Which Candidates Support Native American Concerns?

( – promoted by navajo)


Department of Justice officials have quietly opposed Native Hawaiian self-determination but the administration didn’t outright come out against the recognition bill until last fall.

– snip –

The anti-Hawaiian campaign has since been extended to urban Indians, lineal Indian descendants and certain Alaska Natives. In testimony to the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, a DOJ official said that health care for these groups could violate the U.S. Constitution.

I feel less than optimistic about Native American concerns. The recent year has been very difficult and heartbreaking. Since it’s a long list, I will summarize what I am aware of by saying that vital Native American concerns failing within the courts and within congress are far outweighing Native American concerns succeeding within the courts and within congress. So, I will be direct in what I want.

Crossposted at Progressive Historians

I want the next president and congress to have solid, working knowledge of the issues surrounding and including tribal sovereignty, and to uphold the promises that have been made to the tribes. Adding to that broad topic, I want the next president and congress to have a comprehensive, alternative, and clean energy plan that they are willing to implement. Please allow me to explain how it relates specifically to tribal sovereignty in my opinion.

Natural energy resources reside mainly on Indigenous lands which the states and the government yet seek to acquire. Overall, Indigenous tribes have not drained the natural resources from their land like the states and the government have used and exploited theirs. Otherwise, why is “most of the world’s remaining natural resources — minerals, freshwater, potential energy sources and more – (are) found within indigenous peoples’ territories.”

I left my crystal ball at home, but as I stated in the beginning, “I feel less than optimistic about Native American concerns.”

I am intentionally not linking to any more “Native American concerns,” so please forgive the shortness of this diary. I want to know that the presidential and congregational candidates know what they are and that they are going to do something about it. The last reason that this is so short is because the Iraq Occupation overshadows most everything else, including Native American concerns in my opinion. I hope that by my making this brief and to the point, that it might receive more attention than it would receive otherwise. Enough said – on to the direct questions.

Does your candidate or you yourself (if you are a candidate) have “a solid working knowledge of the issues surrounding and including tribal sovereignty,” and are you or they willing to work to uphold the promises that have been made by making the time to communicate and to work with the tribal chiefs, elders, and those representing them and their respective tribes when they come to you to talk?

I need to know who to vote for.

I am not and cannot speak for any tribe, and I look forward to hearing your responses, your candidate’s responses, and anyone else’s responses that have something to add to this discussion.

Mitakuye Oyasin

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Federal Judge Rules in Favor of Navajo Nation

The Deseret News reports that:

A federal judge ruled Thursday that the state of Utah must not only account for how funds in the Navajo oil trust was spent but for what purpose. If it can’t, the state could be on the hook for portions of the $150 million trust.

Of course state officials say this would be too burdensome since the docs date back to 1955.

This is one of many suits filed by Navajos since the 1970s regarding this trust.

The Navajos claims in the past the state has given out money to organizations that have embezzled it. In one case, the Utah Navajo Trust Fund gave about $35 million to the nonprofit Utah Navajo Development Council (UNDC), which in turn created a for-profit group called Utah Navajo Industries (UNI). That organization was supposed to invest seed money to startup businesses on reservations.

Some UNDC and UNI officials were convicted of embezzling trust money, and the plaintiffs claim the state is responsible for any missing money

Bastards. Millions of dollars that could have been used to supply electricity and water.

Of course it will be appealed and more decades will go by…

20,000 native American and Alaskan native people are in uniform

This needs to be noted here:

According to the Pentagon, they represent less than 1 percent of the population, but makeup about 1.6 percent of the armed forces. In some tribal communities, 1 out of every 200 adults have served in the military. Currently, nearly 20,000 native American and Alaskan native people are in uniform.

I’m not wild about the publication but the statistics need to be posted here.



Welcome to News from Native American Netroots, a weekly series focused on indigenous tribes primarily in the United States and Canada, but inclusive of international peoples also.

Our format will be evolving and our focus of coverage will broaden as the series develops.

News from Native American Netroots is unique as a news digest in the fact that this it is based on community contributions.  Articles can be submitted in the commment thread or posted at Native American Netroots each week.






Navajo Nation May Get Cutting-edge LTE Network

By Stephen Lawson, IDG News Service

The network, backed up by a 550-mile fiber backbone and microwave links, could make the Internet bloom for about 30000 households in the Navajo Nation,

The network, backed up by a 550-mile fiber backbone and microwave links, could make the Internet bloom for about 30,000 households in the Navajo Nation, which stretches across a vast region encompassing parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. Fewer than 10 percent of the homes and businesses in the Nation have broadband today, according to Monroe Keedo, IT manager for Navajo Tribal Utility Authority (NTUA), a multiservice utility that will operate the network. Mobile service is limited to 2G (second-generation) technology.

Navajo Nation bridging broadband divide with LTE

Seeking stimulus funds to bring fiber to 27,000-square mile Navajo reservation in Arizona, tribal utility plans to use 4G for last-mile broadband access.

Last Friday, one of the first live long-term evolution sites went live in the US, but it wasn’t in New York, San Francisco or any of the other major markets of the country. Nor was the cell site deployed by Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ, NYSE:VOD), AT&T (NYSE:T), MetroPCS (NYSE:PCS) or any of the other major wireless operators. Instead the ZTE base station was switched on in Fort Defiance, Arizona, in the heart of the sprawling Navajo reservation.

The Navajo Tribal Utility Authority (NTUA) has partnered with Commnet Wireless to address one of the starkest examples of the digital divide in the US: the 27,000 square-mile Navajo Nation left largely behind by the digital and broadband revolution. Building a wireline broadband network to cover 400,000 people in what is an almost entirely rural reservation the size of West Virginia would be impossible. So NTUA and Commnet have decided to tackle the problem with wireless.

Navajo Nation explores 4G with DragonWave

Canadian equipment supplier DragonWave has announced that it has been contracted by the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority (NTUA) to deploy a commercial Long Term Evolution (LTE) field test across parts of the Navajo Nation. The NTUA is currently seeking funding to the tune of USD46 million to accommodate the deployment of fibre-optic infrastructure and LTE across the reservation, the largest Native American jurisdiction in the US, including a 530 mile fibre rollout and the installation of 57 LTE base stations, providing coverage of 15,000 square miles of the Navajo Nation.

