Responding to a Super Delegate’s Request

( – promoted by navajo)

Free urges Oklahoma Indians to exercise power

Kalyn Free, the founder and president of the Indigenous Democrat Network, says Oklahoma Indians need to exercise their political clout.

– snip –

But Free, a member of the Choctaw Nation, says Oklahoma tribes aren’t doing enough to wield their political power. She also says Democrats aren’t reaching out to Indian Country, citing Republican efforts to target Native voters.

There’s a couple things I’d like Kalyn Free to know.

I’m going to fill in what I didn’t say in“Dead Indian Creek” & Cultural Hegemony and tell you who Archie Hoffman is and who the president was that could have made things better for Hoffman and all the Cheyenne he tried to help, necessarily including my first cousin (I spoke of him in this diary).

Racism was clearly present in the land theft surrounding Fort Reno. Perhaps those that still use “Dead Indian Creek” can pretend that land theft stopped in the 1800’s, if they acknowledge it at all. Well,

“They want the land given back to them on a platter,” Landow told FRONTLINE when he refused an on-camera interview. “They brought in innocent people like me. They’re a bunch of goddamn uneducated Indians.”

it didn’t.


(Article from 2000)


Fort Reno is a research station that contains a graveyard sacred to the Cheyenne-Arapaho, but is currently under federal control. Senator Don Nickles (R-Oklahoma) currently has language in a pending bill that continues funding for the research station which would prevent transfer of the land back to the Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribe.



Charles Surveyor was chairman of the Cheyenne-Arapaho tribes of Oklahoma. In 1883 the federal government confiscated a 9,500-acre parcel of tribal land known as Fort Reno. Today there is speculation there may be oil and gas beneath it.


We don’t want no $100 million for our land or nothing. We want our land back, what’s rightfully ours. That was all we wanted. That’s still what we want.

Archie Hoffman was the former tribal secretary, who tried to help in the return of Fort Reno to the Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribes. Here’s what Hoffman told Moyers.

ARCHIE HOFFMAN, Former Tribal Secretary:

We knocked on every Senator’s and Congressman’s door in Washington, D.C. We went in there asking for help. Nobody said, “We’ll help you.” How are we going to get somebody’s attention, you know?

Here’s where President Clinton came in and what he said.

Then he asked me, “Do you have any important thing to say?” I got to our Fort Reno deal, and I talked and started going to a little history about that. And he asked his secretary, “Do you have anything on that?” She said yes, she had the whole package here and all that. And he said- “Well, we”- I can’t quote the right words, but it was something like, “We’ll look into it and see what can be done,” or something to that effect, right there.

President Clinton said words to the effect of “We’ll look into it and see what can be done” after saying, “Do you have any important thing to say?”

Well, nothing was “done” and Franklin Harrison, representative of the Tribal Business Committee of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma had “something important thing to say.”


Mr. President, my people face terrible hardships. Everyday, we confront poverty, hunger and high unemployment. And even more terrible is the high rate of teen suicide. The current tribal land base, consisting of 10,405 non-contiguous acres, is remotely situated and not conducive to economic development. With the tribal population now at over 11,000, we have outgrown this land base. The reclamation and development of the Ft. Reno property presents the Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma with a critically important opportunity. It offers us the chance to build economic, political, and cultural stability within our tribes, and even more importantly, it offers us the chance to work together, to rebuild our pride and self-confidence, to establish our independence and to seize our future.

The Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribes have produced a comprehensive conceptual prototype of land use development which offers a creative and economically viable plan for the utilization of the Fort Reno property. This land holds great potential for economic development in the form of businesses which would serve the Native American community and the local non-Native community. Tribal plans for the land also include agricultural development which would provide not only food and employment, but a very real opportunity to work hand in hand with the Department of Agriculture in a way that would be beneficial both to the Agricultural Experimental Station and to the Tribes.

– snip –

Mr. President, it is my duty to inform you that the principles which you outlined in your “MEMORANDUM FOR THE HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES” of April 29, 1994 concerning “Government-to-Government Relations with Native American Tribal Governments” have been violated every step of the way in the case of the Fort Reno land transfer. The Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribes have made every effort to surmount every bureaucratic requirement with which we have been confronted, only to be continually frustrated in our efforts.

