Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Seattle Times: Indian policy comes under fire

Two national organizations — including a locally based group that emerged 15 years ago in a shellfish dispute with Western Washington tribes — have joined forces to push for reform of what they call the nation's flawed and fractured policy on Native people.

Redmond-based United Property Owners has merged with One Nation of Oklahoma, which includes oil producers and farm interests, and in its two years has aggressively challenged American Indian sovereignty.

The merger, effective Jan. 1, will form a megagroup called One Nation United, with 300,000 members in 50 states.

The combined group has taken aim at federal Indian policies, including tax allowances, which they say erode state and local tax bases and undermine free enterprise. They contend that a century and a half after many Indian treaties were negotiated, they are in need of review.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Critic's Notebook: Who Should Tell History: The Tribes or the Museums?

CHICAGO - Museums always make use of the past for the sake of the present. They collect it, shape it, insist on its significance. When that past is also prehistoric, when its objects come to the present without written history and with jumbled oral traditions, a museum can even become the past's primary voice.

But what if that prehistoric past is also claimed by some as a living heritage? Then disagreements about interpretation develop into battles over the museum's very function.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Interior, Indian Tribes Share Bison Range

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The only federal wildlife refuge set aside to protect bison -- the American buffalo -- will be managed by the Interior Department and Indian tribes in an unusual partnership that conservationists fear could lead to more development of public lands.

Under an agreement signed Wednesday, the department and the Confederate Salish and Kootenai Tribal Council will split the budget and management duties for Montana's 19,000-acre National Bison Range, which is within the tribal homeland on the Flathead Indian Reservation.

Training is to be provided to the tribes, which first must consult a federal manager with Interior's Fish and Wildlife Service before waiving any regulations on the range. The deal takes effect in three months if Congress does not object.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Eskimos Seek to Recast Global Warming as a Rights Issue

The Eskimos, or Inuit, about 155,000 seal-hunting peoples scattered around the Arctic, plan to seek a ruling from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights that the United States, by contributing substantially to global warming, is threatening their existence.

The Inuit plan is part of a broader shift in the debate over human-caused climate change evident among participants in the 10th round of international talks taking place in Buenos Aires aimed at averting dangerous human interference with the climate system.

Inuit leaders said they planned to announce the effort at the climate meeting today.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Renaming 'Squaw' Sites Proves Touchy in Oregon

SISTERS, Ore. - It took two years for members of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs to persuade Oregon lawmakers to remove the word "squaw" from the state's maps, which are filled with places like Squaw Meadow, Squaw Flat and, here in central Oregon, Squaw Creek.

Figuring out what to rename these places has proved more complicated. Around the Warm Springs reservation and the nearby town of Sisters, three years of pointed debate among local tribal leaders has produced 42 alternatives to Squaw Creek in three native languages.

Many of the suggestions are hard for English speakers and even some Indians to pronounce, like "ixwutxp." It means "blackberry" in the Wasco language. Other suggested Indian names are spelled using a lowercase "l" with a slash through it, signifying a guttural "tla" sound that does not exist in English.

Judge's Plan Faulted in Indian Trust Case

WASHINGTON (AP) -- In a victory for the government in a long-running dispute with American Indians, a federal appeals court threw out on Friday most of a judge's plan for making the Interior Department account for billions of dollars the Indians say they are owed. The appeals court told the judge he could no longer ``micromanage'' how the system gets fixed.

The ruling means Interior can propose its own plan rather than create a recipe based on ingredients preordered from the bench. U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth then would assess the result.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

In a Land Torn by Violence, Too Many Troubling Deaths

RIOSUCIO, Colombia - At 15, Leida Salazar had just learned to ride a bike, eagerly watched after her smaller siblings and was among the extroverts in a throng of giddy indigenous girls. But a year ago, she fashioned a noose out of a wraparound skirt, hoisted it over the wood-beam rafter of her home and hanged herself.

A note she left for her father voiced anguished fears that Colombia's drug-fueled guerrilla war would engulf her family, refugees to this poverty-stricken village along with dozens of others. But the death of the outwardly happy girl continues to confound her parents and the leaders of a once-sheltered indigenous tribe, the Embera, who never before knew suicide.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Using Courts in Brazil to Strengthen an Indian Identity


ON all her official papers, she is known as Joênia Batista de Carvalho. But that is not the real name of the first Indian woman to become a lawyer in Brazil, just a name a clerk randomly selected when her parents were first brought from their Amazon village to have their births registered.

Whether her preoccupation with issues of cultural identity and autonomy stems from that incident, Ms. Batista is not sure. Still, when she went to the United States earlier this year to receive a Reebok Prize for her human rights work, she chose to accept the award as Joênia Wapixana, using the name of the tribe to which she belongs.

"Everything I do is aimed at focusing attention on our community, so that others, outside, can see who we really are," explained Ms. Batista, staff attorney for the Roraima Indigenous Council here in Brazil's northernmost state. "Why have we as a people been able to continue to exist? Because we know where we come from. By having roots, you can see the direction in which you want to go."

Friday, October 29, 2004

Proposed New Appeals Process for Dams Angers Several Groups

WASHINGTON, Oct. 29 - A proposed Interior Department regulation that would create a unique appeals process for hydropower companies seeking relief from regulations intended to protect fish and other wildlife is prompting criticism from Indian tribes, state governments and environmental groups.

The proposal, published last month, injects the new appeals process in the middle of the multistage process that a hydropower company complete to renew its license to operate dams. The license renewal process, under the overall umbrella of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, gives several agencies, including the Fish and Wildlife Service in the Interior Department or the National Marine Fisheries Service in the Commerce Department, authority to require dam owners to take certain steps to protect wildlife.

'Totems to Turquoise': Indian Art Meets Craft to Inspire and Adorn

We are not left to our own devices in "Totems to Turquoise: Native North American Jewelry Arts of the Northwest and Southwest," the always illuminating, sometimes beautiful, but also excessively orchestrated exhibition opening tomorrow at the American Museum of Natural History. "Look Closely!" an annoying badgelike label exhorts in each of the 40 vitrines that dominate the show. The command singles out a bracelet, bolo tie, squash blossom necklace, amulet or some other small gleaming object for special attention; a block of tiny print explains what we should look for.