Fiscal Year 2010 Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation Webinar on the Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation

Webinar on the Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation

Join us for a Webinar on March 18, 2010. Space is limited. Reserve your Webinar seat now!

As the Attorney General made clear at the Listening Session in October, the Department of Justice (DOJ) is committed to a sustained partnership with Tribal governments to improve public safety in Tribal communities, to ensure the security of Native women, and to build a better future for young people who are the future of Tribal communities. At the Listening Session, many Tribal leaders expressed a need to improve the Justice Department’s grant-making process. The Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation (CTAS) is the Department’s FY 2010 solution.

OU College of Law International Human Rights Clinic Provides Opportunities for Students

By the end of the 2009-10 academic year, eight students at the University of Oklahoma College of Law will have the satisfaction of knowing that they have affected the lives of people who live thousands of miles away. These students participated in the first year of the OU College of Law International Human Rights Clinic which focused on indigenous populations in Guyana in South America during the fall semester and Panama in Central America during the spring semester.

Adding this component to the clinical education program was the idea of Professor Lindsay Robertson, Faculty Director of the American Indian Law & Policy Center and Associate Director of the Inter-American Center for Law & Culture. Robertson developed and proposed the concept for the clinic to the OU Law faculty in spring 2009. Students participating in the clinic research the conditions of a country’s indigenous population in order to develop and submit a report to the Human Rights Council of the United Nations on that country’s compliance with certain human rights commitments and obligations.

Indian leaders address Obama’s budget

WASHINGTON – Indian leaders are increasingly weighing in on President Barack Obama’s proposed budget for 2011. A general sense of satisfaction is in the air – especially given an overall federal focus to clamp down on spending – although desired areas for improvement are becoming clear.

Soon after the president released his proposed budget the week of Feb. 1, it was apparent that the administration plans to maintain and strengthen support for a variety of Indian country programs.

Jefferson Keel, National Congress of American Indians president and Lieutenant Governor of the Chickasaw Nation, hit that point home in testimony Feb. 25 at an oversight hearing of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.

Lawmakers OK Navajo trust fund settlement

The Utah Legislature has signed off on a court settlement that would send $33 million to the Utah portion of the Navajo Nation for alleged state mismanagement of a reservation oil royalties trust fund.

The Senate on Wednesday approved HJR32, already approved by the House, that would end a two-decade dispute that Sen. John Valentine, R-Orem, said had embarrassed the state since before he was in the Legislature.

“We have exposure for significantly more than this amount,” Valentine said in backing the settlement.

Pueblo returns to traditional name

Late last year, Santo Domingo Pueblo’s tribal council quietly, and unanimously, decided to change the pueblo’s name.

The traditional community, about halfway between Santa Fe and Albuquerque, is now known as Kewa Pueblo.

The name change was disclosed at a meeting of the All Indian Pueblo Council in January, according to the Alvin Warren, secretary of the state Department of Indian Affairs.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged

Pledge: Become A Modern Day Warrior For Indigenous Rights

( – promoted by navajo)


“Viewing Native Americans as a people of the past is the most accessible, convenient perception for Americans.  While I believe it is important to create images that are historically, culturally correct and support the preservation of culture, I also believe it is imperative that a modern, contemporary representation of Native culture needs to surface in the mainstream.

Crossposted at Progressive Historians


I am speculating, but I think that one reason for the Symposium on the Settlement of Indian Reserved Water Rights Claims is because of this:

Radiation Warning Signs Placed on Cheyenne River

Red Shirt Village — Residents of Red Shirt village on the northwest corner of the Pine Ridge Reservation have put up signs warning people of the high nuclear radiation levels found in the Cheyenne River.

Which, I assume in part resulted in this resolution being made.

Defenders of the Black Hills: a group of volunteers without racial or tribal boundaries working to ensure that the United States government upholds the Fort Laramie Treaties of 1851 and 1868.

the GPTCA affirms that any person, agency or entity including federal, state, and county governments, or corporations, businesses or companies who shall cause any nuclear pollution, or contamination to enter the confines of the Indian Reservation Homelands should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, and

the Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association calls upon all other Tribes and Indian Nations to join with us to protect our Reservation Homelands, to ensure that no damage will come to the people, the culture, the environment including the air and water and economy of the Tribes of the Great Plains because of uranium mining or other processing of contaminants in the region of the Great Plains Region.

Furthermore, I assume that this was created to combat the devastating affects of land theft and pollutions in the above case, at the very least:

The Tribal Supreme Court Project is part of the Tribal Sovereignty Protection Initiative and is staffed by the Native American Rights Fund (NARF) and the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI). The Project was formed in 2001 in response to a series of U.S. Supreme Court cases that negatively affected tribal sovereignty.

Maybe this won’t have to go to court if enough people act now. Please do.

Help block power plant on Navajo lands

Please speak out now against plans for a dirty, coal-fired power
plant in New Mexico that would release mercury and other toxic
contaminants into the environment, pollute waterways and
threaten human health.

Here’s some information at the international level, beginning with the Cobo Report.

Chapter 6: International developments in the recognition of the rights of Indigenous peoples

The Cobo report, as it is commonly known, was prepared over the next decade. It was submitted to the Sub-Commission in 24 instalments between 1981 and 1984 with its conclusions and final recommendations compiled in a consolidated volume in 1987. Underpinning the report’s detailed conclusions and recommendations is the recognition that, despite the great diversity of their cultures and systems, Indigenous peoples throughout the world have common experiences of discrimination, oppression and exploitation.

– Snip –

– recognition that Indigenous peoples and nations are subjects of international law and must be included within international law processes;

– recognition of Indigenous peoples’ special relationship to land and its integral link to their beliefs, customs, traditions and cultures and for efforts to be taken to maintain or restore that relationship;

– the ratification and implementation by States of international human rights treaties such as those on genocide, anti-slavery, racial discrimination, civil and political, and economic, social and cultural rights; and

– the establishment of a working group on Indigenous peoples at the United Nations under the Sub-Commission.[12]

To be brief, the chairperson altered this, and some are still against this (emphasis mine).


Recognizing that most of the world’s remaining natural resources — minerals, freshwater, potential energy sources and more — are found within indigenous peoples’ territories, the sixth annual session of the Permanent Forum has brought indigenous groups together with representatives of Governments, intergovernmental organizations and United Nations agencies to state their views, voice concerns and suggest solutions regarding their lands, territories and natural resources.

