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American Indian Movement of Colorado

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Wednesday, March 16, 2005

native news-March 16

Native News-March 16

Drilling in refuge expected

Senate to vote today on ending moratorium in section of wildlife area

WASHINGTON - The Senate is poised to vote today to sweep aside a 25-year-old moratorium and allow oil companies to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Graphic: Proposed ANWR Drilling

In what could prove the pivotal vote in a debate that has spanned a generation, the Republican-led Senate is expected to narrowly defeat an effort to yank language that would authorize drilling in a portion of this wildlife refuge in northeast Alaska.

"We believe we have the votes," said Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, who has been trying for decades to open the refuge to oil and gas exploration full article

Dana speaks on social and environmental justice
by Mark Pesavento
Daily Editorial Board

Barry Dana, community activist and former chief of the Penobscot Nation, treated attendees of the fifth annual Native American Speaker Series to a lecture regarding social and environmental justice in light of Native American concerns last night in Pearson Hall.

Dana, who came to the event from the his tribe's reservation in Maine, addressed the crisis regarding local paper mill industries spilling hazardous chemicals into the Penobscot River, a valuable natural resource for members of the Penobscot Nation.

According to Dana, high levels of Dioxin, a chemical oftentimes used by paper mills in order to bind paper, are present in the river because the State of Maine refuses to adequately regulate the waste management of factories along the river full article

Dakota to lead protest against tax discussions

By GARRETT NEESE, Gazette Writer

BARAGA - A tribal council member of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community is organizing a protest against a potential tax agreement with the state.
Fred Dakota will lead a demonstration outside the KBIC tribal center in Baraga at noon Thursday. In a press release Monday, Dakota denounced recent mediation efforts between the state and the KBIC executive board.

The release cited a meeting held last week in Marquette between state officials and board members Susan Lafernier, Gary Loonsfoot, Sr. and Jennifer Misegan. full article

Man goes free after FBI loses evidence

Whittington originally charged with murder

By Jace Radke

Lila Carter watched in shock Monday as the man who two years ago shot and killed her grandson walked out of the George Federal Building a free man.

"I know I can't bring my grandson back, but I believe this man does not belong on the streets," Carter said of John Wesley Whittington, who was sentenced Monday on a charge of felon with possession of a firearm after federal prosecutors dropped murder charges against him.

Whittington was originally charged with the July 26, 2002, slaying of David J. Flores on the downtown reservation of the Las Vegas Paiute Tribe. full article

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Native news-march 9

Native News-March 9

Bolivia Indian groups vow to 'battle' president

By Brian Winter
9:30 a.m. March 9, 2005

LA PAZ, Bolivia – Bolivian Indians blocked roads with boulders Wednesday and vowed a "face-to-face battle" against President Carlos Mesa, whose quickly withdrawn resignation offer failed to ease turmoil.

Mesa had gambled that the offer, which Congress rebuffed in a dramatic late-night session Tuesday, would generate a show of support and calm widespread street protests against his policies to encourage foreign investment in energy.

However, several leaders of the poor indigenous majority, furious over what they see as the looting of Bolivia's natural wealth, came together to say that Mesa's actions would only fuel more protests that have paralyzed parts of the country.

"We're going now to a face-to-face battle against Mesa's government," said Evo Morales, head of Movement Toward Socialism, or MAS. full article

White Earth members seek ban on genetically modified wild rice
by Tom Robertson, Minnesota Public Radio

Bemidji, Minn. — For the Ojibwe people, wild rice is more than just a plant. Ancient prophecies lured the Ojibwe from their east coast origins to the Midwest, to a place where wild rice was plentiful. Mike Swan is White Earth's director of natural resources. Swan says wild rice is considered a sacred gift from the Creator.

"We give offerings for it," said Swan. "We give thanks when we go out and get some food for our families. We give thanks to... the Great Spirit, for allowing us this. And in our own history, Ojibwe history, we came to this area because of this plant, food that grows on water, which is wild rice."

Tribal members are worried the wild rice that has sustained them for centuries could fall victim to genetic pollution. Winona LaDuke is founding director of the White Earth Land Recovery Project. Her organization markets White Earth's wild rice internationally.

