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
(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.