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American Indian Movement of Colorado

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

Monday, November 28, 2005

Eloise Cobell explains trust case to RMN

The RMN editorialCommon Sense on Indian Trust provoked Eloise Cobell to write a column, explaining the history of the trust case, which the RMN apparently didn't understand in the first place.

Common Sense on Indian Trust
November 21, 2005
Judge Royce Lamberth of the D.C. District Court has got a thing about the U.S. Interior Department. Basically, he despises it. His emotions are so out of control, in fact, that earlier this year he blasted it as "the morally and culturally oblivious hand-me-down of a disgracefully racist and imperialist government that should have been buried a century ago, the last pathetic outpost of the indifference and Anglocentrism we thought we had left behind."
It's hardly surprising, given such bile, that Lamberth has become an obstacle to timely resolution of a lawsuit over Indian trust accounts that dates back to 1996, imposing wholly unreasonable demands on the government.

Last week, fortunately, Lamberth got a bit of his own rhetorical medicine. A federal appeals court sharply rebuked him for trying for a second time to impose his own irrationally expensive views of how Interior should account for money in trust accounts dating back to the 1880s Full editorial.

Eloise Cobell's response
Obdurate government hurts Indians

n its haste to condemn U.S. District Court Judge Royce C. Lamberth for his anger over the government's deception, stonewalling, document destruction and witness intimidation in our 10-year-long lawsuit, the News overlooked a crucial conclusion in the Nov. 15 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia that helps explain Lamberth's frustration with the government ("Common sense on Indian trusts," Nov. 21).
"It is not disputed," the court held, "that the government failed to be a diligent trustee. In the two decades leading up to the plaintiffs' initiation of their lawsuit, report after report excoriated the government's management of the IIM (Individual Indian Money) trust funds."

That is one of the reasons Lamberth has been so exasperated at the government's foot-dragging and litigation misconduct. Notably, the Court of Appeals went out of its way to emphasize that the Department of Interior as an institution cannot, in any way, be exonerated given the pervasive "malfeasance" that the appellate court previously has cited in the management of the Individual Indian Trust.

In its earlier rulings the Court of Appeals unanimously has declared that the government owes us a complete and accurate accounting of all our trust funds that the government has collected since 1887, including all imputed income and interest. The government admits that it collected at least $13 billion but cannot account for the collections nor the interest accruing each day on these funds. This is our property and our property right just as your car, your house, and your bank accounts are your property, property that the government cannot take from you. full column

Friday, November 25, 2005

Thanksgiving Spiritual Fast

Shannon Pangani (Diné/Hopi) and Leslie Andrews (Diné/Hopi) prepare for the sunrise at Colorado AIM's fast/vigil at the colorado state capitol building

Over 100 Colorado AIM members and our allies held a spiritual fast and gathering for indigenous spiritual freedom at the Colorado state capitol. The fast was held from sunrise to sunset, with accompanying drumming and sacred songs. The fast was ended with a community meal at the Four Winds American Indian Center in Denver.

Colorado AIM called the fast to bring attention to the hypocrisy of the U.S. holiday of Thanksgiving, which is based on the fallacy of religious tolerance and liberty. Colorado AIM recounted the long list of federal court cases in the area of indigenous peoples' religious freedom that have been lost over the past twenty five years.

The most recent case is one that involves the desecration of some of the most sacred sites for the Navajo and Hopi nations in northern Arizona (see www.savethepeaks.org)(see this blog 10/18/05). The trial over the expansion of the Arizona Snow Bowl ski resort concluded last week in federal court in Prescott, AZ.

Colorado AIM and our allies also exposed many of the fallacies of the conventional Thanksgiving story, and made connections between the original ideology of the European empire in our homelands and the ongoing U.S. imperialism in Iraq and around the world. See this encellent article by Robert Jensen on that point. http://www.commondreams.org/views05/1121-22.htm

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

No Roads Through Sacred Land-Albq 11-20-05

On the afternoon of November 20, 2005, over 400 Indigenous Peoples and their allies rallied against a proposed road which would cut through their sacred land. After gathering in a nearby park, spiritual leaders carrying sacred staffs lead the people on a march to pay homage to the Petroglyphs, which will be removed to make way for the Paseo Del Norte Road.

In a Nov 14 statement, Laurie Weahkee(Sage Council) detailed the history of Indigenous Peoples to protect this sacred area.

Home to over 20,000 petrolgyphs, or etchings in volcanic rock, Petroglyph National Monument is a sacred site still in use today by the area’s Pueblo tribes for religious practices. The All Indian Pueblo Council, the Navajo Nation, the National Congress of American Indians and thousands of individuals and organizations have all expressed their firm opposition to the Paseo Extension.

