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American Indian Movement of Colorado

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Wednesday, February 02, 2005

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

By LORNA THACKERAY
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

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