If Clinton had done the right thing, the “chance to build economic, political, and cultural stability” would not have been lost. Allow me to elaborate on the “right thing” before proceeding.

Fort Reno was abandoned on August 18, 1868 under provisions of the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty.

Once again, treaties must not be “the supreme Law of the Land.”

Constitution Background



This Constitution, and Laws of the United States which shall be made Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United Stated, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding

Proceeding, Pewo would most likely not be saying what I quote below from him today, considering they were going to use it to build “cultural stability.” Remember that Fort Reno (now) is a research station that contains a graveyard sacred to the Cheyenne-Arapaho, but is currently under federal control. (info. from 2000).

Here is what Pewo said very recently, for which I hold Clinton morally accountable in the relevant timeline.

Between two worlds

“I don’t really have anyone to talk to any more in my language, other than my wife,” Pewo said. “Our language is almost gone. I’m now the oldest one around here. There’s nobody I can go see. I get lonely. I cry.”

Hillary takes the credit for the goods things Bill did and says, “Life for Americans was better under the Clintons,” she has said. Not for the Cheyenne it wasn’t, and it’s still not.

Since we can thank Bill in the relevant timeline for a “language almost gone,” we can also possibly thank Hillary for that in the relevant timeline. Part of the “cultural stability” sought with having Fort Reno returned would most certainly have been about preserving the language.  

My first cousin doesn’t want to learn about his culture or language, including the stories that would be passed down to him orally. Thanks Bill. Thanks Hillary. For nothing.
I can not escape the thought that his life would be better if Fort Reno had been returned.  

Let me say it again, I hold Clinton morally accountable in the relevant timeline.

Finally, here is a first hand account from comments of how Hillary lies to Native Americans and evidence of her knowledge and involvement in one vital concern to the Native Americans I’ve communicated with on the internet.

(Emphasis mine)

Here it is!

Carter Camp’s personal account:

McCain and the Cross of Coal: GOP Front-Runner Tied to Theft of Navajo Lands

I spent a month in DC trying to get LP’s pardon finalized after the White House led us to believe he had a very good chance at being pardoned. On thankgiving I stood in front of the white house all day long fasting for him and the other ndn political prisoners. The last day was hell when we had to phone my brother Leonard and tell him we had failed and Clinton had lied to us all along. To make it worse our main contacts were in Hillary’s office so I know for sure she was part and parcel of lying to his supporters and the final decision to deny his pardon. I’ll never vote for her or support her or forgive her.

I think she’ll lie out of one side of her mouth and do irreversible damage with the other.

Those are the things I want Kalyn Free to know.


  1. I see Kalyn just endorsed Obama. She’s a very good environmental lawyer that I once employed to pursue a lawsuit for the Ponca Tribe. I got to know her pretty well then. She ran a very good progressive campaign for Congress a couple of years ago but lost to a yellowdog conservative named Boren. Since then she’s been very active in ndn politics around the country.
    Also the guys you mention in the article above, Archie and Harrison are old friends (ndn country is a small world) who worked along with many C&A people on getting their land back. But the okie delegation opposed them so their bills went nowhere.