Now, a decade later – ironically in the midst of his year-long Tricentennial celebration - Mayor Martin Chavez will begin construction of the Paseo del Norte Extension through Petroglyph National Monument.

Of course, a solution could have been brokered over a decade ago that not only would have provided immediate transportation relief to Westside residents, but would not cause Albuquerque to do the unmentionable – destroy a nationally significant Native American religious area. That solution – during the original environmental impact process in the mid 1980s had the active involvement of the city, the federal government and the national park service. Unfortunately, this attempt to reach a win-win solution was shelved by politicians who wanted to make a name for themselves rather than find a compromise. In its place we will soon have hard asphalt and the forced moving of spiritual practices that have gone uninterrupted for millennia.

As Albuquerque continues to promote its diversity, its environmental beauty and its Native American culture to the outside world, we know that within the city, a fierce debate still rages about how we grow and how we treat one another with respect, regardless of your race, where you live or whether you make campaign contributions. Full Statement

In their Nov 7Column of the Americas, Roberto Rodriguez and Patricia Gonzales also questioned the need for "growth and development" when it comes at the expense of the sacred.

the Turtle Island is in peril. Its places of worship are being defiled & desecrated daily. Spiritual bulldozers have paved the way for the mechanical ones. The gods of greed are coming. They continue coming. They bring with them more civilization, now called growth & development.

The bulldozers. They not only scar, but they destroy the sacred. They also destroy memory as they compel us to forget. Just what is it precisely that they want us to forget? And what instead do they want us to honor, to remember?

Forget the bulldozers. Drive a knife through our sacred mother. Not through her guts, but through her back. The knife always goes through the back. If not, use a drill or perhaps a stake...

In New Mexico - as throughout the continent -- they pay homage to many conquistadores, settlers, land thieves, murderers, rapists & slavers. They honor the so-called bringers of civilization. They build statues to them and many monuments. And they name their buildings after them.

In New Mexico, in the Land of Enchantment, they exploit Indians. They're great for tourism. Great for museums and as relics. They are great to be seen… behind displays. Just don't let them come alive and most of all, don't let them speak....

All these years, the Pueblos - in unison -- have spoken clearly and unambiguously. And yet the developers and their political allies have disingenuously wondered out loud that they don't know what it is that the Pueblos really think. One has to wonder what it is that they do not understand? Perhaps they need to learn the languages that have been on this continent for thousands upon thousands of years. Or perhaps, they should simply take the time to view the close to 20,000 messages inscribed at the 17-mile National Petroglyph Monument. They too speak clearly. Full Column

This message was stressed by many speakers throughout the march. Though the march was peaceful, many people were frustrated that all avenues pursued to save the Petroglyphs had been dead ends. When all legal, political and economic options have been exhausted, what paths are left to follow in order to protect our sacred areas?

Though the march seems to have been largely ignored by the media, it was remarkable in that it brought together hundreds of Tribal officials, activists, organizers and scholars. There were members of the Indigenous Environmental Network, Save the Peaks Coalition, Youth of the Peaks Coalition, UNM/IAIA/SIPI students, Black Mesa Water Coalition, Gwich'in Steering Committee, Native Movement, Tonatierra, NYM, Indigenous Youth Coalition, Kanaka Maoli(Hawaii) organizers, Mexica organizers, CO AIM members etc.

We'll be keeping the readers updated as this fight to protect a sacred site is not over.

For more information, go to the following website-Sage Council

Below are some photos from the march.

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Thanksgiving Day Spiritual Fast

Colorado AIM will host a spiritual fast and rally for spiritual freedom for indigenous peoples on Thursday, November 24, from sunrise to sunset at the Colorado State Capitol (Colfax and Broadway in Denver).

The purpose of the fast is several fold: first, it is for us, as indigenous peoples, to remember that it is our tradition to give thanks every day, and not when the U.S. government tells us to do so; second, it is to take time to reflect on the contributions of our ancestors, and of the lessons that they passed to us; third, we remember all of our relations who gave their lives in the defense of our homeland, and those who were slaughtered in the invasion of this continent; fourth, we seek to educate the public about the continuing denial of spiritual liberty for indigenous peoples in the United States in places like the San Francisco Peaks of Arizona, the petroglysphs in New Mexico, the Gwi'chin territory of the Arctic, and the Black Hills of South Dakota.

We will end our fast at sunset with a small meal of sacred food at the Four Winds American Indian Center in Denver.