As a result, Newcomb, the author suggests that all the tribes formally adopt the original version of the “International Recognition Of Indigenous Rights.” I could not find the drafted version to post.

I’m going to make this ending short and sweet. I don’t agree with the Chief of the Cherokee Nation in regards to the freedman, but I really don’t agree with Diane Watson. Let me say why by posing a question which I believe reveals Watson’s intent in light of the fact that her “proposal” has so much support, while vital issues as Indian Health Care have failed. My question is based completely upon my own speculation.

Who gets the casinos after the Cherokee lose the right to use them? Maybe it will be the Cheyenne State of Oklahoma and the U.S. Government. Should the world end their entire relationship with the U.S. based solely on the current sitting president? Right, please sign the pledge below.

Click on: Take A Stand! Click Here!

We “will accept nothing less than the U.S. government keeping the promises made to Native Americans.”

Help block power plant on Navajo lands

Please speak out now against plans for a dirty, coal-fired power
plant in New Mexico that would release mercury and other toxic
contaminants into the environment, pollute waterways and
threaten human health.

Go to http://www.savebioge…
right away and tell the Bush administration to reject the
proposed Desert Rock power plant.

A global energy company and the Dine Power Authority want to
build the plant on the eastern edge of the Navajo Nation in
northwestern New Mexico.

The Four Corners region is already home to two of the most
polluting power plants in the country. If we don’t act now, this
area could soon be besieged by a new wave of environmental

In addition to mercury, the proposed Desert Rock plant would
increase emissions of soot and soot-forming pollutants, which
can cause asthma attacks, heart disease and other health

Furthermore, *the Navajo Nation would receive less than five
percent of the projected electricity output from Desert Rock,
even though many Navajo people still have no electricity in
their homes*. Most of the power would likely be exported to Las
Vegas and Phoenix.

Last month, NRDC Members and online activists turned out at
public hearings in Albuquerque and Santa Fe to oppose the Desert
Rock plant, which would significantly increase global warming
pollution in New Mexico at a time when states should be working
to curb these dangerous emissions.

Please add your voice to this outcry. Go to
right away and tell the Bush administration to reject the
proposed Desert Rock power plant and instead develop new
initiatives that focus on energy efficiency and clean, renewable
energy solutions.

Thank you for helping to protect the environment of New Mexico
and the Four Corners region.


Frances Beinecke
Natural Resources Defense Council

. . .

We appreciate the opportunity to communicate with you and other
NRDC BioGems Defenders. We are committed to protecting your
privacy and will NEVER sell, exchange or rent your email

Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley
Phone  (928) 871-6352

Office Address 
  PO Box 9000
Window Rock, AZ 86515

Diné Power Authority (DPA)

  Contacts: Stephen Begay, General Manager
e-mail: dpasteve@citlink.net

  Dirk Straussfeld, Senior Vice President
e-mail: straussfeld@sitheglobal.com

  Nathan Plagen, Project Development Director
e-mail: plagens@sitheglobal.com
Phone  (928) 871-2133
Window Rock, AZ

Sithe Global-Corporate Headquarters (New York)

Contact:  mitchell@sitheglobal.com
Phone  (212) 351-000
Fax  (212) 351-0880
Sithe Global
245 Park Avenue 38th Floor  New York, NY 10167

Bureau of Indian Affairs (Gallup Office)
Harrilene Yazzi, NEPA coordinator 
Phone(505) 863-8314
Fax(505) 863-8324
P.O. Box 1060  Gallup, NM 87305

Leonard Tsosie Senator (Democrat)
Work  (505) 986-4859
Email  Leonard.tsosie@nmlegis.gov
Fax  (505) 986-4680 (Santa Fe)
Work Address
  P.O. Box 1003
  Crownpoint, NM 87313

Jeff Bingaman NM Senator
Work  (202) 224-5521
Home  (505) 766-3636
Fax  (202) 224-2852
E-Mail  senator_bingaman@bingaman.senate.gov

Work Address:
United States Senate
703 Hart Building
Washington, DC 20510

Pete V. Domenici NM Senator
Work  (202) 224-6621
Fax  (202) 228-0900
E-Mail:  senator_domenici@domenici.senate.gov
Work Address:
United States Senate
328 Hart SOB
Washington, DC 20510


Ice Melting Under The Inuit & Action Call!

( – promoted by navajo)

Video will not embed (tried several times), watch “CANADA SENDS A STRONG MESSAGE TO THE WORLD!”

Up for grabs (in the Arctic), as much as a quarter of the world’s oil and gas reserves; as well as nickel, gold and diamond.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Miller: A ‘new world’ to claim – the Arctic

Recent news reports state that global warming and the shrinking Arctic ice caps are opening sea lanes, making islands accessible and causing the international community to engage in a new race to acquire this ”new world.” Conflicts have already arisen over shipping, islands, fish, minerals and oil that are now becoming exploitable.

Crossposted at Progressive Historians

Miller: A ‘new world’ to claim – the Arctic

Governments are even now engaged in asserting sovereignty over these assets. Canada, Denmark and the United States are already involved in disputes over these issues.
For example, Canada and Denmark have sent diplomats and warships to plant flags on Hans Island near Greenland.

Manifest Destiny is alive as it aims itself at the Arctic, once again placing human greed above human beings.



In the 2001 Census, about 46,000 people living in non-reserve areas reported having Inuit identity. This group represented about 6% of the total non-reserve Aboriginal population. The majority of Inuit lived in the following four Inuit regions of the Canadian Arctic as defined by the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami:

the northern coastal and southeastern area of Labrador, home to 7% of Inuit

Nunavik, which lies north of the 55th parallel in Quebec, where 19% of the Inuit population lived

the territory of Nunavut, home to about one-half of the Inuit population

the Inuvialuit region in the northwestern corner of the Northwest Territories, home to about 7% of the Inuit population.

(Emphasis and illustrations mine)


For thousands of years, Inuit people made their homes from natural materials native to their Arctic surroundings. They built snow shelters known as igloos to house entire families through the long winter. Igloos were complete with snow benches and beds, warm furs for blankets, and long entry tunnels to keep out the wind and cold.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The inside of an igloo was often quite comfortable, with temperatures at or just above freezing. In the summer months many families built skin tents framed with whalebones for structure. The tents were easy to set up and take down as the Inuit lived nomadically, following the animals that provided their main food source. While modern day Inuit may still use an igloo for shelter during a winter hunt, pre-fabricated houses have replaced the igloo as permanent housing.
  These houses sit on the permafrost — a layer of earth that remains permanently frozen throughout the Arctic year. Today’s Arctic villages have elaborate systems adapted to the permafrost with water and sewage piped above ground. Global warming threatens to melt the permafrost and disrupt the very foundation on which the modern Arctic infrastructure rests.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

What are the Inuit going to build their homes on when the ice melts underneath them? They will be forced to relocate.