LaDuke is promoting a statewide ban on genetically modified wild rice. She's teamed up with Slow Food International, an organization that promotes the biodiversity and cultural identity of foods worldwide. LaDuke fears that as scientists tinker with the natural make-up of wild rice, it's only a matter of time before those modified seeds cross-pollinate with natural wild rice. full article

Cubin: 'Devils Tower' in jeopardy
Star-Tribune staff writer Wednesday, March 09, 2005

GILLETTE -- U.S. Rep. Barbara Cubin believes the name of the nation's first national monument is under attack, so she introduced legislation on Tuesday to preserve the name "Devils Tower."

Cubin spokesman Joe Milczewski said the action is meant as a warning to Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton not to meddle with the Devils Tower moniker. He said Cubin wanted to be in front of a pending proposal by the National Park Service to give the monolith the designation of "Bear Lodge National Historic Landmark."

"This is not a proposal for a name change for the park, a locally controversial subject," the National Park Service stated in an internal brief in January. "The Secretarially-designated Bear Lodge National Historic Landmark will ensure that the Native American name and sacred site values are formally recognized and convey a stronger sense of the cultural significance of the site to all people." full article

Feds approve use of wastewater on sacred site
Tribes vow to protest decision

Sam Lewin 3/8/2005

Leaders of the Hopi and Navajo tribes are blasting a decision to use “reclaimed water” on a sacred site to accommodate a wealthy ski lodge situated in the Arizona mountains.

“Once again the federal government has made a decision that is clearly in opposition to the passionate pleas of Native American nations who hold the peaks as sacred,” Hopi Chairman Wayne Taylor Jr. said, adding that the tribal council will review the ruling and “explore what options we have.”

A Coconino National Forest Service Environmental Impact Study prepared for the Arizona Improvement Project approved using wastewater, or reclaimed water, for artificial snowmaking on 205 acres of terrain suitable for skiing. Reclaimed water is wastewater that has been treated and transformed into a product that supporters say is clean, clear, and odorless. full article

Women slowly regaining their rightful place
by Adrienne Fox-Keesic

March 8 is International Women’s Day, established by the United Nations in 1977. The day provides Wawatay News with an opportunity to reflect on the status of Nishnawbe Aski Nation and Treaty #3 women and the challenges they have faced and continue to face in contemporary society.

In 2000, Status of Women Canada handed out a draft paper on consultations with Aboriginal Peoples and gender equality to First Nations, Metis and Inuit women who participated in a roundtable about gender equality.

“It caused strong reactions on the part of those present,”the five-year-old report states. “In short, participants agreed the sexual discrimination that women face on a day-to-day basis cannot be separated from the twin legacies of colonialism and racism, which continue to marginalize Aboriginal Peoples and devalue their cultures and traditions.”

When Wawatay News was first published in 1974 under the name “Keesis”, women did not figure prominently in either content or management. While Eabametoong member Elizabeth Waswa sat as a board member for the then fledgling organization, it wasn’t until 14 years later that women began to organize as a collective voice. full article

County aims for healing after racial incident
Residents respond to threats with community meetings

Sam Lewin 3/8/2005

Almost two months after a racist and threatening letter was directed at area Native Americans, those living in the rural California county where it happened say the community has rallied to protest bigotry and hatred.

The case began on Jan. 19 when a member of the Inyo County-based Bishop Paiute Tribe allegedly killed a convenience store employee. Witnesses say Wayne Bengochia, 48, shot clerk David Pettet multiple times. Bengochia is currently being held on $1 million bail at the Inyo County Jail in the small town of Independence. There are indications he was intoxicated at the time

Four days after the shooting an employee at the tribe’s Paiute Palace Casino discovered a letter written in red and bearing the acronym “KKK.”

“Your half-witted bucks have taken another white. From now on, your daughters will be targets. From the ages of five to nine years of age, they will be taken from the reservation, raped and beaten to death, and dismembered,” the letter stated. The location where it was found was especially unsettling: Just outside of the tribe’s day-care center. full article

Monday, March 07, 2005

Ward's response to Caplis and Silverman

Dan Caplis and Craig Silverman are two radio jocks who have devoted their four hour program to Ward Churchill. Prior to making Ward the daily topic of their program, they spent their airtime denouncing the acquittals of those who were arrested for protesting the Columbus Day Convoy of Conquest. At that time, they both claimed that the celebration of the Genocide of Native Peoples was not cause for offense. They also said that taxpayer money should be spent to protect the Convoy because "you can't put a price on freedom of speech."