  2. Hello My Friends and Relations;
      During the Clinton administration I worked for the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee (LPDC) trying to get Leonard a pardon for his aiding and abetting conviction in the tragic deaths which occurred during an altercation between the FBI and the AIM on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in 1975. For many years before and during the Clinton administration millions of Americans, and even more millions of people from other countries, signed petitions demanding simple justice for Leonard. Over fifty Senators and Congressmen and women signed on, President Nelson Mandela made a personal appeal on his behalf, Bishop Desmond Tutu did likewise. Every Indian Tribe and Native organization from Alaska to Argentina rose to his defense, Amnesty International called him Americas only political prisoner. Mass marches and rallies were held in cities across the U.S. and an intense lobbying effort was begun on his behalf. Despite all these efforts our pleadings fell on deaf ears and Leonard languished in prison, writing books and doing what all political prisoners do… wait until the truth frees them.
     During the first Bush administration it was a hopeless task seeking any justice from the executive branch so we concentrated on legal proceedings and appeals. It became so clear that a miscarriage of justice had occurred that even an Federal Appeals Court Judge asked for clemency. Robert Redford made a documentary about him called “Incident at Oglala” and Peter Matthieson wrote a book called “In the Spirit of Crazy Horse” both of which proved Peltiers innocence and documented the prosecutions misdeeds in convicting him. It was proven that Leonard was a scapegoat for FBI failures more than a convicted criminal.
     Then came the Clinton administration and we in Indian Country were hopeful that a Democrat in the White House would at last listen to reason and finally free Leonard Peltier. So for eight years we patiently presented our evidence and over ten million signatures from around the world. We were wrong, President Clinton left office without signing his pardon and Leonard was left to spend another decade unjustly confined to a jail cell. He has now been there for over thirty years, long past the parole date for the crime he was convicted of aiding and abetting.
      However it isn’t only that Clinton refused to pardon Peltier it was the way it was done that has angered Indian Country. After an immense and intense lobbying effort by Native American people and our organizations the Clintons led us to believe that a pardon would be forthcoming at the end of their administration. I spent the final days of the Clinton administration helping the LPDC so I know first hand that contacts within the administration made reassuring backchannel statements to the LPDC and I also know that those statements came from the Office of the First Lady, Hillary Clinton. Any release of the specific White House people involved would have to come from the LPDC but we were led to believe what we did by Hillary Clintons office and we all assumed, because of who those contacts were, with her direct knowledge. They deliberatly lied to keep us quiet as long as needed and Indian Country has a long memory.
      At first we were at a loss to explain what had happened but then the far right, anti-Indian Ex-Govenor of South Dakota, Bill Janklow, began bragging about how he and his rightwing allies had stopped Clinton from issuing a pardon. He said he had a “personal meeting” with Clinton in which he “convinced” the President not to pardon Peltier or else face dire consequences from “law enforcement” and their allies. Of course as soon as Gore was cheated out of the election, Hillary Clinton began claiming her right to the nomination and the reason why Peltier was denied a pardon became very clear… the Clinton machine was afraid a pardon, no matter how deserved, would impede their march back to power! Plain and simply they were intimidated by the far right and cowardly gave in to their threats.
      Bill Clinton came to some Indian reservations when he was President and that has left some lingering good will for him among some Indian people. But he, like every politician before him, flat out lied when he promised to do something about the conditions on our homelands. Our people still suffer the highest poverty numbers in the nation. On Pine Ridge where Clinton visited the unemployed are over 75% of the population!! Where else on earth are 75% of the people without work, much less in America? Bill Clinton came to South Dakota and exploited the horrible poverty of our people for his own political gain. Then he left to forget what he saw and disrespect us on Leonard Peltiers pardon. Our poor people deserve better than another Clinton presidency and we must remember that electing another Clinton means that our brother will continue to remain unjustly imprisoned. Here in the west, in states where our votes count, we must reject Hillary Clinton and send her back to D.C. where lies are normal. Native America and all of Indian Country must say NO! to Hillary Clinton.
            Carter Camp, Ponca Nation

    Feel free to help by circulating this letter and visiting the LPDC wesite; we have until June 3rd to organize against the Clinton re-election.

    I’m adding a letter about Peltier from Harvey Wasserman below…

    Bringing Leonard Peltier to Iowa and New Hampshire
    December 30, 2007,

    By Harvey Wasserman

    The Clintons are running for a third term in the White House. As expected, their first eight years in office are being given thorough scrutiny. Everything from NAFTA to Bosnia, from Monica to health care, are going rightfully under the microscope. The disagreements are deep and generally predictable. But it is equally predictable that there is one issue—one man— being totally ignored by the mainstream media. His case marks the moral low point of the Clinton Era. He deserves to be a part of the primary process.

    His name is Leonard Peltier.

    There is incontrovertible evidence that Bill Clinton was—and remains—fully aware of the circumstances of the Peltier case. But because of his cowardice, this esteemed Native American activist and spiritual leader was imprisoned not only for every day of Clinton’s eight years in office, but now all the way through George W. Bush’s.

