Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Tribe Loses Suit on Tax-Free Tobacco

BOSTON, Dec. 29 — A federal judge ruled on Monday that Rhode Island acted legally when it raided a tax-free smoke shop run by the Narragansett Indians and that the state had the right to tax sales of cigarettes on tribal land.

In his ruling, Judge William E. Smith of Federal District Court said the July 14 raid, in which state troopers seeking sales records served a search warrant on the smoke shop in a trailer on the Narragansett reservation in Charlestown, did not violate tribal sovereignty.

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Commercial Real Estate: Arizona Indians Turn to Real Estate Development

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., Dec. 18 - Rechanda Howard, a soft-spoken member of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, remembers how her grandfather, Joseph Ray, used to talk about the 90 acres of remote arid land that the federal government allotted to his family in 1913. "He said the land would never be worth anything," said Mrs. Howard, now a grandmother herself. Set against a backdrop of red clay mountains, the creosote-and-mesquite-covered land that Mrs. Howard and two dozen relatives inherited is a picturesque reminder of this region's desert past. But acreage that seemed isolated when the reservation was established in 1879 now bumps against the edge of this manicured city of 203,000. And it lies just to the west of the recently completed Pima Freeway, the major north-south artery in the sprawling Phoenix metropolitan area, with its population of 3.3 million.

Long before the freeway, developers had their eye on Indian lands. The biggest projects so far have been a shopping center with big-box retailers and a Wal-Mart. Early next year, however, Mainspring Capital Group, a local developer affiliated with Ross Brown Partners, a real estate services company, plans to begin clearing and grading the site for the first phase of Pima Center, a $600 million commercial development on 209 acres owned by Joseph Ray's descendants and 34 other Salt River Pima-Maricopa families. Once completed, the project will be one of the largest private business parks on Indian land. Pima Center, which is slated to be a mix of high-end office buildings, retail stores and warehouse and distribution space, is one of several developments that are expected to sprout along the freeway on land leased from the tribe.

Sunday, December 21, 2003

Women of Kickapoo Tribe Protest in Okla.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Ten women belonging to the Kickapoo tribe have barricaded themselves inside tribal headquarters, saying they won't leave until their tribe is investigated for misuse of funds.

The women -- ranging in age from 19 to 50 -- took over the headquarters Friday after finding a back door unlocked. The group then piled desks and filing cabinets against the doors, keeping tribal police at bay.

Rep. Janklow Files Motion for Acquittal

FLANDREAU, S.D. (AP) -- Rep. Bill Janklow filed a motion asking that he either be acquitted of second-degree manslaughter or granted a new trial, saying prosecutors didn't present enough evidence to establish his guilt.

Janklow, convicted Dec. 8 for a traffic crash that killed a motorcyclist, filed the motion for acquittal Friday.

Monday, December 15, 2003

The Squabbling Illini: Rallying Cries Lead to Rift

URBANA, Ill. — The history books say the last Indian tribe in Illinois was forcibly relocated to Kansas and then Oklahoma early in the 19th century. But there is one Indian left, according to members of the Honor the Chief Society: Chief Illiniwek.

A debate over whether mascots with Indian themes are offensive or harmless has played out on college campuses and at professional stadiums for more than two decades. But there is something singular here, a fierce loyalty to a student in war paint that makes the hair stand on grown men's forearms. The passions aroused by the chief also make the great-great-granddaughter of Sitting Bull, a junior at Illinois, fear for her safety.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Seeking Balance: Growth vs. Culture in Amazon

PUMPUENTSA, Ecuador — As international energy companies move into the Amazon basin to tap some of the last untouched oil and natural gas reserves, more and more natives are fighting to keep them out.

Oil workers and contractors have been kidnapped, company officials say. Equipment has been vandalized. Protests, injunctions and lawsuits are piling up as Indian groups grow increasingly savvy in their cooperation with environmentalists.

The governments may increasingly regard the Amazon as an engine for economic growth, but native groups are struggling to balance development with the desire to preserve a nearly primordial way of life.

"Let the military come in, because we will defend to the last," said Medardo Santi, a leader of Kichwa Indians in an unspoiled jungle region that has been mapped for oil exploration in Ecuador, where the dispute is most contentious. "As long as we live here, we will defend our rights."

Monday, December 08, 2003

Congressman Convicted of Manslaughter & Resigns His Seat

FLANDREAU, S.D. (AP) -- In a verdict that could bring an abrupt end to a three-decade political career, a jury convicted Rep. Bill Janklow of manslaughter Monday for a collision that killed a motorcyclist, rejecting the congressman's claim that he was disoriented by a diabetic reaction.