Dan Caplis is a Republican and Craig Silverman is a former state prosecutor. They are employed by Clear Channel and the corporation recently paid for an ad that the two put into a local newspaper. This past weekend, the Rocky Mountain News featured an op-ed piece by the two radio jocks. Here is an excerpt.

Churchill's active advocacy of violence demands his firing

By Dan Caplis And Craig Silverman
March 5, 2005

'Why, by the way, did it take Arabs to do what people here should have done a long time ago?" CU professor Ward Churchill asked his Seattle audience during a recorded discussion of the 9/11 attacks (Aug. 10, 2003).

There is a concerted effort by Ward Churchill and his supporters to limit the current debate to a discussion of his outrageous correlation of World Trade Center victims to "little Eichmanns." Such strategy is logical because, as grotesque and indecent as that analogy was, it would not alone warrant dismissal.
Read further in that Churchill essay, and he states that terrorists may next deliver a "dose of medicine" in the possible form of anthrax, mustard gas, sarin and/or a tactical nuclear device in order to "push back" and teach evil America a lesson. "As they should," professor Churchill proclaimed. "As they must."

For the intellectually curious, this was an invitation to explore further the professor's teachings. We promptly obtained and reviewed the prolific writings and recorded speeches of professor Churchill.

Colorado's public records laws were immediately utilized to gain access to nonprivileged information from CU. full op-ed

This is Ward's response.

Once again what I have said has been turned into the opposite of itself.

First, Dan Caplis, Craig Silverman, and numerous other right-wing media spinmeisters asserted that I "advocated" terrorist attacks on the United States in my op-ed piece of September 12, 2001.

Even a casual reading of that piece, as well as the 300-page book On the Justice of Roosting Chickens in which I more fully explicated and documented my argument, reveals that I did not advocate such attacks. Rather, I pointed out that they were and will continue to be the inevitable result of a U.S. foreign policy that disregards the rule of law and results in massive death and destruction abroad.

Next, the dynamic duo and their colleagues attempted to discredit me through an endless stream of personal attacks. These have failed because the facts, even though not reported in the media, do not support their assertions.

Now, in both a paid ad and a prominently featured op-ed piece, Caplis and Silverman have resorted to the outright and defamatory lie that I have actively sought to incite "violent revolution."

I have done no such thing. To the contrary, what I have consistently advocated over the years is the rule of law.

The great bulk of my scholarly work has been devoted to documenting the United States' disregard for law and the resulting violence it has perpetrated both domestically and internationally. I believe that such practices inevitably breed violence in response, and that the most effective way to ensure the security of all peoples is adherence to the Constitution and international law, particularly the laws of war and fundamental human rights law.

As citizens, it is our collective responsibility to ensure such compliance with law. This is the actual meaning of the quote on Arabs misrepresented by Caplis and Silverman in both their ad and their op-ed. My point was that it is our job to halt the criminal conduct of the U.S. government, rather than leaving the task to those from other countries who suffer the consequences of its illegalities.

Following the position articulated by Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson at Nuremberg in 1945, I believe that we have not only the right but the legal obligation to compel lawful behavior from the government that is acting in our name.

I document the systemic violence perpetrated by the U.S. government in the hope that Americans will take this responsibility to heart and use political means to change government policy. I would vastly prefer that this happen through nonviolent means. However, I cannot say that nonviolence is the only legitimate response to systemic violence.

The principle of self-defense is not mysterious: When one is subjected to aggression, it is the perpetrator, not the victim, who dictates the terms of engagement.

Although I am plainly no pacifist, I have never advocated terrorist attacks on Wall Street, downtown Seattle, or anywhere else. To make it appear otherwise, Caplis and Silverman have taken material out of context and turned it on its head. My comments in this regard, made to a small group of young anarchists gathered in a Seattle bookstore, went to the idea that they would not accomplish anything useful by marginalizing themselves and engaging in random acts of sabotage along the social periphery.