"Totems and Turquoise" is a complicated package of art and commerce, special pleading and the real thing - just like any other art exhibition, only perhaps a little more overt. It reveals two interconnected art worlds that while less familiar than those that co-exist and sometimes collide in New York City, are art worlds nonetheless.

Monday, October 04, 2004

U.S. Is Ordered to Tell Indians Before Selling Trust Property

WASHINGTON, Oct. 2 - A federal judge has ruled that the government must notify American Indian landowners before it seeks to sell property from a trust it manages that collects revenue from oil, timber and grazing leases and other activities on Indian land.

It is the first time such a practice has been required, the Indians say, in the nearly 120 years that the Department of the Interior has administered the fund, called the Indian Trust.

The ruling on Wednesday is part of a complex class-action lawsuit filed in 1996 by Elouise Cobell, a banker and Blackfoot from Montana, on behalf of nearly a half-million Indians who contend that during more than a century the government has cheated them of about $137 billion in royalties from the leases. The government pays beneficiaries a total of more than $500 million each year from the fund, which exceeds $3 billion dollars.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Maine and One of Its Tribes Look to Buy Canadian Drugs

Maine yesterday became the latest state to try to find a way to import lower-cost prescription drugs from Canada, but the state added a twist with a proposal that would allow an American Indian tribe to sell the imported drugs.

Gov. John Baldacci, a Democrat, said at a news conference that he was asking the federal government for permission to import prescription drugs from Canada, which several other states are also seeking. Federal officials have refused to authorize such programs, saying there is no way to guarantee the safety and efficacy of imported drugs.

Mr. Baldacci said that the state would designate the Penobscot Indian Nation as the wholesale distributor of those drugs as a way to generate income and jobs for the tribe. The Penobscots would keep the drugs in a warehouse and sell them to pharmacies in Maine, which would then sell them to consumers at lower prices.

A New-Style Indian Village Rises From the Dust


Progress has a way of backfiring on the Winnebago tribe of Nebraska. Over the past decade tribal businesses have flourished where poverty had long been the rule. Many of the 2,600 people living amid the rolling green and tan fields of the 120,000-acre Winnebago Indian Reservation have found jobs and begun to make decent money. But some of those same people, finding that their higher incomes made them ineligible for public housing, ended up leaving the reservation because there was no place else there for them to live.

The tribe's most prominent business leader, Lance Morgan, figured it would literally take a new village to bring the tribe together again.

So far, Ho-Chunk Village, just north of town, is a mostly blank slate on which the tribe maps its destiny. A grid of chalk-colored streets is forming on a 38-acre slope of oat grass. Besides an office building and a new Dollar General store near the main road, there are 4 houses at the property's back edge, the first of 110 planned.

Senate Opens Hearings on Lobbyists for Tribes

WASHINGTON, Sept. 29 - A Senate committee on Wednesday began untangling the financial relationship between six Indian tribes and two Washington insiders who Congressional investigators say charged the tribes more than $66 million in less than four years for minimal work.

The two - Jack Abramoff, a Republican lobbyist, and Michael S. Scanlon, a public relations specialist and former aide to Representative Tom DeLay of Texas, the House majority leader - sold themselves to the tribes as influential Washington operatives whose experience and relationships would reap great rewards for Native Americans.

But as details of their work became public through reports in The Washington Post and other newspapers, the government began asking questions. Now, the men are under investigation by the Justice Department, other federal agencies and Congress, all examining the possibility of criminal violations.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Teotihuacán Journal: No Conquistadors, Just Wal-Mart

SAN JUAN DE TEOTIHUACÁN, Mexico, Sept. 21 - The market in this small town is a warren of streets with canopied stalls and battered storefronts, where one can buy everything from fresh avocados to jeans to a vaquero's saddle.

As they have for centuries, the merchants here ply their trade midway between the ruins of giant pyramids built by the Maya and the stone steeple of the town's main Catholic church, which Spanish monks founded in 1548.

Now another colossus from a different empire is being built in the shadow of the pyramids, a structure some merchants and other townsfolk here say threatens not only their businesses but their heritage. In December, an ugly cinderblock building rising from the earth is to house a sprawling supermarket called Bodega Aurrera, a subsidiary of Wal-Mart of Mexico.

"What's next?" said David García, 27, whose family owns a dry-goods store in the market. "It's like having Mickey Mouse on the top of the Pyramid of the Moon.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Indian Web Sales of Taxless Tobacco Face New Pressure

IRVING, N.Y. - Many people would love to put Larry Ballagh out of business. All antismoking groups, for instance. The National Association of Convenience Stores, too.

New York lawmakers would happily close him down. So would the attorneys general of most states.

The reason for all this animosity is that Mr. Ballagh, a hefty 65-year-old of half-Irish, half-Seneca American Indian stock, sells cigarettes nationwide over the Internet, free of state excise and sales taxes that can add as much $3 a pack to the cost of smoking.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Politicians Go Courting on Indian Reservations

ROSEBUD INDIAN RESERVATION, S.D., Sept. 17 - Something remarkable happened at the annual powwow of the Rosebud Sioux here last month. Before thousands of American Indians gathered on the prairie grass of this vast reservation on the northern Plains, the tribal president gave Senator Tom Daschle a red feather.

White men rarely receive the feather, a sacred tribal honor bestowed on Indian veterans, and some at the powwow later said they were shocked and offended.

Mr. Daschle, who is locked in a tight and vicious race with his Republican challenger, John Thune, said he was deeply moved, and he was undoubtedly grateful because he also received the influential endorsement of the tribal president, who has a lot of Republican friends.

Indians are a long ignored bloc of voters representing only 1.5 percent of the population. They have begun to show their power in the last few years, helping to defeat a senator in Washington State in 2000, helping to deliver victory to another here in South Dakota here in 2002 and being heavily courted by the presidential candidates in swing states like Arizona and New Mexico.

Washington Post coverage of the opening of NMAI

The National Museum of the American Indian Official Opening is well covered by the Washington Post, including audio and video.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Museum With an American Indian Voice

WASHINGTON - Early Tuesday morning, 20,000 members of more than 500 Indian tribes from all over the American hemisphere are expected to gather on the Mall to begin a ceremonial march toward the National Museum of the American Indian. But they will not just be celebrating the opening of the Smithsonian's new building. This Native Nations Procession, organized by the museum and forming, perhaps, the largest assembly of America's native peoples in modern times, will also be a self-celebration.