CO AIM calls for Vince Carroll to be fired

From the Native Times:

AIM calls for newspaper columnist to be canned for criticizing Deloria
Claimed Indian scholar had “wacky” ideas

Sam Lewin 11/22/2005

In what is perhaps a sign of how deeply the passing of Vine Deloria impacted Indian Country, the Colorado branch of the American Indian Movement is calling for a newspaper columnist to be fired after he said Deloria had some “wacky” views and “contempt” for “some science.”

In a statement, AIM also says they want a full apology and “a monthly column to publicize indigenous perspectives on topical issues of importance.”

The article by Rocky Mountain News columnist Vincent Carroll appeared on Nov. 18. Although somewhat complimentary of Deloria-Carroll says the legendary author and philosopher possessed a “wicked sense of humor” and wrote “influential books”-the controversy centers around the following passage: “But what the obituaries and tributes have for the most part danced around or ignored is the utterly wacky nature of some of his views. [In a 1996 book] Deloria rejected the Bering land bridge theory of prehistoric migration to the Western Hemisphere since he believed Indians existed here ‘at the beginning’ - probably as contemporaries of dinosaurs. And this bizarre claim only hints at his contempt for much science. Deloria insisted that we shouldn't sanitize America's past. Fair enough. But let's not sanitize his legacy, either.”

AIM’s response was fast and furious. full article

We are also be posting letters to the RMN that have not been published.

Mr. Carroll

It is a shame that you couldn't write an article such as this while Vine was alive. If you did he could have challenged you point by point. It appears as though your article is a cowardly act after the fact! In addition it is the truth that Indigenous peoples have stories of their creation on this hemisphere and did not travel the Bering strait. Too bad you didn't research what Vine was truly saying because you would realize that Vine was disseminating traditional knowledge and Indigenous perspective.

I understand that the legacy of colonialism indoctrinates the average american to ignore the voices and world view of Indigenous peoples. It is after all in your best interest to be in denial about the genocide and oppression that allows the unearned privilege of the american lifestyle of the semi-rich, rich, and wickedly rich and shameless. You add insult to injury by saying that Vines' views and humor are wacky, well actually his views are in line with numerous Indian and Non Indian peoples alike! Your article is inaccurate and you should apologize for being ignorant, racist and guilty of stereotyping Indigenous ancestors as contemporaries of the dinosaurs.

In fact the ancestors on this hemisphere gave western science the concept of ZERO, and lived in temples while western europeans were scratching around in caves, eating raw meat without any spices, chocolate, or tomatoes! Obviously Vine was a champion of Indigenous rights, and the struggle continues after his passing. Especially when their are inept authors such as yourself who try to redefine and recontextualize a man and his work after his death. This is exactly why Vine had such a great humor, because as Indians we have to deal with a lot of fools such as yourself. The racism, oppression, and stereotyping must be challenged. Too bad you couldn't build a bridge to Native communities, especially the strong Native communities that exist in the Arapaho territory known as Denver!

Vine Deloria Jr. was a strong advocate for Indian education, he expressed Indian people must fight the legacy of colonialism with intellect. I recently earned a Masters degree, and I am not alone, many more indigenous peoples are doing the same. May we have millions of minds [native and non native] as critical, intelligent, and yes beautifully humorous like that of Vine's rise up in his place.

LisaNa M Red Bear

Dear Editor:

I would like to respond to Vincent Carroll's characterization of Vine Deloria, Jr.'s scholarship as whacky.

I wholeheartedly agree with Colorado AIM that these comments on the day of his funeral and memorial were misplaced at best. I disagree that his comments are as serious as the 19th century commentaries that sparked the Sand Creek Massacre.*

That said, I am extremely disappointed that a man who contributed as much of himself as Vine Deloria, Jr. did to a better understanding of Native American reliigious tradiitons, Indian Law, American History, planetary history, and more would be so callously dismissed.

Vine was my mentor, and certainly many of his ideas strayed far from the mainstream. However, this stemmed as much from the fact that Vine felt both the scientific establishment and the mainline religious establishment were often the self-appointed guardians of truth and reality. He knew, like so many others, that just because we believe something or just because we think something is a fact, that does not make it so. He encouraged us to think, to consider alternative theories, and to see the weaknesses in what have come to be accepted truths.

The Bering Straits theory is just that, a theory. There is a great deal of evidence against this theory, just as there is some compelling evidence that there was some travel accross this supposed bridge. Vine exposed great weaknesses in the blind acceptance of a theory, which was often based on pure speculation absent empirical validation. His criticisms have only
strengthened the search for a better understanding of the past.