Drawing upon German theorist Rudi Dutschke's concept of "a long march through the institutions," I therefore proposed the alternative that they attempt to work from within the institutional setting, as I
myself have done. The "weapons" I referred to were young people's own consciousness and capacity to transmit it. Along the way, I also pointed out that as relatively privileged Euroamericans, they were ideally situated to undertake such a project..

Caplis and Silverman are seeking for their own reasons to con the public into believing that I am an active proponent of terrorism. This is not only false, it is extraordinarily dangerous. By framing my
statements as they have, and then repeatedly broadcasting their spin to a broad audience, there is an obvious possibility that they might actually precipitate an act of terror by some unbalanced individual.
Should this turn out to be the case, the responsibility will be theirs, not mine.

Ward Churchill
Boulder, Colorado
March 5, 2005

native news-march 7

News concerning Natie Peoples.

D-Q University students left in the cold
Posted: March 04, 2005
by: Brenda Norrell / Indian Country Today

DQU attempts to evict students by turning off heat; sheriff refuses to force students out

DAVIS, Calif. - D-Q University students remained in the dorms and defied an attempt by university administrators to evict them by eating donated foods and keeping warm with space heaters, after administrators asked the Yolo County Sheriff to evict them.

Among the American Indian students who are the victims of the university's quagmire of problems, loss of accreditation and closure in January is Candice Guthrie. Guthrie, 19-year-old Paiute/Pit River/Shoshone, is among about 20 students occupying DQU dorms in a rural area near Davis.

American Indian students resisting eviction are surviving on donated foods from the World Rescue Center and braving chilly 40-degree night temperatures after DQU administrators turned off the heat in the dorms for one week in an attempt to evict them.

''They tried to turn off the electricity too, but the person in charge of maintenance refused to do it because he didn't want to be responsible if anything happened,'' Guthrie told Indian Country Today in a telephone interview. full article

Hate crime shocks Paiute reservation
Posted: March 04, 2005
by: Valerie Taliman / Indian Country Today
Part two

OWENS VALLEY, Calif. - By some accounts, more than 400 white supremacists live in the Owens Valley, a long stretch of desert four hours north of Los Angeles.

The region is sparsely populated and dotted with small towns nestled into the east side of the snow-capped Sierra Nevada. And it's the traditional homeland of several tribes, including the Paiute and Shoshone of Bishop, Big Pine, Lone Pine and Fort Independence.
A handful of paroled convicts with known ties to white supremacist prison gangs also live in the valley, according to police officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.

''We know they're here, but a lot of them keep a low profile because they're involved in narco-trafficking to support themselves,'' said one officer. ''We keep a handle on the ones we know about, but a lot of them stay under the radar and live in remote areas. And some are just kids who identify with the racist agenda of these organizations.'' full article

Western Shoshones file Yucca lawsuit

Tribes cite 1863 treaty in claiming land cannot be used for waste repository

A contingent of Western Shoshones played what Yucca Mountain nuclear waste project opponents consider their ace in the hole Friday: a lawsuit based on an 1863 treaty that the tribes say doesn't allow building a repository on their native land.

It is the first time the Ruby Valley Treaty, authorized by Civil War Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, has been used in a case that targets Yucca Mountain, said Reno attorney Robert Hager, who represents the Western Shoshone tribes.

"I have always felt the Western Shoshone have the best claim to stop Yucca Mountain," Hager said, flanked by tribal leaders outside Lloyd George U.S. Courthouse in Las Vegas where the case was filed. full article

Band suing SaskPower, governments over dam
Last Updated Mar 4 2005 04:54 PM CST
CBC News
PRINCE ALBERT – A northern First Nation is demanding compensation for a 76-year-old hydro-electric project that it says flooded and destroyed traditional lands.

SaskPower took possession of the Island Falls dam on the Churchill River in 1981. It was constructed in 1929 for the mining industry in Manitoba.

Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation is now suing the power company, the province, and the federal government.