That will be perfectly in keeping with the spirit of the museum. The celebration is echoed in the museum's exhibitions. It is even asserted in the way the museum's mesa-like structure of Kasota limestone thrusts itself eastward toward the Capitol building, as if declaring - after centuries of battle, disruption, compromise, betrayal, defeat and reinvention - 'We are still here.'"

Thursday, September 09, 2004

A Native Spirit, Inside the Beltway


MORE than the corn, the willows and the sunflowers stirring in the late summer wind, Donna House cultivates memory.

When Ms. House, a Navajo ethnobotanist, steps gingerly through the barbed wire fence into her backyard — a former alfalfa field along the Rio Grande now brimming with native plants framed by a distant mesa — there is a sense of homecoming, of reunion, of land returning to its origins.

So it is, too, on the Mall in Washington, where Ms. House is the guiding force behind a landscape of cornfields, meadows, forest and wetlands — complete with 3,500 specially introduced ladybugs — outside the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian, which is to open just west of the Capitol on Sept. 21.

"Plants were here way before people," she said, walking through rustling rows of corn behind her home where ancient pottery shards from the nearby San Juan Pueblo share dusty furrows with ants and grasshoppers. "They know you, have a relationship with you. It's a sense of recognizing the plants, the animals, the insects as beings. They were here way before the five-finger people."

Monday, September 06, 2004

A New Museum in Paris Inches Toward Reality

PARIS, Sept. 5 - Primitive art has not lacked admirers here. A century ago Picasso and Brancusi were inspired by African masks and statues. Thirty years later André Breton fell in love with tribal carvings from Oceania. Today dozens of Left Bank galleries specialize in the exotic creativity of distant lands. Yet in the museums of Paris, primitive art is still the poor relation of Egyptian, Greek and Roman antiquities and European painting and sculpture.

All this is about to change. A $265 million museum devoted to the indigenous art of the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania is rising on the banks of the Seine beside the Eiffel Tower. Within a year the Musée du Quai Branly, as it is known, will begin receiving the 270,000 objects in its collection. And early in 2006 President Jacques Chirac is expected to inaugurate what is already considered the principal cultural monument to his 12 years in office.

Eskimos Fret as Climate Shifts and Wildlife Changes

Pangnirtung, Nunavut - At age 85, Inusiq Nasalik has seen some changes in his day.

Born in an old whaling settlement, he lived in igloos and sod houses as a child and drove a dog team to hunt on the tundra through much of his life. Now he lives in a comfortable house with a plush sofa in his living room, a Westinghouse range and microwave oven in his modern kitchen and a big stereo to play his favorite old Eskimo songs.

Life is good for him, he says, but he is worried about the changes he sees in the wildlife that surrounds this hamlet on the shores of an icy glacier fiord just below the Arctic circle.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

For Native Alaskans,Tradition Is Yielding to Modern Customs

GAMBELL, Alaska - When it became clear that the elders in this isolated Eskimo village on St. Lawrence Island in the Bering Sea approved of the marriage, Clifford Apatiki's relatives did what was required of them: They bought him his bride.

That meant, according to a fast-fading custom here among the Siberian Yupiks, a small but sturdy native Alaskan tribe that has inhabited this treeless and brutally windy island since about A.D. 500, that Mr. Apatiki's family would spend at least a year coming up with the payment. They called on their relatives, here in Gambell, over in Savoonga, the other Yupik village on this island 38 miles from the Chukchi peninsula in Russia, and across Alaska, to send them things - sealskins, rifles, bread, a toaster, a house full of gifts.

When the bride's family accepted the offerings, Mr. Apatiki, a skilled ivory carver and polar bear hunter, did what was required of him: he went to work for her family as a kind of indentured servant for a year, hunting seal, whale and polar bear, and doing chores.

The marriage between Mr. Apatiki, 30, and the former Jennifer Campbell, 29, who was a bookkeeper for the village tribal council, was formalized five years ago, when traditional marriages such as theirs were still the norm here. But now the couple worry whether their children will follow suit because even in five years this and other centuries-old traditions in this village of 700 have been slipping away, as one of the most remote villages on earth finally contends with the modern world.

Friday, August 20, 2004

California Deal Authorizes Huge Casino Near Oakland

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 19 - Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced a deal on Thursday with an Indian tribe that authorizes construction of the largest urban casino in the country on the site of a former bowling alley across the San Francisco Bay from here.

The agreement, with the Lytton Band of Pomo Indians, will create a casino bigger than any in Las Vegas or Atlantic City along a major commuter freeway in San Pablo, an economically struggling town about 15 miles north of Oakland.

The casino, if approved by the State Legislature and the Department of the Interior, could have as many as 5,000 slot machines, making it the third largest in the United States. Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun, both in rural Connecticut, have 6,600 and 6,200 slots.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

A Museum of Indians That Is Also for Them

WASHINGTON, Aug. 18 - A century ago George Gustav Heye, a New Yorker, traveled across the United States, gathering up Indian objects by the boxcar. All told, he amassed 800,000 examples of Indian art and life, which will have a new home at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian, which opens here on Sept. 21.

Unlike the impoverished Indians who happily sold Heye, a wealthy oil heir, their tribal treasures and sometimes their dregs, today's Indians see these same objects as an opportunity to tell their story - their way.

Long before construction began on the museum's curvy, buff-colored limestone-clad building on the National Mall, W. Richard West Jr., a Southern Cheyenne who has steered the museum's plans since 1990, began asking native tribes what they wanted in a museum in the nation's capital.

What they did not want, museum officials found, was the static display of 10,000 years of tribal life and culture that was represented in Heye's collection. Their ideal museum would celebrate the glories of the past, to be sure, but they also wanted their artifacts and their contemporary culture to be accessible.

Friday, August 13, 2004

NCAI Native Vote 2004

About the Native Vote Campaign

A brief summary from the Native Vote 2004 Notebook:

The Native Vote 2004 Campaign is an extensive national non-partisan effort to mobilize the American Indian and Alaska Native vote in collaboration with regional organizations, local tribal governments, centers serving the Indian populations of urban centers, and non-governmental organizations whose focus is on democracy initiatives.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Mapuche Indians in Chile Struggle to Take Back Forests

TRAIGUÉN, Chile - Before the conquistadors arrived, and even for centuries afterward, the lush, verdant forests of southern Chile belonged to the Mapuche people. Today, though, tree farms stretch in all directions here, property of timber companies that supply lumber to the United States, Japan and Europe.