Here is a message from the Inuit leader, Aqqaluk Lynge.

We ask you to be responsible.

Action Call!

Manifest Destiny being alive and operating is a moot point now. That is the flashlight; here is the laser beam: the Senate Republican Steering Committee.


The Senate Republican Steering Committee has put secret holds on everything from Indian health care to methamphetamine funding to amendments to the Adam Walsh Act. NCAI President Joe Garcia tribes are shocked by the obstructionism.

– snip-

The Senate Republican Steering Committee is composed of some of the most conservative Republicans. The group is led by Sen. James DeMint (R-South Carolina) and its members include Sens. John Kyl (R-Arizona), John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama).

In addition to emailing the Senators that compose the Senate Republican Steering Committee, which I provide links to below below, this is a broader action call and request.

My request is that “Sen. James DeMint (R-South Carolina) and its members  (that)include Sens. John Kyl (R-Arizona), John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama)” all receive the negative attention they deserve in at least one diary by at least some of the people that are reading this now in the future.

Please expose them, for I firmly believe that only
Democratic elected officials will serve the best interests of the Indigenous People, especially including a Democratic president.

What is one huge reason why I say that?

The Democratic Party is the party that wants the Indigenous People to vote, and who recognize that the Republican Party tends to seek to prevent the Indigenous People from voting.

Imagine that, the corrupt Republican Party does not want Native Americans to vote.

So, here’s something about Sen. James DeMint to get the ball rolling.

Republican Asshole: James DeMint (South Carolina)

My wife has a job that requires her to work in Sam’s Warehouse & today she came in contact with Sen. Jim DeMint, and one thing she asked him was his opinion on the “lady down in Texas” as I think she recounted it.

His answer: “those people are the enemy”

Here is the link to email with Sen. Jim DeMint

Here is the link to contact John Kyl

Here is the link to contact John Cornyn


Here is the link to contact Jeff Sessions

Finally, I leave you with these last thoughts.


When asked why most of the less than two dozen protesters were white, she said First Nations people actually want more non-natives to participate in resolving native claims.

Vickers said First Nations need land and wilderness to survive as a people and to recover from decades of abuse they have suffered.

Apology resolution faces additional delays under Bush

Near the end of the Clinton administration, former assistant secretary Kevin Gover offered an apology for the Bureau of Indian Affairs. “Never again will we allow policy to proceed from the assumption that Indians possess less human genius than the other races,” he said in August 2000. “Never again will we be complicit in the theft of Indian property. Never again will we appoint false leaders who serve purposes other than those of the tribes.”

At the time, Gover said his apology was not on behalf of the U.S. “That is the province of the nation’s elected leaders, and I would not presume to speak on their behalf,” he said.

Houston official: Stop apologizing to Indians

The United States needs to stop apologizing to American Indians and stop giving them money, a city council member in Houston, Texas, said on Tuesday.

“Why are we still giving Indians exclusive rights to gamble, exclusive rights to print money, which is also known as a casino,”
he added.

Here is how to contact Micheal Berry

Are you a political opponent of James DeMint’s Senate Republican Steering Committee?

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2007 Recap of our Native American Netroots Caucus at YearlyKos

( – promoted by navajo)

We met on August 2, 2007 in Chicago at the YearlyKos Convention.  Last year I had about 6 people attend, this year there were 14.  That’s more than a hundred percent increase IMO. ;)

We started by going around the room and telling our background.  I will re-tell mine and then I have asked all the participants to please post all their comments at the caucus here in this blog. 

My background below:

My mother is a product of the U.S. Government boarding school system. 

My mother was forcefully taken away to a boarding school in Tuba City, Arizona in the late 1930s at the approximate age of 5 or 6. She was one of ten siblings on the Navajo reservation.  Five children were hidden in the canyon and the other five were given up to the government.

My mother always recalls this episode with pain and tears.  She describes her mother sobbing as she watched her tiny children having their hair cut off, the tiny rolls of hair left at her feet and riding away in the back of a pickup truck.  My mother did not stop crying for weeks.  They were dusted with lice powder and she resented this because she insists that they were clean, “we were not dirty animals, we were clean!”  She said they were not allowed to speak Navajo and they were punished if they did.  Her sister Zonnie died at the school, crushed and trampled in a crowd.  My grandfather missed his children so much that he would ride his horse the 60 miles to visit them.

The other half of the children were hidden in Inscription House canyon.  These kids never went to school nor learned English.  They all stayed on the reservation and lived in the traditional manner; in hogans, no electricity nor running water.  They tended herds of sheep and goats. They grew corn, squash and melons.  They wove rugs and baskets to make a living.

The siblings that went to boarding school all left the reservation and became assimilated into white society, as was the government plan.  My mother and Caucasian father settled off the reservation in central Utah where I grew up.  My mother did not teach us Navajo deliberately.  She wanted us to speak English well and she was advised at the boarding school as she was growing up that the Navajo language would slow her children down.  We did learn a few words however when we heard her speaking to our relatives on the rez.  I wish I was fluent in Navajo. 

My grandfather and my uncle were Medicine Men.  Some of my most treasured experiences involve these two men.

I was awarded a Navajo Tribe scholarship in my twenties that put me through college.  I have always wanted to give something back in return.

A few years ago I became involved with an immersion school in Flagstaff that is trying to keep the Navajo language and culture alive.  I built a

fundraising website for them. Their test scores are excellent so they will continue to receive public school support.  Of course that funding is not enough.

Today I see the tremendous effect that the netroots has had on the political landscape.  DailyKos has changed the way we receive our news and has provided a way for us to act.  We have made a difference. I felt it was important to set up a blog for us. I feel that this blog, Native American Netroots can do the same thing that DailyKos has done to help our ongoing struggle for preservation of identity and cultural history.  It will be our forum for the discussion of political, social and economic issues affecting the indigenous peoples of the United States, including our lack of political representation, economic deprivation and health care issues.