The band filed court documents last December claiming that a series of hydro projects were built on traditional lands without consent and that treaty rights were, and continue to be, violated. full article

American Indians standing against Anti-Indian sovereignty group
Native American Times guest commentary
Mike Graham 3/7/2005
The One Nation organization based in Oklahoma City is just another fear mongering group focused on American Indian sovereignty, however U.S. treaties made with Indian nations already cover that. One Nation boasts of a large membership, so large that one has to think that they are counting all people doing business with companies associated with One Nation. Most people doing business with these companies have not heard of One Nation and are not aware of what they stand for.

If they did you would see a lot of people leaving and doing business with other companies not associated with One Nation. Indian groups around the country are getting the word out to the public as to what One Nation really stands for, and that is to do away with all Indian governments and their land rights.

One Nation is basically made up of oil and gas companies, plus some convenience stores owned by them as well as realty groups. State and federal laws cover each of them; they have no say over Indian business operations. One Nation wants people to think Indian nations are ripping the taxpayers off and Indian nations are bringing about the downfall of America due to the way they are allowed to conduct business in our country. full article

Students say Prof ranted against Mexicans

The following article was sent by one of our readers from Pueblo.

Students say prof at CSU-Pueblo ranted against illegal immigrants

School officials are investigating alleged remarks by forensic anthropology professor Dan Forsyth.


Colorado State University-Pueblo officials are investigating a complaint from a freshman Hispanic woman who said professor Dan Forsyth required his forensic anthropology students Thursday to sit through a 15-minute tirade against illegal immigrants and Mexicans.

The woman filed a letter of complaint with the university's affirmative action office Friday and Provost Barbara Montgomery's office has begun an investigation.

The student, Victoria Watson, 20, said Forsyth's angry lecture caused her to get up and leave the classroom. She claims he then made an abusive remark to her as she walked out of the room.

Another student in the class independently confirmed Watson's account of Forsyth's lengthy, emotional remarks about his dislike for illegal immigrants, but could not confirm any comment made to Watson as she left the room. full article

Columns from Renteria &

These 2 columns appeared over the past week. The first is from Rafael Renteria and the other is from H. Mathew Barkhausen.

Look in the Mirror
Ward Churchill and White America

"It is not enough for us to merely dumbly intone that Churchill has a right to write what he does. No. We must do more. We must insist that Churchill is right, and no one, not some rabid talk show parrot, nor a political whore like Governor Bill Owens, has a right to demand what is wrong Churchill is right. From Death Row, this is Mumia Abu Jamal."

It's the frontline of a war. Those of us who have not seen our colleagues or mentors purged from the academy can grasp neither the pain of it nor the stakes. Those who are purged are those who dream, for all of us, of a more natural condition, those who have not partaken in the great forgetting of their humanity that characterizes pre-fascist America.

But those of us who have seen it firsthand know the venal face of what America is becoming. I have often joked that those who have never been to jail have no education, no true sense of the meaning of the violence that permeates this culture, like blood seeps through the bandage covering the wound of an Iraqi child.

I am no one in particular, no one famous whose name you would recognize. But I have been on the frontline of the culture wars, and this is my dispatch. full column

The following was written by H. Mathew Barkhausen

In Defense of Ward Churchill: A Legacy of Scapegoat-Ism
Youth Commentary, H. Mathew Barkhausen III,

Pacific News Service, Mar 02, 2005

Editor's Note: Recent controversy over University of Colorado ethnic studies professor Ward Churchill has focused not only on his controversial post-9/11 essay but also on his Native American bloodline. The debate over whether Churchill is a "real Indian," writes H. Mathew Barkhausen III, is just the latest in a series of efforts use "blood quantum" to discredit and divide Native Americans.

DENVER--A firestorm of controversy has erupted around a Native American ethnic studies professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where I had planned to attend graduate school. Because of an essay he wrote immediately following Sept. 11, 2001, Ward Churchill has been accused of glorifying terrorists as heroes and encouraging future attacks on the United States. Now a debate over his right to free speech, and his Native blood, is being waged in Indian Country and beyond.

As an advocate of free speech and future University of Colorado student, I think it is wrong that Churchill's job has been threatened as a penalty for speaking freely. As a Native American who -- like many of us -- is not federally recognized and does not have a tribal enrollment number, I find it ridiculous that the question of whether Churchill is a "real Indian" has resurfaced as part of an effort to silence him and discredit his views. full article