But now the Mapuches, complaining of false land titles and damage to the environment and their traditional way of life, are struggling to take back the land they say is still theirs. As their confrontation with corporate interests has grown more violent, Chile's nominally Socialist government has sought to blunt the indigenous movement by invoking a modified version of an antiterrorist law that dates from the dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet, 1973 to 1990.

Despite international protests, 18 Mapuche leaders are scheduled to go on trial soon, accused under a statute that prohibits "generating fear among sectors of the population." The charges stem from a series of incidents during the past seven years in which groups of Mapuches have burned forests or farmhouses or destroyed forestry equipment and trucks.

Saturday, July 31, 2004

American Indians Expand College Hopes

NORTHFIELD, Minn. - Sometimes white people can seem really ignorant, says Alistaire MacRae, a 17-year-old Navajo high school student, noting the time he and his family vacationed at Yellowstone National Park and were soon surrounded by tourists snapping pictures of them, as though they were a herd of elk.

Still, Mr. MacRae wants a college education and knows that some good universities are predominantly white, far from his homelands in the Arizona desert, and hard to get into. So his parents paid $50 for Alistaire to join 50 other American Indian students this summer, meeting with representatives of Harvard, Stanford and 19 other schools for a crash course on how to apply to elite colleges.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Where Incas Ruled, Natives are Hoping for Power

Achacachi, Bolivia - After centuries of misery and discrimination, indigenous people across the region are flexing their political muscles, moving to wrest power from the largely European ruling elite but also dreaming of an independent state.

Such a state could look a lot like this bleak town in the highlands, where the police and central government authorities were chased out long ago, their offices destroyed by seething Aymara Indians. The Bolivian flag has given way to the seven-color Wipala, the flag of the Indian nation. Roads linking this landlocked country to the world were also blockaded frequently, a lever to prod the government to meet ever-tougher demands.

The political awakening has extended into Peru, where indigenous people have also closed highways and taken over some small towns. In Ecuador, groups of the Pachakutik movement have pledged to step up protests meant to force the resignation of President Lucio Gutiérrez, whom they helped to put in power but who has fallen out of favor over his free-market policies.

It is in Bolivia, the most indigenous country in Latin America, where they hold the most influence. One crossroads for the two visions of Bolivia will come Sunday, when a referendum is held on the issue of how to use the country's abundant natural gas, either exporting it in the hope of conventional economic development, or keeping it for use at home. The outcome could ignite new protests unless President Carlos Mesa is able to finesse the issue through his complicated five-question ballot.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Support Kalyn Free, Choctaw, For Congress

Kalyn Free, a member of the Choctaw Nation, is supported by in her run for Congress from the 2nd Congressional District in Eastern Oklahoma.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Roller-coaster life of Indian icon, sports' first star

July 15, 1912: Jim Thorpe reigns at Games

One was a well-to-do Scandinavian royal, the other an unassuming American athlete born in a one-room cabin in rural, destitute Indian territory. On July 15, 1912, in Stockholm, few could question who ruled the day.

"Sir, you are the greatest athlete in the world," said Sweden's King Gustav V.

"Thanks, King," Jim Thorpe replied.

Thorpe had just captured a gold medal in the decathlon, his second after winning the pentathlon days earlier -- remarkably winning eight of the two events' 15 individual segments.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Major Indian burial site uncovered

Archaeologists are sifting through 80 sets of centuries-old human remains and artifacts discovered in a Lafayette construction site that could provide new insight into the lives of those who inhabited the region long before the Spanish arrived.

With at least as many Native American remains and artifacts -- including projectile points, stone mortars and beads -- still hidden beneath what soon will be two dozen upscale homes, experts say they may have discovered one of the region's last large, and largely intact, Indian burial sites.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Thursday, July 08, 2004

A Native child left behind

"Cindy Sohappy was 16 when she died of acute alcohol poisoning at her boarding school in December of 2003.

After a six-month investigation and consideration of involuntary manslaughter charges against federal employees of the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs' residential school, the U.S. Attorney announced this week that no charges will be filed in the case.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

In Utah, Ancient Ruins Are Revealed After Long Wait

HORSE CANYON, Utah, June 30 — Archaeologists pulled aside a curtain on Wednesday to reveal what can only be called a secret garden: the pristinely preserved ruins of an ancient civilization that was long ago lost to the mists of time in the remote cliffs of eastern Utah, then resolutely protected over the last 50 years by a stubborn local rancher who kept mum about what he knew.

The ruins, called Range Creek, are spread over thousands of acres, much of it in inaccessible back country and reachable only through a single-track dirt road once owned by the rancher and recently bought by the State of Utah. Preliminary research dates the settlement from about A.D. 900 to 1100, during the period of the Fremont Indian culture.

Monday, June 21, 2004

More Slot Machines for Tribes, and $1 Billion for California

SACRAMENTO, June 21 - Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger struck a bargain on Monday with five California Indian tribes that will provide the state with a quick cash infusion of $1 billion while permitting a sizable expansion of tribal gambling operations in the state.

The deal is a sharp reversal for the governor, who in his campaign last fall demonized the tribes as a "special interest" that did not pay a fair share of its billions of dollars in gambling revenue to the state.

The five tribes that signed new compacts with the state own something less than 20 percent of the slot machines now in operation at 50 Indian casinos around California. Mr. Schwarzenegger said he hoped the dozens of other casino-operating tribes would reach similar agreements with the state.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Deal Is Near on Casinos in California

LOS ANGELES, June 16 - Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is about to conclude a deal with California Indian tribes that will bring a major expansion of gambling on tribal lands while providing the state a bigger share of their casino revenues.

The agreement would essentially undo compacts between the state and the tribes negotiated five years ago by former Gov. Gray Davis, under which the tribes pay virtually nothing to the state from their estimated $5 billion in annual gambling revenues.