The jury in Janklow's boyhood hometown deliberated for about five hours before returning its verdict.

Janklow, 64, was convicted of second-degree manslaughter, reckless driving, running a stop sign and speeding for the Aug. 16 crash that killed Randy Scott, 55, a farmer from Hardwick, Minn. Prosecutors said Janklow was traveling more than 70 mph in his white Cadillac when he crashed with Scott's Harley-Davidson.

Janklow could get up to 10 years in prison on the manslaughter charge and also face a House ethics committee investigation that could lead to his expulsion.

Janklow Jury Weighs Manslaughter Case

FLANDREAU, S.D. (AP) -- A jury began deliberating Monday in the manslaughter case against Rep. Bill Janklow after a prosecutor ridiculed as ``goofy'' the congressman's claim that he was suffering a diabetic reaction when he sped through a stop sign and collided with a motorcyclist.

``The defendant's driving is like a deadly game of Russian roulette,'' said deputy prosecutor Roger Ellyson, who called Janklow an ``unbelievably awful and menacing'' driver. ``On August 16, Randy Scott took the bullet.''

Janklow, 64, is charged with manslaughter, reckless driving, running a stop sign and speeding for the Aug. 16 crash at a rural intersection that killed motorcyclist Scott, 55. If convicted of manslaughter, Janklow could get up to 10 years in prison and also face a House ethics committee investigation that could lead to his expulsion.

Saturday, December 06, 2003

Rep. Janklow Says Remembers Little of Accident

FLANDREAU, S.D. (Reuters) - U.S. Rep. Bill Janklow testified on Saturday that he remembers almost nothing about an August accident in rural South Dakota in which his car collided with a motorcycle, killing the driver.

During the rare Saturday session on the sixth day of his manslaughter trial, Janklow, a diabetic, testified that he forgot to eat on the day of the accident that killed Randy Scott.

Thursday, December 04, 2003

Monday, December 01, 2003

Potential Jurors Quizzed for Janklow Case

FLANDREAU, S.D. (AP) -- Potential jurors were quizzed on their knowledge of motorcycles and diabetes as jury selection began Monday in the manslaughter trial of Rep. Bill Janklow, accused in a traffic accident that killed a man at a rural intersection.

Two people who appeared to be American Indians were excused, both saying they had formed an opinion. Janklow has had rocky a relationship with tribes in the state.

Sunday, November 30, 2003

Janklow Manslaughter Trial Begins Monday

FLANDREAU, S.D. (AP) -- Bill Janklow, a former four-term South Dakota governor and the state's only congressman, returns to his boyhood hometown Monday to face a trial that may decide his political future.

The 64-year-old is charged with speeding, running a stop sign, reckless driving and manslaughter in an Aug. 16 accident that killed a motorcyclist at a rural intersection in South Dakota.If convicted of manslaughter, he could face up to 10 years in prison, as well as a House ethics committee investigation.

Friday, November 28, 2003

Danish Court Upholds 1953 Move of Inuits

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) -- The Danish government acted within its legal rights when it removed native Greenlanders from their ancestral land to expand a U.S. air base in the 1950s, Denmark's Supreme Court ruled Friday.

Rejecting 2000 Census Counts, Tribes Are Tabulating Their Own

Warm Springs, Ore., Nov. 27 (AP) - Indian reservations posed a multitude of problems to census takers, not the least of which were big, ever-changing households, frequent moves, mistrust of government officials and differing definitions of who is an Indian. Thus, the tabulations of Indians had some of the highest error rates for any minority.

For the first time, however, tribes will not have to accept the official census numbers, which the federal government uses to distribute aid.

Friday, November 21, 2003

Janklow May Use Ill Health As Defense

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) -- Rep. Bill Janklow may very well use his diabetes or other health problems as a defense when he goes on trial on manslaughter charges in a traffic accident that killed a motorcyclist.

Janklow's lawyer, Ed Evans, and the congressman himself will not publicly discuss what his defense will be. And the accident report and an affidavit from Janklow filed this week make no mention of a blackout or poor vision -- symptoms that can be caused by diabetes.

Sunday, November 16, 2003

Friday, November 14, 2003

New virus disguised as PayPal e-mail

URGENT -- The program is a variant of the Mimail virus, which has previously spread by appearing to be a security advisory from Microsoft. The latest version of the program is attached to an e-mail forged to look as though it came from PayPal, an online payment service bought by eBay last year. Running the program infects the victim's computer and asks the PC user for credit card information, which the virus then sends to the attacker.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Accounting of Indian Money Put on Hold

An accounting of money owed to hundreds of thousands of American Indians was put on hold Thursday as an appeals court considers whether recent action by Congress can overturn a federal judge's order.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Native American Voters are important for this next election!