    Clinton infamously ended his second term with a flurry of dubious presidential pardons. Among those freed from the judicial system was Marc Rich, a freewheeling scoundrel whose filthy financial dealings were loathsome to say the least. But he was a key Clinton donor who essentially bought himself a get-out-of-jail card. Even the most corrupt Democratic loyalists found the Rich pardon hard to swallow.

    By contrast, Leonard Peltier has spent more than three decades behind bars with his rights being repeatedly denied. In 1977, Leonard was wrongly convicted in the killing of two FBI agents amidst the native rights uprisings at Wounded Knee. His trial record is so laden with fraud and illegalities as to mock the fabric of our entire criminal justice system.

    Amnesty International and a host of other independent global observers have long since confirmed that the FBI intimidated witnesses, withheld evidence, falsified affidavits and perpetrated every other dirty trick they could find to slap Peltier behind bars.

    To this day, in the name of “national security,” the FBI is withholding some 140,000 pages of critical documents, in direct violation of numerous federal statutes. Peltier’s sentence has been wrongfully extended. And his repeated requests for a retrial have been routinely denied.

    Peltier’s effectiveness as an activist has grown through his years in prison. From his jail cells—he has been frequently moved around—around—he’s worked hard to bring critical resources to the desperately poor native society from which he came. His deeds have prompted a nomination for a Nobel Prize.

    The prison system has retaliated by denying Peltier his religious freedoms—and reasonable medical care. He’s been continually thrown into into solitary confinement, and denied the right to communicate fully and fairly with the outside world has been restricted.

    Now in his sixties, he has somehow survived more than three decades in prison with his commitments in tact. Bill Clinton was thoroughly and repeatedly briefed on the Peltier case throughout his presidency. Yet eight years came and went, and Leonard Peltier was left to rot. Desperate last-minute pleas as he prepared his final pardon list were to no avail. It would have been easy enough for Clinton to “triangulate” by merely ordering that Peltier get a new trial.
    Yet Bill Clinton left the White House fully aware that George W. Bush would do no such thing.

    This is not an issue that should go unmentioned in these early primaries. Hillary Clinton is most certainly aware of the case of Leonard Peltier. She should be asked early and often whether she, as president, would have the courage and commitment to justice to at very least grant Leonard Peltier the new trial her husband would not.

    All the other candidates on both sides of the aisle should be asked the same thing.

    Leonard Peltier now has great-grandchildren he’s never met.

    As the native American community grows in strength and clarity, so does his stature as a spiritual and political symbol. We cannot save our national soul without bringing justice to bear for Leonard Peltier.

    No one should enter the White House without a clear commitment to doing just that. —

    To learn more about Leonard Peltier, see

    Harvey Wasserman is senior editor of where this article first appeared.


    Leonard Peltier Defense Committee contact info:

  3. Kalyn Free, a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and a supedelegate for the Democratic Party, has endorsed Sen. Barack Obama. (D-Illinois) for president.

    Free is the founder of INDN’s List, an organization that aims to put more Indian Democrats in public office. She said Obama was committed to improving the status of Indian people.

    “I am proud Barack Obama is committed to our unique issues and willing to tackle our toughest problems, from historical inequities and injustices to contemporary issues, like protection of our right to tribal self-determination, access to health care for our elders, and education for our children,” she said in a statement quoted by The Oklahoman.


  4. And imagine that

    the okie delegation opposed them so their bills went nowhere.

    Someone said to me recently that his expectaions were so low about some things, he couldn’t be disappointed. Pardon my expressing it this way, but it still sucks. (Not that that even begins to cover it)

    Funny, I became aware of this from a very, very short mention on NPR about it. I thought “what the hell” maybe 2 years ago or less. I tried to look it up on the net, but I thought it was El Reno or something. When I finally got it, it was infuriating. It was this and Bear Butte that woke me up to the fact that land theft isn’t something in the past. Seems there was something about a Supreme Court decision about it, or it was in court. I can’t remember, it was such a 4 second story.

  5. community.

    This is the number one reason I cannot support HRC.

    I am working on the agenda for our Native American Netroots Caucus in Austin this year.

    I think perhaps #1 should be Mr. Peltier’s cause and what we can do.

    Then perhaps all the misuse of native names in sports and names of places.

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