Genetics, the study of mitochondrial DNA groups, and the development of alternative, plausible theories about Pre-Columbian migrations, including the stories of indigenous people themselves all fascinated and intrigued Vine. He would not, however sacrifice the continued search for better answers just because established anthroplogists, archaeologists, and the
scientific priesthood all said we should.

For that reason alone, Vine deserves an aoplogy. Encouraging thoughtful discourse and an open mind is never "whacky", but rather is a beautiful contribution to humanity.

Patrick Soch
Denver, CO
* The Sand Creek connection was not derived from Carroll's maligning of Vine but from the editorials of the RMN which helped to incite it.

Rocky Mountain News:

Vincent Carroll’s column on the day of Vine Deloria Jr.’s funeral (Nov. 18), in which Carroll termed Prof. Deloria’s body of knowledge “wacky,” was tasteless and uninformed. It dishonored one of Native America’s foremost leaders.

The column also violated a key tenet of “free speech” in that it emanated from a bully pulpit whose advantage in reaching sheer numbers is unavailable to those who disagree and who lack equal access to the public forum.

The Rocky Mountain News enjoys the corporate power to both reflect what it perceives to be the prevailing public consensus (in order to appeal to both subscribers and advertisers) and to thereby reinforce existing biases against members of Native Nations.

The News is also guilty of creating a corporate environment in which it is safe to attack Native peoples without any apparent accountability. Columns like Carroll’s do not appear without the tacit approval of the publisher and the executive and managing editors, among others.

One can only hope that this kind of racist sniping will cease to be regarded as a necessary component of the corporate bottom line. Maybe the moral high ground or even a little courage could prevail!

Carol Berry

Vince Carroll

John Temple(RMN Editor)

Monday, November 21, 2005

Denver Post interview with Leslie Andrews

Sunday's Style section of the Denver Post carried an interview with CO AIM member, Leslie Andrews.

For some Indians, not a day of joy

Q: Was what you learned in school about Thanksgiving different from what you learned from your family?

A: Entirely different. In school I learned what I consider the myth of Thanksgiving - the Pilgrims and Indians getting together to have happy times and give thanks.

But I learned from reading history books, and just being around other Indian people, that when they actually sat down for the meal and spoke together, it was a negotiation about land. It wasn't the happiest thing. It was kind of tense.

Also, the first proclamation of the day of Thanksgiving was given by Major John Winthrop after the massacre of 700 Pequot Indians, who were basically surrounded in their village and attacked, lit on fire. Everyone who escaped were shot or caught as slaves. full interview

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Colorado AIM calls for picket of Rocky Mountain News, Monday morning, November 21, 10 am

For Immediate Release
20 November 2005
Contact: 303/832-2544 - Colorado AIM

• Colorado AIM, Allies Condemn Rocky Mountain News for last week’s racist, anti-Indian attack against Vine Deloria, Jr.

• Demands include firing of editor Vincent Carroll, Apology to Deloria family, Review of news and editorial policy regarding American Indian issues.

400 West Colfax, Denver
10 am, Monday, November 21, 2005

On Friday, November 18, Vine Deloria, Jr., the most revered and accomplished American Indian philosopher, writer and human rights activist in the United States, was laid to rest and memorialized in Golden, Colorado. That very morning, Vincent Carroll, editorial page editor of the Rocky Mountain News, continued the paper’s nearly 150 -year record of anti-Indian and racist reporting and editorializing by ridiculing and demeaning Deloria’s scholarship and reputation.

In his trademark callous and heavy-handed style, Carroll disrespected not only Deloria’s grieving family and friends, but the entire American Indian community of the United States. Carroll reduced Deloria’s forty years of scholarship and leadership to a dismissive and pejorative label of “wacky” (RMN, 11/18/05, page 46A -- see blog post below for November 18). Carroll’s column is consistent with his racist predecessor, News founder, William Byers, who called for the Cheyenne, Arapaho and Ute peoples “to be wiped from the face of the earth.” The News’ incitements led directly to the slaughter of hundreds of Cheyenne and Arapaho children, elders, and women at the Sand Creek Massacre in November, 1864. The News has never apologized for its role in the massacre.

Vince Carroll should be fired from the Rocky Mountain News (RMN).
Call RMN publisher John Temple: 303-892-5102 editor@RockyMountainNews.com

Saturday, November 19, 2005

No roads through Sacred Land-Nov 20 action

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From the Sage Counil:

As the City of Albuquerque commemorates its tricentennial, acelebration of our multicultural heritage, it simultaneously begins construction of the Paseo Del Norte road extension through thePetroglyph National Monument, a Native American
sacred site.