I asked for three things of those in attendance at our caucus.

1. Please tell us your ideas.

2. Please spread the word about our blog.  Our tribes need a place to get information and they need a place to discuss, plan and act.

3. Please join and visit this blog and write about what you said at our caucus.

I will continue to work on the layout of this blog in my spare time, e.g. create a section for ACTION ALERTS, etc.

I will communicate with some sites that provide news but don’t yet have an RSS feed.

It was suggested to keep the website simple so those peeps on dial-up would be able to access it.  Perhaps I need to put the photos on another page.  I also made our banner in a hurry.  It is not optimized so I will do that soon.

There were many excellent comments.  One comment by Rayne in particular made me think and that is that many on the rez don’t have computers but many more have cellphones.  I have to study how to create pages for cellphones.

I was warmed and encouraged by the attendance of two young men, Kevin from Oglala Lakota College and Matt from South Dakota.  I think Matt was still in high school.  It is commendatory that these young guys would be willing to spend their precious youth at a political convention.  I am very impressed with that.  I hope they will talk to us here.  I told them that they are the ones who can help our tribes.  They have the tech savvy. They will be the wave that sets this in motion. I asked them to please reach out to their age group and contribute to this information broadcast project.

I was so pleased to meet Cosmic Debris and hear about her cultural artifact preservation work.  I was honored to meet Mindoca, ultrageek, Mi Corazon, Imelda, Rayne and to see again Cheryl Contee, Rain, American River Canyon, SallyCat, Mr. Cat and David Boyle again. If I missed mentioning you it is because you didn’t sign my sign in sheet or make it in any photos, apologies.

Other folk at YearlyKos found me and made suggestions.  For example Kid Oakland suggested I contact Mary Beth Williams at Wampum which I will do. We all need to work together.

Many thanks to those in attendance and I look forward to growing this site with your help.

Here are my photos:




There are also six photos of our caucus at Mona Brooks website. 3 at the bottom of this page and then 3 on the next page you can navigate to.

Please use this diary to re-tell your comments at our conference.

Genocide & Intent Of The Infected Blankets

((promoted by navajo) – promoted by navajo)

Plains Indian Smallpox

Indian genocide is a controversial subject on the internet and on this site. Genocide and Holocaust are words that are easy to throw around, often to grab a reader’s attention, but proving them is something else. What one group calls genocide, another group may call progress. This statement is used in the same context as the saying…one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.

The argument for Indian genocide is based primarily on letters written by General Jeffery Amherst during the French and Indian War.Letters by General Amherst and Colonel Bouquet mentioning spreading smallpox to Indians does not mean that this was ever carried out.
Assumptions derived from letters and oral traditions are not proof of anything.

Crossposted at Progressive Historians

Those who condone the above statement must also believe that such indigenous tribes as the Mandan-Hidatsa are liars and incorrect in their oral histories, but what they cannot deny is the intent to commit genocide was in fact there (all bold print is mine).

(c) deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life designed to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part


By the second half of the century, many of the combatants in America’s wars of empire had the knowledge and technology to attempt biological warfare with the smallpox virus. Many also adhered to a code of ethics that did not constrain them from doing so. Seen in this light, the Amherst affair becomes not so much an aberration as part of a larger continuum in which accusations and discussions of biological warfare were common, and actual incidents may have occurred more frequently than scholars have previously acknowledged.

“Fort Pitt is in good State of Defense against all attempts from Savages,” Bouquet reported, but “Unluckily the small Pox has broken out in the Garrison.”3 By June 16, then, from sources unknown, smallpox had established itself at Fort Pitt. It is likely that Amherst knew of the situation by the end of June.

Bioterrorist Threats: Potential Agents and Theoretical Preparedness

Dr. John Bartlett filled in for Peter Jahrling of USAMRIID for a segment devoted to one of the likely potential bioterrorist agents, smallpox.[2] The use of this agent to intentionally cause human disease dates back to 1754 during the French and Indian War, when infected blankets were given to Native Americans as a “token of good fortune.”

American Indian Prophecies. Kurt Kaltreider, PH.D. pp. 66-67

In 1779, George Washington sent orders to General John Sullivan concerning the need to attack and destroy the Iroquois Nations.

“The immediate objects are total destruction of their settlements, and capture of as many prisoners of every age and sex possible -“

Washington was also an advocate of germ warfare, first introduced by Sir Jeffery Amherst after whom the town of Amherst, Massachusetts, and Amherst College are named. The idea of germ warfare with smallpox was suggested to Colonel Henry Bouquet, after which Colonel Bouquet wrote back:

“I will try to inoculate the [Indians] with some blankets that may fall into their hands, and take care not to get the disease myself. As it is pity to expose good men against then, I wish we could make use of the Spanish method, to hunt them with English dogs, supported by rangers and some light horse, who would, I think, effectually extirpate or remove the vermin.”

About 60 years later, Andrew Jackson took Colonel Bouquet’s advice in his war against the Seminoles. 


During the Seminole War the Federal Soldiers used germ warfare weapons, such as leaving small pox infected blankets for the Seminole to take and catch the disease.
  This was a tried and true tactic of warfare in the Americas. The British attempted this against Washington’s troops at Yorktown and Europeans used germ warfare against native Americans in New England. At Yorktown, the National Park Service explains the role of Slaves as germ warfare weapons in the plaque reproduced here. I guess the incentive for slaves was ‘you’re free if you go cause small pox among American forces … if you survive.’

The fact that Europeans brought the deadly diseases with them, through ship rats who found their way to the indigenous tribes for example, is well established.

Historical Viewpoints. “American Indians And European Diseases.” Alfred W. Crosby pp. 48-49

Whether plague or typhus, the disease went through the Indians like fire. Almost all the seventeenth-century writers say it killed nine of ten and even nineteen of twenty of the Indians it touched –

In short, one does not necessarily have to accept a 90 percent death rate for a given village or area to accept a 90 percent depopulation rate.

So, the European settlers (not all were vicious like this) and General Jeffery Amherst knew what smallpox and the deadly diseases were already doing:depopulating the indigenous people.

First Nation History. Daniel M. Paul

The following is an excellent example of their racist mentality in action. In July 1763, General Jeffery Amherst, the Commander-in-Chief of British forces in North America, sent a memo to Colonel Henry Bouquet, a Huguenot in the service of England, asking:

“Could it not be contrived to send the Smallpox among the disaffected Tribes of Indians?”