State officials said Wednesday that they hoped to announce an agreement next Monday with five tribes that would bring the state an immediate infusion of $1 billion in badly needed cash and annual payments of several hundred million dollars for the next 25 years.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

When the Bush Energy Policy Confronts Ancient Art

PRICE, Utah - Blaine Miller, a quiet, slow-talking 57-year-old archaeologist, has made a career of studying the haunting scenes of net-wielding hunters and sinuous horned snakes on the smooth rock faces of Nine Mile Canyon near here. His colleagues consider him a leading expert on the 400- to 1,500-year-old images etched and daubed on the canyon walls. But Mr. Miller's bosses at the Bureau of Land Management barred him from evaluating recent proposals for natural gas exploration around the canyon after a gas company executive complained about his work.

Mr. Miller said he had sought more stringent protections for the rock art than the government eventually required. His bosses said he had the appearance of a conflict of interest.

The quiet drama that has played out in the last year because of Mr. Miller's removal from the development review reflects not just the polarization typical of battles between industry and preservationists, but also the pressures on the regulators controlling federal land.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Catskills Casino Advances in Deal Between Tribe and State

A $500 million Las Vegas-style casino in the Catskills moved significantly closer to reality yesterday when the Pataki administration signed an agreement with the Cayuga Indian Nation, settling the tribe's 200-year-old claim to 64,000 acres in upstate New York in exchange for casino revenues.

If it is built, the casino in Monticello in Sullivan County will be the closest one to New York City, only 90 miles away, and will dwarf the four Indian gambling halls already operating in the state. With analysts estimating that it could pull in $1 billion a year in revenues, the casino would likely pose significant competition to the Atlantic City gambling resort and the Foxwoods casino in Connecticut.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Developer Unearths Burial Ground and Stirs Up Anger Among Indians

LOS ANGELES, May 28 - With the precision of a watchmaker, an archaeologist clasped a small paintbrush and gently swept the brown, sandy dirt off the spine of a Native American woman buried some 200 years ago.

From the condition of the bones, the archaeologist, Penny Minturn, deduced that the woman was 30 to 40 years old when she died, had suffered from arthritis and had recently given birth, and that her diet had probably consisted of shellfish, native plants, nuts and berries.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

U.S. apology to Indians considered

WASHINGTON -- An official apology for the way the United States and its citizens have mistreated American Indians and the country's other indigenous people is starting to move through Congress.

"I know there's potential for this being controversial," said the apology's author, Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan. He recalled the barrage of vitriolic phone calls a few years ago that blocked a similar attempt by former Rep. Tony Hall, D-Ohio, to obtain an official apology to the descendants of former slaves.

"But the circumstances are different," he said. "With the maturity of the sovereign tribes being acknowledged, the opening this fall (on Washington's Mall) of the museum recognizing the contribution of Native Americans, this is a moment that could be used, not to heal all old wounds, but to start building a new relationship."

Friday, May 21, 2004

Iqaluit Journal: Snuffing Out a Smoky Way of Life in the Canadian Arctic

IQALUIT, Nunavut - Smoking bans are infiltrating even the haziest corners of tobacco-loving cultures. When Ireland moved to ban cigarettes from pubs last year, the world watched in wonder. The Netherlands, facing its own ban in 2005, has experienced a hullabaloo over the issue. The shivering sidewalk smoker has become a predictable part of the Manhattan winter streetscape.

But all that may pale compared with the icy Canadian Arctic. Smoking has been an integral part of life here since European whalers introduced tobacco while docking in the region's fjords in the late 19th century. It is so common among the native Inuit who dominate the local population that grandfathers are known to light up with their grandchildren during breaks from hunting.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Portion of Indian Island returned to Wiyot tribe

EUREKA -- "We're about to create history," said City Manager David Tyson at the Eureka City Council meeting on Tuesday night.

The Council Chambers were packed with supporters of a resolution to return 40 acres of Indian Island to the Wiyot people. The resolution passed with the unanimous support of the council, making Eureka the only city in California to return a sacred site to native people.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Explorers Still Seek El Dorado in the Mountains of Peru

CUZCO, Peru - It was just a sparkle on the horizon, where the sun hit what appeared to be a flat plain on an otherwise steep, untamed mountain in the Peruvian Andes. But Peter Frost, a British-born explorer and mountain guide, surmised that the perch would have made a perfect ceremonial platform for Inca rulers.

So Mr. Frost and the adventure hikers he was leading slogged through heavy jungle growth and at 13,000 feet uncovered remnants of the Inca civilization that flourished here. They found looted tombs, a circular building foundation and the stonework of an aqueduct.

The discovery in 1999 of Qoriwayrachina (pronounced co-ree-why-rah-CHEE-nah) was instantly hailed as a major find. It evoked the romantic image of the swashbuckling explorer unearthing a Lost City, an image embodied by Hiram Bingham, the American who in 1911 made the greatest Inca discovery of them all, Machu Picchu.

First Book Award Competition

Guidelines for the First Book Award Competition from the Native Writers' Circle of the Americas are now available.

Monday, May 10, 2004

Guatemalan Jungles Yield a Wealth of Maya Treasure

For archaeologists, the digging this season has been especially good at remote Maya ruins in the jungles of Guatemala.

Beneath a royal palace in the ancient city of Waka, they made a rare discovery: the tomb of a Maya queen who reigned more than 1,200 years ago. The royal skeleton rested on a stone platform, surrounded by fineries of wealth and power like pearls, obsidian, crown jewels of carved jade and the remains of what appeared to be the queen's war helmet.

At the eighth-century city of Cancuén, archaeologists uncovered a stone panel decorated with beautiful images and inscriptions carved in high relief. Experts described the panel, portraying ceremonies at the royal ball court, as a masterpiece of Maya art.

Peabody’s Closure Could Signal Financial Downward Spiral for Hopi Tribe

Black Mesa learned that beginning in 2006, PWCC will commence shutting down mining operations which means a direct loss of $7.7 million or approximately 1/3 of the Hopi Tribe’s operating budget.

“If Mohave is not guaranteed an alternate water supply, Peabody will begin partial shutdown by the end of 2005 for a few months and launch full closure from 2006 for four years,” John Wasik, Peabody’s group executive for southwest operations, told the crowd consisting of tribal council members and department managers last month.

The mines closure spell a significant decrease in scholarship funding for the Hopi tribe. Peabody has since contributed $2.7 million dollars since 1987 and contribute $165,000 annually for Hopi scholarships.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Discovery Pushes Back Date of 'Classic' Maya

A discovery of monumental carved masks and elaborate jade ritual objects in 2,000-year-old ruins of a city in Guatemala is raising serious questions about the chronology of the enigmatic Mayan civilization. In many respects, the city appeared to be ahead of its time.