SAGE Council asks your participation in a March to Give Homage to the Petroglyphs, to commemorate those who have fought
this 10-year struggle and to acknowledge the difficult work of sacred sites protection here and elsewhere.

We ask our friends and allies to join us as we pay our respects to this sacred place, commemorate the years of
struggle we have endured together and celebrate over 300 years of survival.

Action Details

WHEN: Sunday, November 20th, 2005
TIME: 1:00pm - 4:30pm

WHERE:The March begins at Pueblo Montano Park at the entrance to the bosque open space, off Montano just east of Coors.

The March will culminate with a rally at the Petroglyphs with speakers, prayers and song.

For more information on the history to protect the Petroglyphs as well as the action, please visit the Sage Council
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Another native blog

There are more native blogs appearing on the net and we would like to point one out.

From the marigold trail profile

This is me showin' up as an urban Indian in the 21st century, so best to check your stereotypes at the door. I'll be talking about things that are of particular interest to urban Native Americans: pop culture and politics, literature and the law, tribal issues and traditions, and anything else that sounds good.

To read more to to the Marigold Trail

Also, we will be redesiging our website within the next 2 weeks and will include links to native blogs as well including many more ally links.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Vince Caroll-Vine Deloria's Wacky ideas

Vince Carroll

Wannabe Indian fighter Vince Carroll's latest target is Vine Deloria Jr. With perfect timing, Carroll's attack comes on the same day as Deloria's family and friends are gathering to celebrate his life.

Carroll uses the editorial pages to attack people who are rarely given space to counter what he says. This time, Carroll has acted even more cowardly than usual in that he attacks Vine after his death.

Many of the published tributes to Deloria since his death have understandably extolled this offbeat sense of humor (see, for example, the Clarence Page column in Thursday's News). And all have rightly emphasized his influential books. But what the obituaries and tributes have for the most part danced around or ignored is the utterly wacky nature of some of his views.

For example, in Red Earth, White Lies: Native Americans and the Myth of Scientific Fact (1996), Deloria rejected the Bering land bridge theory of prehistoric migration to the Western Hemisphere since he believed Indians existed here "at the beginning" - probably as contemporaries of dinosaurs. And this bizarre claim only hints at his contempt for much science.

Deloria insisted that we shouldn't sanitize America's past. Fair enough. But let's not sanitize his legacy, either Full column

As is typical of Carroll, he doesn't actually refute what Deloria says but characterizes his views as "wacky."

We doubt any counter views will be allowed in the editorial pages so to voice your opinion, please contact Carroll and the Rocky Mountain News Editor at

Vince Carroll

John Temple(RMN Editor)

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Native America Calling-Remember the life of Vine Deloria, Jr.

On Thursday,(November 17) the Native America Calling program will be Remembering the life of Vine Deloria, Jr. This is a live, one hour, call in program and begins at 1pm EST.

Here is the description of the program

-Remembering Vine Deloria, Jr.:
In the beginning, Vine Deloria, Jr. wanted to become a Minister like his Father, but decided to become a lawyer to help his Native People. He obtained his Law Degree from the University of Colorado and in the mid 60's he served as the Executive Director for the National COngress of American
Indians. Vine Deloria, Jr. was best known for his books, "Custer Died For Your Sins" and "God Is Red." He wrote more than twenty publications, mostly on Federal Indian Law, Indian Policies, and Tribal Sovereignty. His legacy as an activist and as a great Native American Author will never be forgotten. Join us, as we remember Vine Deloria, Jr. Guests: TBA.

You can listen to Native America Calling online. Visit their website for online access at nativeamericacalling.com

Last night's Homeland screening

Last night, Colorado AIM hosted a screening of "Homeland-four portraits of Native Action" on the Auraria Campus.

Homeland is a documentary that examines four contemporary cases of the resource exploitation of Native Homelands and the actions of Native Peoples to defend their Homeland. Although the defense of those homelands is a collective effort by impacted Nations and communities, Homeland is personalized by highlighting the efforts of key individuals who have played a major role in that defense.

For more information on the documentary please visit www.katahdin.org

The four portraits of action in Homeland are:

1. The case of the Northern Cheyenne in their efforts to stop 75,000 methane wells on the borders of their land. Gail Small is featured in this segment and she can be reached at Native Action, P.O. Box 409, Lame Deer, MT 59043 or email gailsmall001@aol.com.