Bouquet replied: “I will try to inoculate the Indians with some blankets that may fall into their hands, and take care not to get the disease myself.”

General Jeffery Amherst and those settlers who thought likewise must have asked themselves some very disturbing questions –

Siege of Fort Pitt
(Wikipedia source, read accordingly)

Bouquet agreed, writing to Amherst on 13 July 1763: “I will try to inoculate the bastards with some blankets that may fall into their hands, and take care not to get the disease myself.” Amherst responded favorably on 16 July 1763: “You will do well to inoculate the Indians by means of blankets, as well as every other method that can serve to extirpate this execrable race.”[2]

As it turned out, however, officers at the besieged Fort Pitt had already attempted to do what Amherst and Bouquet were still discussing.

Maybe they asked, “How can we help speed the process?”

General Amherst and Germ Warfare. Bernhard Knollenberg:


Public Health Issues in Disaster Preparedness: Focus on Bioterrorism. By Lloyd F. Novick:


Query and Replies: Indians and Smallpox(8 posts)

I have been reviewing the documents in the latest volume of
The Papers of Henry Bouquet which has many interesting texts
on relations with various Native American tribes, and on frontier
warfare. A number of the texts deal with the decision to use
small pox as a deliberate form of germ warfare against the
Indians in the 1760s. I recall much coverage of the decimation
of the Indians by disease during the Columbus anniversaries,
but I am not familiar with the historiography on the deliberate
use of smallpox or other diseases as a weapon–or indeed the
historiography on the origins of germ warfare in general.
Would any of you be able to inform me of sources on this subject?
Thanks in advance. Elizabeth M. Nuxoll. The Papers of Robert Morris
Queens College, CUNY

Smallpox Blankets in History and Legend. Adrienne Mayor:


The Europeans wanted land, gold, silver, coal (in the future), and slave labor.

Since using the indigenous people’s inability to cure themselves of the onslaught of disease didn’t work as well as they wished it would have worked –

A People & A Nation. 4th Edition. p.38

In the pursuit of their conversions, the Jesuits sought to undermine the authority of the villiage shamans (the traditional religious leaders) and to gain the confidence of leaders who could influence others. The Black Robes used a variety of weapons to attain the desired end. Trained in rhetoric, they won admirers by their eloquence. Seemingly immune to smallpox, they explained epidemics among the Native Americans as God’s punishment for sin, their arguments aided by the ineffectiveness of the shaman’s traditional remedies for illness against that deadly disease.

  – perhaps they hoped that death would solve all of their “problems.”


See the reason of my bemusement is that I am a full blooded Oneida “Indian” (I will use that term for simplicity’s sake although “First nations is our prefferred term). For us first nations our heritage and being is well documented and it is imperative to have been listed on a government listing of Indians called the Dawles Rolls?

That the ones of us they couldn’t kill with smallpox infected blankets they packed away on a reservation, robbed of our traditions, language and land.

Colorado professor fabricates Native history – Sunday, June 18, 2006

He (Ward Churchill) then pawned his lies to other scholars.

First, the army wasn’t even posted around our villages at the time Churchill claims. And no proof exists, orally or in text, to show blankets came from a hospital.

But our tribal people have long said the spread of smallpox was intentional.

I recently talked with Gerard Baker, a Mandan-Hidatsa and leading oral historian for our tribes. Baker, park superintendent at Mount Rushmore, is a fluent Hidatsa speaker and comes from a traditional family. He’s also lived and worked at many of our historical village sites along the Missouri.

Baker has talked with tribal elders and spent countless hours looking at the journals of the fur traders. He’s convinced traders deliberately spread smallpox to eliminate us as middlemen in the trade network.

Shawnee History

Only an informer saved the garrison at Detroit, but Forts Niagara and Pitt were surrounded and isolated. In desperation, Amherst wrote the commander at Fort Pitt, Captain Simeon Ecuyer, suggesting he deliberately attempt to infect the Shawnee, Delaware, and Mingo besieging his fort with gifts of smallpox-infected blankets and handkerchiefs. Ecuyer took this as an order and did exactly that.
It proved particularly effective because the Ohio tribes had little immunity having missed the 1757-58 epidemic among the French allies contracted during the capture of Fort William Henry (New York). The Shawnee were fighting the Cherokee in Tennessee at the time, and they carried the disease to them, and then the Shawnee living with the Creek Confederacy. From there it spread to the Chickasaw and Choctaw, and finally the entire southeast. Before it had run its course, the epidemic had killed thousands, including British colonists.

To end this, history is written by the victors and one of the “victor’s” techniques for hiding truth is hiding evidence, as it was in the case of theSand Creek Massacre.

Furthermore, to say “Assumptions derived from letters and oral traditions are not proof of anything” is calling those indigenous people who tell those oral traditions liars. So, I’m grateful for artists who have something to add to this “debate” (the following video does not specifically mention infected blankets).


Stories of disease-infected blankets deliberately given to Native Americans surfaced after the first European contact and continue to circulate. The vitality of the “smallpox blanket” story is ensured by documented examples of germ warfare but also by its resonance with the classical Nessus shirt and other poison-garment/deliberate-contamination themes. The moral tension embedded in such tales derives from ambiguous definitions of the Other and boundaries of ethical behavior toward enemies.

Apologists for the Genocide attribute the majority of deaths to the introduction of disease epidemics such as smallpox and measles by unknowing Europeans.

Radiation Warning Signs Placed on Cheyenne River

( – promoted by navajo)

Red Shirt Village — Residents of Red Shirt village on the northwest corner of the Pine Ridge Reservation have put up signs warning people of the high nuclear radiation levels found in the Cheyenne River.

Radiation Warning Signs Placed on Cheyenne RiverResidents of the tiny community of Red Shirt on the south side of the Cheyenne River occupy a village site that is thousands of years old to the Oglala Tetuwan (Sioux) people.  Many have lived here all of their lives, growing gardens with water taken from the Cheyenne River and fishing for catfish, bass, and turtles.  In the summer months, the River is used for swimming and other recreational pursuits.

Earlier this summer Everitt Poor Thunder asked Defenders of the Black Hills, an environmental organization, whether the Cheyenne River water could be used to irrigate a community garden.  A local well could not be used as it was found to be radioactive and warning signs surround that structure.