Among the 10 states with the highest Native American populations, four have elections in 2004 in which Native Americans' votes are especially significant. See this chart.

Saturday, November 08, 2003

Tribes Now Ready to Deal With Their New Governor

VIEJAS INDIAN RESERVATION, Calif., Nov. 6 - The Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians, which operates a lucrative casino on its reservation here east of San Diego, spent $2 million of its gambling earnings trying to keep Arnold Schwarzenegger out of the governor's office.

Mr. Schwarzenegger said in the campaign that the Viejas and other tribes that run casinos in California were not paying their fair share to the state and were abusing their new financial muscle. Tribal leaders said Mr. Schwarzenegger did not understand the tribes' unique status as sovereign nations or realize how much they paid to the state.

Both sides now appear ready to put the bitterness of the campaign behind them.

Friday, October 31, 2003

Mohawk Tribe Is Rethinking Land Accord With Albany

ALBANY, October 30 — Five months after Gov. George E. Pataki announced an agreement with the St. Regis Mohawk tribe to settle land claims, the deal has become bogged down in tribal politics and a newly elected Indian government has said it wants to rewrite the accord.

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Disaster Fund Created for Tribes Devastated by Fires

News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Susan Jensen
(916) 448-8706

Disaster Fund Created for Tribes Devastated by Fires

October 29, 2003, Sacramento, CA - A disaster relief fund has been established for California tribes and tribal members victimized by devastating fires throughout Southern California. The fund is being established at the Borrego Springs Bank in La Mesa by the California Nations Indian Gaming Association.

A number of tribes were particularly hard hit by the flames.

Sixty-seven of 68 homes on the San Pasqual Band of Mission Indians reservation were destroyed and two people were reportedly killed when fire swept Valley Center.

Forty homes and two small buildings were destroyed on the Barona Band of Mission Indians reservation near Lakeside. The tribal hall and daycare center were spared. All residents of the Barona Band of Mission Indians are safe and accounted for.

Twenty homes were lost on the Rincon San Luiseño Band of Mission Indians reservation in Valley Center. Ninety-eight percent of the vegetation on the San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians reservation near Patton was destroyed, leaving the hillside reservation subject to potentially devastating erosion. Half of the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians reservation near Alpine was burned, but fortunately no structures were destroyed.

"Our hearts and prayers go out to these and other tribes that suffered so greatly in the fires," said Brenda Soulliere, chairwoman of the California Nations Indian Gaming Association.

The fund is being established to provide immediate assistance to tribes directly impacted by the fires. It will be a permanent fund for future disasters.

Persons wishing to contribute are asked to make checks out to:

The Disaster Relief Fund for Tribes
Borrego Springs Bank
ATTN: Joanne McBride
7777 Alvarado Road, Suite 114
La Mesa, CA 91941

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Ancient Maya Altar Retaken From Looters in Guatemala

Two years ago a gang of looters fell on the palace ruins of the ancient city of Cancuén and made off with an elaborately carved stone altar, complete with writing and the image of a powerful king of the late eighth century A.D. The thieves tried to sell the relic to drug traffickers, the only people in the region with the kind of money they were asking.

According to the society's statement, Guatemalan officials said this might be the first time an entire network of looters and dealers of Maya treasures had been exposed. Four suspects have been arrested and are to stand trial in January. Claudia Gonzáles Herrera, an assistant attorney general in charge of the case, said the arrests show that Guatemala "takes the defense of its ancient Maya heritage seriously."

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Canadian West Coast Renaissance

The People of Haida Gwaii are reclaiming their past and fighting to control their future. Last year, the Haida filed writ in the B.C. Supreme Court, claiming that the province and Canada "unlawfully occupied and exploited the resources of Haida Gwaii" and "interfered with the culture and livelihood of the Haida Nation." They claim compensation, and Aboriginal title to the islands and the seabed. The case, bolstered by solid evidence of Haida occupation for millennia, unsettles some of the 3,500 non-Haida on the islands. It has profound implications for the province and for industry licensees, which have taken billions in timber, fish and mineral resources from the Charlottes. And it imperils the B.C. government's goal of having an offshore oil and gas industry in the region by 2010.

Monday, October 20, 2003

Bolivia's New Leader Takes Over a Chaotic and Angry Nation

LA PAZ, Bolivia, Oct. 18 — One of the books that Carlos Mesa wrote when he was a historian is titled "Bolivian Presidents: Between the Voting Booth and the Gun." Mr. Mesa is about to experience that situation himself.