2. The Gwich'in and their decades long fight to prevent oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. This segment was narrated by, and featured, Evon Peter along with his wife Enei Begaye(Dine'). To learn more about the Gwich'in struggle, please visit the Gwich'in Steering Committee

Also, Evon Peter is the chairman of Native Moevement, which is is a non-profit organization dedicated to Grassroots
Awareness, Action, and Advocacy. Visit the website at www.nativemovement.org

Enei Begaye is in this segment and to learn more about one of the issues she works on, please visit Black Mesa Trust

3. The people of Crownpoint and Churchrock,NM-on the Navajo Reservation-and their campaign to stop Uranium Mining in their community. The story focuses on the work of Mitchell and Rita Capitan and their key roles in Eastern Navajo Dine Against Uranium Mining (ENDAUM).

To learn more about ENDAUM, please visit their site here ENDAUM

4. The Penobscot legal battle to stop the pollution of their territory by a paper and pulp factory as well as their political struggle to protect their inherent sovereignty from attacks by the State of Maine. The story is told by Penobscot Chief, Barry Dana.

To learn more about the Penobscot River Restoration Project, please visit the site of the Penobscot Nation

After the screening, we had the special honor of having Winona LaDuke(Honor the Earth) and Wynoma Foster(ENDAUM)-who were also in the documentary-as panelists . We were also pleased to have Kuwanwhynum Cockrum on the panel as well and she spoke about the exploitation of Black Mesa. Denver AIM member, Leslie Andrews, was the final panelist and related some of the projects that this chapter has been working on.

Winona LaDuke's site can be found at Honor the Earth

Celebration of Vine Deloria's life-Friday

A public memorial celebration-honoring the life of Vine Deloria,Jr-will take place Nov., 18 at the Mount Vernon Event Center in Golden. The memorial will begin at 3:00 pm.

A map to Mt Vernon can be found by clicking on this link. Mt Vernon Map

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

San Franciso Peaks trial concluded

This from save the peaks.

On November 15th Judge Paul Rosenblatt recessed the trial initiated by the lawsuit brought forth by tribes & environmental groups to protect the environmental and cultural integrity of the San Francisco Peaks from Arizona Snowbowl's plan for expansion & snowmaking with wastewater. There is currently no word on when a ruling will be made.

The Arizona Snowbowl Ski resort, located on the San Francisco Peaks in Northern AZ, is attemping to expand its development, clear-cut 74 acres of wilderness, make artificial snow from contaminated wastewater and more. The Peaks are sacred to over 13 Native American Nations and home to threatened species. A coalition of tribes and environmental groups have filed a lawsuit against the Coconino Forest Service to stop this proposed development. Full update

We will post new information as we receive it.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Luke Warm Water at Cafe Cultura

Friday night was another moving, energetic, inspiring gathering at Cafe Cultura.

In addition to hosting the talented local poets, Cafe Cultura also welcomed slam champ Luke Warm Water.

Here is how Luke is described in his book of poetry titled 'On Indian Time'
Luke Warm Water is an Oglala Lakota, born and raised in Rapid City, South Dakota. He writes within the context of contemporary American Indian life, especially within urban communities. Many of his poems contain unsafe topics; they have perspectives of racial issues past and present, poverty and dysfunctional misadventures. But they also have sense of hope and a thread humor; often dark humor. Luke received a 2005 Archibald Bush Foundation artist fellowship, also a 2005 South Dakota Arts Council grant, both in poetry. He has competed and featured at Slam poetry events throughout the U.S. and in Europe

In addition to sharing his words, wisdom and humor, Luke also urged the audience to learn more about American Indian political prisoner, Leonard Peltier. Luke performs at many events on behalf of Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights and we hope to see more of him in the Denver area.

Here is an excerpt from his poem,Are you hungry for Pizza?
Upon our arrival
Teenage white kids were working
A white boy asked us from behind the counter
what we wanted to order
The biggest pizza you have with alot of extra cheese,
Uncle Verlin said
The white kid asked what he wanted for toppings
Uncle Verlin responded
Tiny little white men
The kid behind the counter looked bewildered asking 'what?'
Tiny tiny little white men on my pizza
'Uh sir we don't have that topping do you want a different topping?'
NO! I want only tiny tiny little white men on my pizza
The white boy behind the counter now looked shit scared
After that Uncle Verlin and I lost it
We laughed and laughed all the way home carrying our pizza
with Italian sausage topping

After all
Columbus was Italian
We thought it the next best choice for a pizza topping

From ICT-

From today's web edition of Indian Country Today.
Vine DeLoria, Jr. passes after a life of seminal work
Posted: November 14, 2005
by: Jim Adams / Indian Country Today

TUCSON, Ariz. - Vine DeLoria Jr., the intellectual star of the American Indian renaissance, passed on Nov. 13, after struggling for several weeks with declining health. His immeasurable influence became immediately apparent in an outpouring of tributes from all corners of Indian country.