The leader of excavations there, Dr. Francisco Estrada-Belli of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, said yesterday that the city, Cival, appeared to have been one of the earliest and largest in what is generally regarded as the preclassic period. But it has been found to have all the hallmarks of a classic Mayan city: kings, complex iconography, grand palaces, polychrome ceramics and writing.

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Red Rhythms Conference

Red Rhythms: Contemporary Methodologies in American Indian Dance, May 5-7, 2004, UC Riverside Campus.

Announcing a conference exploring contemporary American Indian dance as a vibrant, active, socio-cultural historical practice.

This event will showcase some of the exciting new work that contemporary Native American and Aboriginal dancers and choreographers are doing now, and facilitate a way for these artists to meet and network with one another. It will include dance performances by local California Indian dance groups, and an evening of Aboriginal and American Indian stage dance featuring works by both established and emerging Native dancers and choreographers.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Sorry for not being a stereotype

How many of you would know an American Indian if you saw one? My guess is not many. Certainly not the bank teller who called security when an Indian woman -- a visiting scholar -- tried to cash a check with a tribal identification card. When asked what the problem was, the teller replied: ''It must be a scam. Everyone knows real Indians are extinct.''

And not the woman who cut in front of me at the grocery checkout a few months ago. When I confronted her, she gave me the once over and said: ''Why don't you people just go back to your own country.''

OK, lady, after you, I said, when I thought of it the next morning.

Monday, April 26, 2004

Rap, Rage, REDvolution by Cristina Verán

Conjuring up the charge of cavalries and natives on some futuristic-western warpath, OutKast stormed the 2004 Grammys in February with the brazenness of the former, while bedecked as the latter. Resplendent in neon green Halloween-Hiawatha approximations of Native American regalia%u2014fringe, headbands, and feathers%u2014Andre and Big Boi rose before smoking teepees, prancing proudly through their chart-slaying "Hey Ya!," the chorus of which is itself evocative of powwow singing. Was it some kind of tribute, or did the winners of the Album of the Year Grammy unwittingly channel Al Jolson's "Mammy"?

Saturday, April 24, 2004

New! Joy Harjo Mailing List Available

A mailing list has been established for information about Joy Harjo's performances, appearances, new books and CD releases. You may sign up for this list now.

Must see sculpture exhibit

You must visit the online version of the Roxanne Swentzell's "Juggling Worlds" sculpture exhibit that was held last yeat at the Poeh Museum on Pojoapue Pueblo. The introductory essay by Mateo Romero describes it well:

"Rhythm, balance, emotion, shyness, children, love; these are words I use to describe the sculpture, art and life of my friend Roxanne Swentzell. If I were to respnd to the es- sence of her work, it is the mastery of the three- dimensional form within the emotive context of the human figure."

See this exhibit online and, if you ever get the chance, see the sculpture in person. For those in the Southwest, see a few at the Heard Museum.

Friday, April 23, 2004

Cayugas Not Subject to N.Y. Local Zoning

UTICA, N.Y. (AP) -- A federal judge on Friday ruled that property the Cayuga Indians want to turn into a gaming hall is sovereign land not subject to local zoning laws.

The ruling, which could affect similar disputes in New York state, allows the tribe to convert a former auto parts store in Union Springs into a gaming hall.

The ruling also bars the three municipalities involved in the case from trying to block construction of the gaming hall, which is designated to include bingo and other competitive games of chance, but excludes slot machines or other casino games.

'First American Art': Artifacts for Art's Sake: An Eclectic Array

Can a carved and painted Native American mask from the 19th century provide the same aesthetic frisson as, say, a 20th-century Modernist work? By the standards of Charles and Valerie Diker, longtime collectors, yes indeed. In their Manhattan apartment they prove the point by setting out top-flight historical Native American objects with works by Joan Miró, Mark Rothko, Louise Nevelson and others of the Modernist persuasion.

In their eyes, there is no difference between the aesthetic and emotional pleasures derived from European and American art and that of Native Americans. And they are spreading the word.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Tim Giago Bows Out of Senate Race

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) -- An American Indian newspaper publisher dropped out of the race for Senate on Tuesday, saying he trusts Sen. Tom Daschle to focus on Indian issues in his re-election campaign.

Tim Giago had planned to run as an independent against Daschle, the Democratic incumbent, and former Rep. John Thune, a Republican. But he said Tuesday that he was concerned about hurting Daschle's chances in the race.

``I am not an unknown entity,'' said Giago, who publishes the weekly Lakota Journal. ``I could have drawn a lot of support that would have drained the support from Sen. Daschle.''

Giago said he met with Daschle on Saturday, and the senator agreed to meet in August with leaders from the nine Indian tribes in South Dakota.

One Banker's Fight for a Half-Million Indians

WASHINGTON, April 19 — Like many other American Indians, Elouise Cobell, a banker and Blackfoot from Montana, inherited some land from her parents. The federal government had long agreed to pay her family for farming, grazing and timber-cutting on the property.

But the government checks arrived in what seemed like a haphazard way, Ms. Cobell says. Some years the checks arrived, but many years they did not.

Monday, April 19, 2004

Court Upholds Tribal Power It Once Denied

WASHINGTON, April 19 — The Supreme Court ruled Monday that Indian tribes have the authority to prosecute members of other tribes for crimes committed on their reservations. And because tribes act as sovereign nations in such prosecutions, the court said, ordinary principles of double jeopardy do not apply and do not bar the federal government from bringing a subsequent prosecution for the same offense.

The 7-to-2 decision was welcomed by Indian tribes, which in a 1990 Supreme Court decision lost the authority to enforce their criminal laws against members of other tribes. Congress promptly amended the Indian Civil Rights Act to restore that power. The case on Monday required the Supreme Court to decide both the nature and the validity of the Congressional action.

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Interior Accused of Shortchanging Indians

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A court-appointed investigator has resigned from the multibillion-dollar lawsuit by American Indians against the Interior Department, contending the government wanted him off the case after he found evidence that energy companies got special treatment at the expense of impoverished Indians.

Alan Balaran, the special master in the case, contends his findings could have cost the companies millions of dollars and that department officials with ties to the industry ``could not let this happen.''