Mr. Mesa was sworn in as president of South America's poorest and most unstable country late Friday night, following the resignation of Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada, who immediately left for the United States. The country has been paralyzed since mid-September by antigovernment protests that Mr. Sánchez de Lozada had tried to quell with force, leaving more than 80 dead.

Bolivian Peasants' 'Ideology of Fury' Still Smolders

EL ALTO, Bolivia, Oct. 19 — Down in the capital, a new president was settling into office and assembling a cabinet. Up here in the birthplace of the monthlong uprising that overthrew his predecessor, the residents, giddy with satisfaction at the change they had wrought, had but one message: don't get too comfortable in power.

"If we did it once, we can do it again," said Elio Argullo, a former miner and 45-year-old father of four who now sells athletic shoes from a cart on the street here. "And if we have to, you can be sure that we will."

Saturday, October 18, 2003

Hearing Focuses on Indian Health Care

ALBUQUERQUE, Oct. 18 — Poverty, inadequate education, cultural and language barriers and geographic distances all are factors in health care disparities faced by American Indians, tribal leaders and health care advocates told the United States Commission on Civil Rights on Friday.

The hearing came as lawmakers are looking to review and expand the Indian Health Care Improvement Act. The act, which expires this year, guides federal health and education spending for Indians.

New Bolivia leader urges unity

The new leader, Carlos Mesa - the former vice president - quickly offered to hold early elections and promised to do more for the indigenous Indian population.

Bolivian Leader Resigns and His Vice President Steps In

LA PAZ, Bolivia, Oct. 17 %u2014 Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada resigned as president of South America's poorest and most unstable country late Friday after nearly a month of increasingly violent clashes between army troops and predominantly Indian demonstrators that have left more than 80 people dead.

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Tribes not seeking water-land swap

The Klamath Tribes are not interested in surrendering their claim for senior water rights in exchange for regaining portions of their former reservation, tribal officials said Tuesday. A press release issued by the tribes said media reports indicating they were considering a trade of water rights for land now held by the U.S. Forest Service were incorrect.

Monday, October 13, 2003

It's Gas vs. Heritage in Navajo Country

NAGEEZI, N.M. — The Navajo revere this remote area in northwestern New Mexico as the place where the mythical figure Changing Woman gave birth to two warrior sons who made the universe safe.

Energy companies desire this area for its strategic location in the San Juan Basin, a geological mother lode of natural gas reserves in the Four Corners region that has become one of North America's richest sources of mineral wealth.

Five Protesters Die in Bolivia After President Calls in Troops

A spokesman for the president announced the troop mobilization and said it was meant to retake control of El Alto, a suburb of the capital that has been the focal point of a general strike in recent days. The government "is no longer willing to tolerate the situation of violence" in that city, most of whose residents are peasant migrants of Indian origins.

Sunday, October 05, 2003

Navajos voice strong opinions on both sides of death penalty issue

The last of the five public hearings on the death penalty "opt-in" were held Monday at the Tuba City Chapter House. The public hearings began the first week of September and have been held in Shiprock, Crownpoint, Fort Defiance and Chinle.

Monday, September 29, 2003

St. Mary's apologizes for T-shirt

A Catholic high school in Bismarck apologized for a T-shirt featuring an American Indian character after a complaint from United Tribes Technical College. The shirts' logo depicts a male angel gritting his teeth while using a rope to dangle a loincloth-wearing Indian man with a feather in his hair over a pool of sharks.

Saturday, September 27, 2003

Representative Bill Janklow Pleads Not Guilty in Fatal Collision

Outside were about a dozen protesters. As Mr. Janklow left, some yelled chants that included "No justice, no peace," and "He's a killer."

What do you think? How about sentencing Mr. Janklow to several thousand hours of community service work at Pine Ridge and Rosebud?

States Moving to End Tribes' Tax-Free Sales

State governments say tribal tax-free sales, in stores and on the Internet, deprive them of millions of dollars. Those losses have grown as financially struggling states raise cigarette taxes, driving some smokers to tribal stores. And with the deficit among the states projected to reach more than $50 billion in the next fiscal year, legislators and governors are increasingly trying to collect taxes from Indian businesses.

Thursday, September 18, 2003

Reclaiming the Stolen Faces of Their Forefathers

The Namgis of Alert Bay, British Columbia are seeking the return of a mask from the British Museum. The mask was confiscated in 1921 by a local government Indian agent and a police sergeant during a raid on a potlatch ceremony. These ceremonies were outlawed by the Canadian government from 1884 to 1951 in an effort to repress native language and culture. The British Museum, in its extreme arrogance, feels that their "duty to scholars" is a higher calling than is returning the mask to the Namgis, restoring their cultural heritage and returning stolen property.