''I cannot think of any words I could possibly say that even begin to capture the significance of this man and his work among Native people and on our behalf for the past half century,'' said Richard West Jr., director of the National Museum of the American Indian in a message to his staff.

''He has been our ranking scholar and intellectual light for all of those years.''

The NMAI was only one of many Native institutions that DeLoria made possible or deeply influenced during his 73 years. From the activist end of the spectrum, a tribute on the Colorado AIM Web site said, ''It is safe to say that without the example provided by the writing and the thinking of Vine Deloria Jr., there likely would have been no American Indian Movement, there would be no international indigenous peoples' movement as it exists today, and there would be little hope for the future of indigenous peoples in the Americas.'' full article

Sunday, November 13, 2005

In Honor of Vine Deloria, Jr. (1933-2005)

The great indigenous visionary, philosopher, author and activist Vine Deloria, Jr. passed over to join his ancestors today, November 13, 2005. Our thoughts and prayers go to his wife, Barbara, to his children and his other relatives. The passing of Vine creates a huge intellectual and analytical void in the native and non-native worlds. He will be greatly missed.
It is appropriate on this website to reflect on the meaning of Vine's contibutions to indigenous peoples' resistance, and to reflect on our responsibilities to maintain and to advance the lessons that Vine gave to us. It is safe to say that without the example provided by the writing and the thinking of Vine Deloria, Jr., there likely would have been no American Indian Movement, there would be no international indigenous peoples' movement as it exists today, and there would be little hope for the future of indigenous peoples in the Americas.
Vine Deloria, Jr. was a true revolutionary when he wrote "Custer Died for Your Sins" in 1969, the first of his scores of books and scholarly articles (for a partial bibliography of Vine's important books go to:
http://www.ipl.org/div/natam/bin/browse.pl/A31). He had the courage and the vision to challenge the dominating society at its core. He was unapologetic in confronting the racism of U.S.law and policy, and he was prophetic in challenging young indigenous activists to hone their strategies.
We will write much more about Vine in the upcoming days. He was our elder statesman and mentor. For now, we will share this passage from "Custer Died For Your Sins," as a reminder of our responsibilities, and to ensure that we are more deliberate and strategic in our resistance.

"Ideological leverage is always superior to violence....The problems of Indians have always been ideological rather than social, political or economic....[I]t is vitally important that the Indian people pick the intellectual arena as the one in which to wage war. Past events have shown that the Indian people have always been fooled by the intentions of the white man. Always we have discussed irrelevant issues while he has taken our land. Never have we taken the time to examine the premises upon which he operates so that we could manipulate him as he has us."
-- "Custer Died for Your Sins: An Indian Manifesto," (1969) pp.251-252

and this relevent passage regarding the example of the great Oglala Lakota leader Tashunka Witko (Crazy Horse):
"Crazy Horse never drafted anyone to follow him. People recognized that what Crazy Horse did was for the best and was for the people. Crazy Horse never had his name on the stationery. He never had business cards. He never received a per diem. *** Until we can once again produce people like Crazy Horse all the money and help in the world will not save us. It is up to us to write the [next] chapter of the American Indian upon this continent." page 272

For many of us, Vine was a contemporary Crazy Horse. Perhaps we squandered his time with us. We took him for granted, and assumed that he would always be with us. Now, the question is, not only will we produce more Crazy Horses, but will we produce more Vine Deloria, Jr.s?

Vine, we will miss you, but we will continue your work toward freedom for native peoples everywhere. Mitakuye Oyasin.

(For a partial bibliography of Vine's important books go to:

Friday, November 11, 2005

Screening Homeland on Nov 15-Winona Laduke on panel

On Nov 15, Denver AIM will be cohosting the documentary Homeland-four portaits of native action, beginning at 8:30 p.m, at the Tivoli. A panel, featuring Winona Laduke, will follow the screening. For more information email us at denveraim@coloradoaim.org or call 303-832-2544.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

House of reps drops ANWR drilling for now

The latest development for the ANWR

House drops ANWR drilling
By Patrick O'Connor
Oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) was stripped from the House version of the budget bill last night as GOP leaders sought support from centrist Republicans for the difficult vote today.