``Justice has been much too long in coming for the hundreds of thousands of Native Americans. ... Billions of dollars are at stake,'' according to the resignation letter made public Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth.

Saga of native Americans provides modern lessons on terms of peace

British colonialists wiped out entire tribe in 'pre-emptive' attack

By Tamim al-Barghouti,
Special to The Daily Star, Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Arab History and Identity

Off Boston Harbor there is a small island to which one can cross a bridge on foot. The island hosts the state courthouse, a number of fine restaurants and a small green park. It offers a magnificent view of downtown Boston, especially in the morning, when the eastern sun shines on the grand hotels, banks, luxury apartments and sky scrapers of the city. But of course, I am not writing about tourism.

If you pay attention, just as you cross the pedestrian bridge to the island, you will notice a big disc of metal attached to the ground, with illustrated descriptions of some important events from the city's past. One of the illustrations is of a native American chief holding a rifle. According to the paragraph next to it, this was Metacomet son of Massasoit, known to the English as King Philip, head of the Wampanoag Indians who lived in what are now called the states of Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Saturday, April 03, 2004

New category !!!

I have added a Blogs category on the Home pages Index. Visit these people, see their comments, photos, and join the conversation.

Monday, March 29, 2004

Would-Be Tribes Entice Investors

It has become a ritual in every part of the nation: a group of people of American Indian heritage, eyeing potential gambling profits, band together and seek federal recognition as a tribe.

But in their quest, these groups have created another tribe in search of wealth: the troop of genealogists, historians, treaty experts, lobbyists and lawyers they hire to guide them through the process. And the crucial players in this brigade are the casino investors who can pay for it all.

Sunday, March 14, 2004

Hoopa, Yurok tribes plan settlement

Eureka, CA - "The Yurok and Hoopa Valley tribes have agreed on a plan to settle a long-standing legal battle over land and timber, a pact that could dramatically change the face of the Yurok Reservation in years to come.

The settlement plan signed last week would, if approved by Congress, allow the U.S. Interior and Agriculture departments to turn over or facilitate the purchase of 238,000 acres of federal and private land to the Yurok Tribe and redraw the boundaries of the reservation. The land in question is held by a hodgepodge of owners, including the Simpson Resource Co., the U.S. Forest Service and the National Park Service.

The land would be bought from willing sellers or by transferring land from the federal government. The intent is to establish a land base for the tribe that allows 11 million board feet of timber to be harvested each year."

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Contribute to the John Kerry Campaign!

Contribute to the John Kerry Campaign! using your account.

Since January 23, over $65000 has been raised through small contributions (an average of about $44) to help John Kerry defeat George Bush in November. You can help too.

Sunday, March 07, 2004

Native Canadians Seek Ways of Healing

DITIDAHT, British Columbia — Vancouver Island is home to many seemingly idyllic Native Canadian villages like this one, where bald eagles swirl overhead, deep fir and cedar forests scent the air and windy Nitinat Lake offers plenty of wild salmon, crab and trout for the 200 residents.

But among the island's forests and sheltered coves, Clarence Dennis drifted — drinking, robbing and hurting his children. Daisy Edwards spent years in a stupor, working as a prostitute after being raped by her father. Jack George Thompson beat his family, stuck a pistol in his mouth and nearly pulled the trigger.

Their stories, like so many others here, have a common thread: a childhood spent at one of the more than 100 residential schools for Native Canadians financed for more than a century by the government to force assimilation. The abuses at the schools, the last of which was closed in 1986 and which were run by the Roman Catholic, Anglican, United and Presbyterian churches, are well documented. Lawsuits have been filed against the churches and the Canadian government.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Judge Denies Janklow's Bid for Release

FLANDREAU, S.D. (AP) -- A judge on Tuesday refused to release former Rep. Bill Janklow from jail while he appeals his manslaughter conviction in an auto accident that killed a motorcyclist.

Circuit Judge Rodney Steele said that he does not believe the conviction will be overturned and that putting off the sentence would delay a resolution to the case for the victims and the public.

Saturday, February 14, 2004

A Split Tribe, Casino Plans and One Little Indian Boy in the Middle

KENT, Conn. - There are more people dead than alive on the Schaghticoke Indian Reservation overlooking the Housatonic River in northwest Connecticut. There are more headstones than houses. There is more silence than sound.

Just one member of the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation lives on the 400-acre reservation at the foot of Schaghticoke Mountain in the tidy town of Kent.

His name is Brett Rothe, and he is 4, a child of a divorce between a father who is Indian and has rejected the Tribal Nation government and a mother who is not but has embraced it. But Brett is also caught in a larger divide, between the Tribal Nation and a separate Schaghticoke faction at odds over control of the reservation and who will capitalize on the tribe's newfound leverage in the region's escalating casino wars.

Saturday, February 07, 2004

Ex-Congressman Goes to Jail for Fatal Crash

SIOUX FALLS, S.D., Feb. 7 (AP) — Former Representative Bill Janklow reported to jail on Saturday to start serving his 100-day sentence for a manslaughter conviction from a crash that killed a motorcyclist.

Accompanied by his son, Russ, and a friend, Mr. Janklow walked past reporters and camera crews and into the Minnehaha County Public Safety Building at 9 a.m., and checked in.

Friday, February 06, 2004

Jury Convicts Former AIM Member in Murder

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) -- A federal jury Friday convicted a former American Indian Movement member of murdering a woman who had been suspected of being a government informant.

Arlo Looking Cloud, 50, faces a mandatory life sentence for the 1975 shooting death of Anna Mae Pictou Aquash, a 30-year-old fellow member of the Indian militant group. Her frozen body was found in 1976 on South Dakota's Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

Jurors deliberated for about seven hours before convicting Looking Cloud of first-degree murder committed in the perpetration of a kidnapping. He had been indicted in March with another former AIM member, John Graham.

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

In Court, AIM Members Are Depicted as Killers

RAPID CITY, S.D., Feb. 4 — The former companion of a leader in the American Indian Movement clutched a single feather as she took the witness stand in a federal court here on Wednesday and tearfully depicted the movement's leaders as murderous.

In a full but silent courtroom, the witness, Ka-Mook Nichols, said leaders of the militant Indian civil-rights group known as AIM had orchestrated the death of one of its own members, Anna Mae Pictou Aquash, nearly three decades ago. And Ms. Nichols implicated Leonard Peltier, AIM's best-known member, in the earlier killing of two federal agents, crimes for which Mr. Peltier has been sent to prison for life.