Saturday, September 13, 2003

Canadian Indians Challenge Fish Farms in Court

Canadian Indians Challenge Fish Farms in Court

"Clams, prawns, crabs, salmon — we had it all at our fingertips," he recalled. In his view, the culprits are close at hand. "It's all being depleted because of all the algae, the sea lice and the contamination the fish farms are putting in our territory."

It is a common refrain: that the 30 or so salmon farms that float on the bays of the sprawling Broughton Archipelago to the north of Vancouver Island are responsible for every possible pestilence. The farms consist of giant cages that float in the open water and hold large quantities of fish. Their denseness allows disease to spread, and, according to the native people, pollutes nearby waters where other fish swim.

Saturday, September 06, 2003

Fatal Crash Charges Threaten Political Career

Let us hope Bill Janklow has met his match when he finds himself on the other side of the justice system!

Saturday, August 23, 2003

SWAIA: Southwestern Association for Indian Arts

SWAIA: Southwestern Association for Indian Arts

Well, it's that time of year again, Santa Fe Indian Market is here again.
If you either can't go or can't face the crowds, here are websites for a few of the artists you might see there:

Susan Folwell Santa Clara Pueblo potter
Virgil Nez, Navajo painter
Ronald Honyouti & Family, Hopi katsina dolls
Anita Fields, Osage clay artist
Ron Suazo, Santa Clara potter
Greyshoes (Upton Ethelbah), Santa Clara Pueblo/White Mountain Apache sculptor

Just a few of the hundreds of artists showing there.
One artists who is not there this year is Roxanne Swentzell, Santa Clara Pueblo clay sculptor, who is having a instead a one person show, "Juggling Worlds", at the Poeh Museum at the Pueblo of Pojoaque.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Today's Recommendations

One Nation OK Lies

A new website devoted to countering anti-tribal sovereignty lobbying and propaganda. See the story about this website in Indian Country Today.

Honouring Words

The Honouring Words International Indigenous Authors Celebration Tour,
held in Australia and Canada, deserves your attention. It now has a live online forum.

Friday, August 15, 2003

Obituary for James Welch

The obituary for James Welch, author of Fools Crow, The Heartsong of Charging Elk and Riding the Earthboy 40, among others, written by his wife, Lois Welch.

Thursday, August 14, 2003

New Non-profit galleries on the Web

You will find 2 new links to non-profit galleries on the Galleries index, the Tohono O'odham Community Action (TOCA) gallery and the Hopi Arts & Craft - Silvercraft Cooperative Guild. Also recently posted is another non-profit gallery, West Coast Natives Online.

The Joy Harjo music website has been recently redesigned and expanded. It now includes an artist/poet's blog and a small photo gallery, with information on the new band and a demo album available now. The new CD will be out soon, we hope.

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Zuni Salt Lake Saved

On August 4, 2003, the Salt River Project announced that it will relinquish all permits and coal leases for the proposed Fence Lake coal stripmine. SRP claims in a press release that it has found a cleaner, more economical source of coal in the Powder River Basin of Wyoming, but the Zuni Tribe and the Zuni Salt Lake Coalition can rest assured that their intense, well-organized, and spiritually-based opposition to the 18,000 acre industrial disaster was the real reason SRP is pulling the plug on the coal mine.

Monday, August 11, 2003

California Native American on Ballot of Governor!

David Laughing Horse Robinson, 48, Chairman of the Kawaiisu Tribe, elected in 1997, and re-elected 2002, has qualified for the ballot on the recall election in California. He is a Democrat from Bakersfield. Besides teaching Art Tech at CSU Bakersfield, he is a steel sculptor and a master journeyman welder.

"I'd like to debate all of the candidates on the floor of the California Assembly Chambers with Governor Davis moderating."

"If California can afford one prison guard per three prisoners, we can afford one teacher per 20 students."

Contact Info: (661)664-3098 horserobinson@hotmail.com

Tribal website

Saturday, August 09, 2003

James Welch, Blackfeet - Gros Ventre Poet & Novelist 1940-2003

In Memorium: James Welch from Joy Harjo

New York Times Obituary

Obituary from The Missoulian, MT

Find books by James Welch

New Weblog

In this weblog, I will place information that has a more ephemeral nature than that contained in the links provided in this index. Among the items projected to be placed here are event announcements, links to news articles, highly recommended new websites, and other such items.
I hope this blog proves useful.

Webmaster