A water sample was taken, sent to a laboratory, and the results were found to be above the Environmental Protection Agency’s Maximum Contaminant Level for alpha radiation.

As alpha radiation can cause harm when ingested, the warning signs were placed to warn people of the dangers of nuclear radiation in the water.

Red Shirt village is located about 25 miles southeast of Hermosa, SD, on SD Highway 40.

For more information contact  Charmaine White Face, Coordinator for Defenders of the Black Hills at 605-399-1868.

And so long as I am mentioning Charmaine:

From the Nuclear-Free Future Award, a project of the
Foundation for the Coming Generations, Munich, Germany
Email: info@nuclear-free.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
Tel.: +49 89 28 65 97 14
Tel., Charmaine White Face: (605) 399-1868


1 Aug. MUNICH-The Nuclear-Free Future Awards honors individuals, organizations and communities for their outstanding commitment towards creating a world freed from the threat of nuclear weapons and atomic energy.  This year, the Award jury members – who include Johan Galtung (Norway), Val Kilmer (New Mexico), Chris Peters (California), Kirkpatrick Sale (Massachusetts), Galsan Tschinag (Ulan Bator), and Christine von Weizsäcker (Germany) – have selected Charmaine White Face to receive, endowed with a money purse of $10,000, the Nuclear-Free Future Award in the category of Resistance.

Educated as a biologist, Charmaine White Face is the moving spirit behind the Defenders of the Black Hills, an organization that monitors abandoned uranium mines on sacred Lakota Lands and seeks the remediation of hazardous waste ponds that contaminate the region with high levels of radium 226, arsenic, lead and iron. A central part of Ms White Face’s message is that not just the Lakota, but all of us are threatened: aquifers cover massive areas of the continent, rivers empty into one another, radioactive dust is carried by the wind, and toxic poisons in the soil nourish grass and feed crops that eventually work their way into the mainstream food chain.

Hosted by the Salzburg, Austria, state government, the 10th annual Awards ceremony will take place in the storied Salzburg Residenz on 18 October 2007.  Based in Munich, the Nuclear-Free Future Award is a project of the Franz Moll Foundation for the Coming Generations.  For more information, please visit www.nuclear-free.com.

Note: I received the information about the Cheyenne River from emails from Charmaine and the South Dakota Peace and Justice Center.  An earlier, slightly different version can be found on the Defenders of the Black Hills website.

My Journey To Wounded Knee

((promoted by navajo) – promoted by navajo)

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The Native Artist didn’t choose to share secrets of his spirituality or ceremonies and I didn’t ask, but he told me there was a large book of newspaper articles about the Wounded Knee Massacre of 1890 over on the table, “Read it all,” he said. Then, he explained some things to me after I asked the right questions.

First however, I want to repost most of an earlier dairy to put the new information into historical context, then we will proceed.

Crossposted at Progressive Historians


Vital parts of understanding the Wounded Knee Massacre of 1890 are preexisting conditions, Wovoka, and the Ghost Dance.

Thomas E. Mails. “Fools Crow.” p.22:

…The first census was of the Sioux was taken in 1886. Thereafter they were required to have a family name. One of the father’s names was usually taken by the other members of the family, and everyone was given a distinguishing white first name, such as John or Nancy. Some family names, in translation, were unsuitable, so the census takers renamed them with complete English names…1889 and 1890 were years of severe drought, and unlike the white farmers, Indians could not move away to better ground. The buffalo were being systematically wiped out by white hunters, and indeed were virtually gone before 1890. In February 1890, the Dakota Reservation was opened to homesteading by non-Indians, and now the Sioux were ready to turn to anything that would offer them the slightest hope of returning to their old way of life. They prayed desperately, and sought visions from Wakan-Tanka for guidance and deliverance…It was at this point that a Paiute Indian named Wovoka entered the scene…”


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Wovoka or “Jack Wilson,” who started the Ghost Dance was the prophet or messiah of the Ghost Dance to the Sioux. They practiced that religion prior the Massacre at Wounded Knee in 1890.

Sitting Bull had been recently assassinated, yet they chose to peacefully dance, believing their way of life, the buffalo, and the land would be returned to them. They chose dancing the Ghost Dance in winter snow over revenge. They stood earnestly by their convictions, even up until the moment that the soldiers started massacring them.

The Ghost Dancers believed their shirts were bullet proof, and that their way of life would be returned. To understand some of why they believed those things; one needs to understand what was believed about Wovoka.


In his early adulthood, Wovoka gained a reputation as a powerful shaman. He was adept at magic tricks. One trick he often performed was being shot with a shotgun, which may have been similar to the bullet catch trick. Reports of this trick may have convinced the Lakota that their “ghost shirts” could stop bullets.

Ghost Dance

Also, Wovoka was reported to have had the Stigmata, same as
Padre Pio about 30 years later.
I heard an elder talk about Wovoka having the Stigmata, as well as the intent behind the Ghost Dance. It was nothing but peaceful, though it was controversial to many who did not participate. It hasn’t been done since the 1973 Siege of Wounded Knee as far as I know.

Some say Wovoka’s Stigmata wounds were self-inflicted; some say his wounds were not.

I don’t know.

In addition, there is a lesser well-known fact about this history: a relationship between Wovoka’s philosophies, his instructions to the Ghost Dancers, and the words of Jesus Christ:

Paiute ~ Wovoka ~ Ghost Dancers

“Jesus is now upon the Earth,” he stated. But again, there is historic contradiction here- Wovoka is quoted as saying he was Christ and he wasn’t Christ. It would seem that either he excelled at playing to different audiences or was damned to being preserved by faulty historians.

Despite the later association of the Ghost Dance with the Wounded Knee Massacre and unrest on the Lakota reservations, Wovoka charged his followers:
  “Do not hurt anybody or do harm to anyone. You must not fight. Do not refuse to work for the whites and do not make any trouble with them.”

While the Ghost Dance is sometimes seen today as an expression of Indian militancy and the desire to preserve traditional ways, Wovoka’s pronouncements ironically bore the heavy mark of popular Christianity.

I disagree that last sentence, “Wovoka’s pronouncements ironically bore the heavy mark of popular Christianity.”