Monday, February 02, 2004

Murder Trial Revives Intrigue of the 70's Indian Movement

RAPID CITY, S.D. — Anna Mae Pictou Aquash, a young mother and American Indian activist, was shot in the head and left to die on the Pine Ridge Reservation in the winter of 1975. The trial of one of two men accused of killing her begins here on Tuesday. Between those moments, decades apart, lies a mystery, and a bitter struggle.

Law enforcement authorities and Indians across the country are watching closely, not just for what the trial will reveal about Ms. Pictou Aquash's death, but for what it threatens to expose about suspicion and violence inside the American Indian Movement, or AIM, the militant group whose clashes with federal authorities drew the eyes of the world to the Pine Ridge Reservation in the 1970's.

Sunday, February 01, 2004

Resistance to Indian Casinos Grows Across U.S.

Connecticut's two large Indian casinos pump $400 million into state and local treasuries each year, but so many residents dislike the casinos that the state's legislature repealed the law that allowed them to be built.

In New York, Buffalo has a shot at a new casino to help revive its sagging downtown and bring in new cash. But residents oppose the idea.

And in Pennsylvania, Gov. Edward G. Rendell has promised lower property taxes if slot machines are allowed at racetracks in the state, but the measure to permit the machines is still bottled up in the General Assembly.

Thursday, January 22, 2004

Janklow Sentenced to 100 Days in Jail

FLANDREAU, S.D. (AP) -- Bill Janklow, who dominated South Dakota politics for three decades as governor and then congressman, was sentenced to 100 days in jail Thursday for an auto accident that killed a motorcyclist and ended Janklow's career.

Janklow to be sentenced in S.D. accident

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) -- Former Rep. Bill Janklow is scheduled to be sentenced Thursday in his boyhood hometown of Flandreau, S.D. The 64-year-old former governor and state attorney general was convicted Dec. 8 of second-degree manslaughter, speeding and running a stop sign, as well as reckless driving which killed motorcyclist Randy Scott.

South Dakota does not require minimum sentences, so the judge's discretion ranges from no time behind bars and no fines up to a total of 10 years in prison for the manslaughter count, 14 months in jail for the lesser counts and $11,400 in fines. Judge Rodney Steele also could require restitution or community service or set other special conditions.

Whatever the sentence, the judge likely will rely heavily on a presentence report that includes facts on every aspect of Janklow's life, his driving record and comments from the Scott family.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Casino Deals Are Stalled by State, U.S. and Tribal Hurdles

MONTICELLO, N.Y. - New York State approved the construction of three Indian casinos for the old resort areas here in the Catskills more than two years ago, and people in the area practically began to count the money they expected to get from gamblers and construction projects and new jobs. But little has happened since then.

The Catskills casinos are bogged down in the same legal and cultural quagmire that has bedeviled the state's relations with Indian tribes for generations: land ownership, taxes and sovereignty. "There's been a lot of talk and a lot of hype, but no action," said William Darwak, the Ulster County administrator. "No money, either."

Saturday, January 17, 2004

Plagued by Drugs, Tribes Revive Ancient Penalty

BELLINGHAM, Wash. — For generations the Noland family has led a troubled life on the Lummi Indian reservation here. The Nolands have struggled with alcohol, painkillers and, more recently, crack. Seven family members are now jailed, several for dealing drugs, on and off tribal land.

Their experience has been repeated hundreds of times on this sprawling, desperately poor reservation of 2,000 Lummi, where addiction and crime have become pervasive. It is the reason that the Lummi tribe has turned as a last resort to a severe and bygone punishment, seeking to banish five of the young men in jail and another recently released. It is also the reason for evicting Yevonne Noland, 48, the matriarch of the Noland clan, from her modest blue house on the reservation, because her son, a convicted drug dealer, was listed on the lease.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Water Pump Case Tests Federal Law

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Jan. 9 — For nearly half a century, a pumping station in South Florida has been pouring millions of gallons of storm runoff annually into the Everglades, keeping the farms and backyards of western Broward Country dry but filling the wetlands with water often tainted by pollutants, mainly from phosphorus-rich fertilizers.

The court, which will hear arguments on Wednesday in a lawsuit brought by a small Indian tribe,
the Miccosukee, against Florida water authorities, will decide whether, legally speaking, the pump is adding pollutants to the Everglades or is simply transferring them between bodies of water that belong to the same large national system of waterways. If the court decides the pump adds pollutants, S-9 and similar pumping equipment could become subject to a stringent system of permits and pollution controls required under the Clean Water Act.

Monday, January 12, 2004

Limbaugh and Novak under fire for Crossfire comment

Accuses South Dakota Indians of stealing election

Sam Lewin 1/9/2004

Democrats, Republicans, tribal leaders and political action groups have all attacked conservative commentator Robert Novak over remarks he made on CNN this week. Novak said on Crossfire Tuesday that Native Americans in South Dakota stuffed ballot boxes, helping Senator Tim Johnson win a close election in 2002 against challenger John Thune. Thune is now running against Senator Tom Daschle. Radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh defended Novak and challenged listeners to take him to task for accusing Indian tribes in South Dakota for stealing the 2002 Senate election.

“In 2002, Thune would have been elected to the state's other Senate seat, but the election was stolen by stuffing ballot boxes on the Indian reservations. Now Tom Daschle may have to pay for that theft,” Novak said.

Saturday, January 10, 2004

Simon Ortiz- Reading into Native American writers

NEW YORK (AP) -- The words of Simon Ortiz mingle with the muffled sounds of city traffic that have drifted into an art studio where dozens have gathered to hear his poetry.

He closes his book and takes a deep breath. He scans his audience, searching for understanding and acceptance and is immediately greeted with warm, enthusiastic applause. People begin to cluster about him, eager to talk, eager to learn more about Indians in America.

Saturday, January 03, 2004

Tribal Police Raid Okla. Headquarters

McLOUD, Okla. (AP) -- Kickapoo tribal police raided the tribe's headquarters and arrested three women who had barricaded themselves in the building demanding a change in leadership and a federal audit of the tribe's finances.

The women, the only ones in the building out of 10 who had been staging the demonstration since Dec. 16, were booked on trespassing complaints and released on $100 bail each.