethnic studies department.Full article

Death threats were the deciding factor it seems. So, all of the self-proclaimed "free speech champions" were denouncing our opposition to the Columbus Day Convoy of Conquest, then they did an about face and decided Ward Churchill didn't have a right to say what he wanted. Hamilton wouldn't cancel his talk so they resorted to making death threats.

Meanwhile, back at Boulder. The College Republicans are supposed to storm Churchill's afternoon class. We'll let you know if anything of interest comes of that.

Arizona Native Nations oppose English as official language

From today's web edition of Indian Country Today.
Arizona tribes oppose English as official language
Posted: January 21, 2005
by: Brenda Norrell / Indian Country TodayClick to Enlarge
PHOENIX - Arizona Indian tribal leaders opposed new legislation that would make English the official state language, as they struggled for solutions to meet the needs of economic development and housing, during the 10th annual Indian Nations and Tribes Legislative Day.

Arizona Indian women leaders received standing ovations at the Arizona State Capitol when they objected to the proposal to make English the state language.

''In plain English, sir, we don't like it, and we don't want it,'' said San Carlos Apache Chairwoman Kathy Kitcheyan. ''As the first Americans, we never asked anyone to speak a specific language.''

Tohono O'odham Chairperson Vivian Juan-Saunders said the proposal was reminiscent of BIA boarding schools, where Indian children were verbally and physically abused for speaking their Native languages.

Juan-Saunders, also president of the Inter-Tribal Council of Arizona, said Navajos and other American Indian soldiers used their Native languages as unbreakable codes to pass messages, which helped win World War II.

House Concurrent Resolution 2030, being considered during this year's legislative session, would allow Arizona voters to declare English the official state language.

Speaking before a luncheon crowd of 500 representatives on the lawn in front of Senate Building, Navajo President Joe Shirley Jr. said Indian tribes are beginning to feel like endangered species.

''We've been a true sovereign, but we're doing everything we can to save ourselves and our culture,'' President Shirley said, criticizing the English measure. ''One hundred years from now, 500 years from now, we will continue to be Navajo people telling our stories in the Navajo language.'full article

Not only are languages mentioned in the article, Navajo(Dine'), Apache and Odham older than the state of Arizona, they are older than the United States.

Press Release-Ward Churchill

Press Release - Ward Churchill

January 31, 2005

In the last few days there has been widespread and grossly inaccurate media coverage concerning my analysis of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, coverage that has resulted in defamation of my character and threats against my life. What I actually said has been lost, indeed turned into the opposite of itself, and I hope the following facts will be reported at least to the same extent that the fabrications have been.

* The piece circulating on the internet was developed into a book, On the Justice of Roosting Chickens. Most of the book is a detailed chronology of U.S. military interventions since 1776 and U.S. violations of international law since World War II. My point is that we cannot allow the U.S. government, acting in our name, to engage in massive violations of international law and fundamental human rights and not expect to reap the consequences.

* I am not a “defender” of the September 11 attacks, but simply pointing out that if U.S. foreign policy results in massive death and destruction abroad, we cannot feign innocence when some of that destruction is returned. I have never said that people “should” engage in armed attacks on the United States, but that such attacks are a natural and unavoidable consequence of unlawful U.S. policy. As Martin Luther King, quoting Robert F. Kennedy, said, “Those who make peaceful change impossible make violent change inevitable.”

* This is not to say that I advocate violence; as a U.S. soldier in Vietnam I witnessed and participated in more violence than I ever wish to see. What I am saying is that if we want an end to violence, especially that perpetrated against civilians, we must take the responsibility for halting the slaughter perpetrated by the United States around the world. My feelings are reflected in Dr. King’s April 1967 Riverside speech, where, when asked about the wave of urban rebellions in U.S. cities, he said, “I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed . . . without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today – my own government.”

* In 1996 Madeleine Albright, then Ambassador to the UN and soon to be U.S. Secretary of State, did not dispute that 500,000 Iraqi children had died as a result of economic sanctions, but stated on national television that “we” had decided it was “worth the cost.” I mourn the victims of the September 11 attacks, just as I mourn the deaths of those Iraqi children, the more than 3 million people killed in the war in Indochina, those who died in the U.S. invasions of Grenada, Panama and elsewhere in Central America, the victims of the transatlantic slave trade, and the indigenous peoples still subjected to genocidal policies. If we respond with callous disregard to the deaths of others, we can only expect equal callousness to American deaths.

* Finally, I have never characterized all the September 11 victims as “Nazis.” What I said was that the “technocrats of empire” working in the World Trade Center were the equivalent of “little Eichmanns.” Adolf Eichmann was not charged with direct killing but with ensuring the smooth running of the infrastructure that enabled the Nazi genocide. Similarly, German industrialists were legitimately targeted by the Allies.

* It is not disputed that the Pentagon was a military target, or that a CIA office was situated in the World Trade Center. Following the logic by which U.S. Defense Department spokespersons have consistently sought to justify target selection in places like Baghdad, this placement of an element of the American “command and control infrastructure” in an ostensibly civilian facility converted the Trade Center itself into a “legitimate” target. Again following U.S. military doctrine, as announced in briefing after briefing, those who did not work for the CIA but were nonetheless killed in the attack amounted to no more than “collateral damage.” If the U.S. public is prepared to accept these “standards” when the are routinely applied to other people, they should be not be surprised when the same standards are applied to them.

* It should be emphasized that I applied the “little Eichmanns” characterization only to those described as “technicians.” Thus, it was obviously not directed to the children, janitors, food service workers, firemen and random passers-by killed in the 9-1-1 attack. According to Pentagon logic, were simply part of the collateral damage. Ugly? Yes. Hurtful? Yes. And that’s my point. It’s no less ugly, painful or dehumanizing a description when applied to Iraqis, Palestinians, or anyone else. If we ourselves do not want to be treated in this fashion, we must refuse to allow others to be similarly devalued and dehumanized in our name.

* The bottom line of my argument is that the best and perhaps only way to prevent 9-1-1-style attacks on the U.S. is for American citizens to compel their government to comply with the rule of law. The lesson of Nuremberg is that this is not only our right, but our obligation. To the extent we shirk this responsibility, we, like the “Good Germans” of the 1930s and ’40s, are complicit in its actions and have no legitimate basis for complaint when we suffer the consequences. This, of course, includes me, personally, as well as my family, no less than anyone else.

* These points are clearly stated and documented in my book, On the Justice of Roosting Chickens, which recently won Honorary Mention for the Gustavus Myer Human Rights Award. for best writing on human rights. Some people will, of course, disagree with my analysis, but it presents questions that must be addressed in academic and public debate if we are to find a real solution to the violence that pervades today’s world. The gross distortions of what I actually said can only be viewed as an attempt to distract the public from the real issues at hand and to further stifle freedom of speech and academic debate in this country.

Ward Churchill

Boulder, Colorado

January 31, 2005