The concession came during a meeting of the House Rules Committee, the final stop for the Deficit Reduction Act before it heads to the floor. The sweeping bill trims government programs while simultaneously altering a handful of regulations - such as setting a deadline for television broadcasters to relinquish part of their spectrum to first responders and mobile-phone companies - in an effort to reduce the federal deficit full article

To learn how you can help please vist the following sites
Gwich'in Steering Committee
Native Movement

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Celeste in the TJ Journal

The following excerpt was taken from the October 2005 edition of the Thomas Jefferson Journal. CO AIM member, Celeste Spink, was interviewed and shared her experiences on organizing against the Convoy of Conquest as well as other actions she is working on.

Colorado American Indian Movement Takes a Stand
Many American Indians are on a quest to educate the public
By Erin Coleman

The American Indian Movement (AIM) was founded with the purpose of achieving Indian Sovereignty and raising questions in the minds of Indians and non-Indians alike. AIM has thousand of members nationwide. Typical events sponsored by the organization include protests, speeches, and general gatherings of people of Native American heritage......

“I am a member of the American Indian Movement which includes a myriad of responsibilities ranging from protesting to networking and public speaking. My mother had always been active in pertinent community issues, especially Native American issues as we are of the Dine’ (Navajo) and Hopi tribes,” said TJ senior Celeste Spink.

Among the American Indian Movement’s recent events are the annual protest of the Columbus Day Parade and “Rock Out Columbus Day,” a function aimed at raising awareness, regarding the Native American cause, featuring live music as well as speeches by community activists. “Colorado AIM has protested the parade since 1989, every year raising more awareness toward the issue. In 2000 (1992) the parade was cancelled due to our efforts, and last year it was delayed for more than two hours because of our human barricade, in which 239 people were arrested. The charges were dropped by the jury that found our cause inspiring. This year we took a new approach and demonstrated genocide for the parade-goers in the street. Our goal was fulfilled as the paraders proceeded to celebrate across our bloody remnants of genocide with the apathy we are constantly encountering,” Spink explained.....

In addition to the controversy over Columbus Day, AIM is active in supporting and influencing many issues concerning Native American rights and liberation. “AIM is passionate about many issues including the desecration of sacred land of the Dine’ and Hopi for the building of a ski resort. To help save the San Francisco Peaks, there is more information at www.savethepeaks.org.

Full interview can be found Here

Monday, November 07, 2005

New Save the Peaks Awareness Concert flyer- Nov 10

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

WHAT: Save the Peaks Awareness Concert/Film Screening.
We will watch the "Snowbowl Effect" (56 mins), the documentary directed by Klee Benally that shows the struggle in AZ of Indian tribes, environmental groups & individuals, against the Forest Service to stop contaminated wastewater from being used to make snow for skiing on the mountains sacred to 13 Indian tribes. Klee, Geneda, and Clayson Benally will be there for questions after.

After the film, we will hear from three bands:HaLf BLind, a "junk" (jazz+punk) rock band with political/philosophical leanings from
Boulder; Dascrbye, eclectic hip hop mix; and Blackfire(Klee,Genada & Clayson Benally), a Native fire ball punk band, who we've seen in past years at Indigenous Reistance concerts here, and are gaining play internationally.

WHEN: November 10th, 2005, 8:30 pm

WHERE: St Francis Conference Center, Auraria Campus
900 Auraria Pkwy, Denver, CO 80204
map at href="http://www.mscd.edu/enroll/admissions/campus/map/"> map
Closest Parking Lots N,M (not free)
There is a suggested $5 donation but no one will be turned away.

Cafe Cultura-Nov 11

It's the second week of the month and that means Cafe Cultura will happening this Friday. Check out the info below for the time and place and go check it out.

Also, please visit their space at www.myspace.com/cafecultura to see photos and listen to clips from past shows.

Café Cultura
Open Mic Night……Spoken Word……Hip Hop…..Visual Arts…..Poesia/Poetry…..FREE!!!!

Red and Brown Unity

WHEN?:2nd Fri. of every month @ 7:30pm (November 11th, December 9th)

WHERE?: Denver Inner City Parish-9th Ave & Galapago St. (2 blks east of Santa Fe on SE corner)

WHAT?: All ages Open Mic Night featuring emcees, poets, and artists. Come express yourself creatively or just chill with your people. Nov. Feature: DJ Fina Everyone is welcome!

For more info: cafe_cultura@yahoo.com; 720-436-1830; www.myspace.com/cafecultura

Friday, November 04, 2005

Save the Peaks Awareness Concert November 10-Denver,Co

There will be a Save the Peaks Awareness concert on November 10. Click on the PDF link for a flyer. We'll post more information soon. PDF Flyer