Here is a historical teaching of fundamentalist, patriarchal, and Dominionist Christianity (not based on Christ’s teachings):

A short excerpt from: “Religion on the Frontier” by Bernard A Weisberger. From “Historical Viewpoints.” pp. 253-254:

The great revival in the West, or the Kentucky Revival of 1800, as it was sometimes called, was a landmark in American History… Which way would the West go?… No group asked this question more anxiously than eastern clergymen. For, in 1800, they saw that their particular pattern was being abandoned on the frontier….McGready began to preach to these congregations, and he did not deal with such recondite matters as the doctrines contained in Matthew
…Instead he would “so describe Heaven” that his listeners would “see its glories and long to be there.” Then he went on to “array hell and its horrors” so that the wicked would “tremble and quake, imagining a lake of fire and brimstone yawning to overwhelm them.”

That excerpt contains examples of:



coercive persuasion

These are some words of Jesus:

(Matthew 26:51-52):

And, behold, one of them which were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest’s, and smote off his ear. Then said Jesus unto him, “Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.”

Compare those words more closely with what Wovoka said, “Do not hurt anybody or do harm to anyone. You must not fight. Do not refuse to work for the whites and do not make any trouble with them.”

No wonder the preachers “did not deal with such recondite matters as the doctrines contained in Matthew,” they would have been morally obligated to preach against the extermination of the indigenous people.

Now, onto the new information I learned.

I stood at the mass grave at the Wounded Knee Massacre recently, where the bones of Big Foot and Standing Bear are amongst all the others who were massacred in 1890 at Wounded Knee.

Here was then:

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Here is now:

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In addition to the above photo being the mass grave site, it is also the site of where the massacre began, where two soldiers made it look like a deaf man “started it.” Framing him, they grabbed the gun and blamed him as the excuse they needed to begin killing. The soldiers were given forty-six medals of honor for mowing down the disarmed Big Foot’s band (46 if memory serves from information from an original news article from “Lakota Times.” It was not merely 20 medals of honor). They disarmed them before massacring them. Later in 1973 at the Siege of Wounded Knee 1973, it was also the location of the church which once stood in the “firefight” between the FBI and those at the Siege (that church has since been bulldozed). Amongst those were Crow Dog and Mary Crow Dog. “Firefight” is in quotations, because it shouldn’t be called as such. They were defending their lives, family’s lives, land, and their way of life.

Allow me to share the words a friend shared with me on the matter.


The big problem on Pine Ridge was economic before, during and after Wounded Knee II, and the big problem tomorrow will likely still be economic. Pine Ridge has always (even before 1973) been the most poverty-stricken community in the nation. And Pine Ridge has a whole lot of valuable natural resources; coal, uranium, an aquifer with millions of gallons of clean water. In 1868 after getting their deserved butt-kick in battle against the Lakota, the US negotiated the Fort Laramie Treaty and right away began breaking the treaty by stealing Indian land and resources. By the 1970s, the Lakota had lost two-thirds of their land and the government had plans to steal even more – especially uranium filled land.

Early in 1972 Raymond Yellow Thunder was beat to death by two white men in Gordon Nebraska. Attacks on Indian people by racists and Dickie Wilson and his GOONS had been increasing on the reservation and the whites who committed these crimes were seldom punished (like rape charges against Governor Janklow).

The traditional camp represented by Chief Fools Crow and Elders like Ellen Moves Camp and Gladys Bissonette, formed Oglala Sioux Civil Rights Organization and began impeachment proceedings against Dickie Wilson, charging him with use of tribal funds, harassing and failing to protect the rights and interests of the Pine Ridge people. Erosion of the tribal land base and acceptance of government money for lost tribal land were at the heart of the conflict.

But, when Raymond Yellow Thunder was murdered, the Traditionals called on AIM and things got a bit better with Fools Crow welcoming Russel Means and Dennis Banks onto the Rez. And then things got way out of hand and grew worse. And I think maybe Fools Crow soon wished he hadn’t.

Carter Camp has said “I could still hear the words of the traditional chiefs of my Oglala Lakota Nation, spoken earlier that fateful day…Chief Fools Crow had told us: ‘Go to Wounded Knee. There you will be protected.’

Camp: “People were waiting for us to appear on the scene and for some Indians to stand up and say that we’re not going to take this shit no more. We’ve lived under this oppression for so many years. We’re going to fight back now. The American Indian Movement is the force that stood for the people as a warrior society and said we’re no longer going to allow you to roll over our people, to take our land, to pave over our reservations and dam up our rivers.”

But then the FBI – AIM seige happened.

Not a whole lot of people really wanted to talk about what happened in 1973 at the time and they still don’t. But a whole lot of key players sure wrote a lot of books about it. The conflicts and accusations between them are enough to make the head spin and makes me wonder if the truth can ever be known! A pretty condensed history is found on the pages of this link.

“Where White Men Fear to Tread: The Autobiography of Russell Means” by Russell Means  vs

“Ojibwa Warrior: Dennis Banks And The Rise Of The American Indian Movement” by Dennis Banks and Richard Erdoes  vs

“Loud Hawk: The United States Versus the American Indian Movement” by Kenneth S Stern  vs

“Prison Writings: My Life Is My Sun Dance” by Leonard Peltier, Harvey Arden, Chief Arvol Looking Horse, and Ramsey Clark

“Crow Dog: Four Generations of Sioux Medicine Men” by Leonard Crow Dog  vs
“Lakota Woman” by Mary Crow Dog

“Songs called poems (Living in reality)” by John Trudell 

“Who Would Unbraid Her Hair: the Legend of Annie Mae” by Antoinette Nora Claypoole

“The Unquiet Grave: The FBI and the Struggle for the Soul of Indian Country” by Steve Hendricks

To compliment this, here’s some more information about the Siege Of Wounded Knee 1973:


Nowhere was that awakening more profound, nor reaction by the government greater than around the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Racism and violence against Indians, corruption, and repression of traditional people on the reservations had left many Indians desperate. After the brutal deaths of two Indian men, traditional leaders called upon AIM. Fearing a takeover of tribal headquarters, federal law enforcement, armed with modern weapons and armored personnel carriers moved to protect the tribal government.

On February 27, 1973 traditional and AIM leaders chose another location to make a stand-the site of the 1890 massacre at Wounded Knee. Cold, hungry, and armed only with hunting rifles, fake guns, and one AK-47, they held out for 71 days against the US government. Over 500,000 rounds were exchanged between federal officers and Indians during the siege. Two Indians were killed, and several other wounded.
Nearly 600 federal criminal charges were filed. A Tattoo on My Heart: The Warriors of Wounded Knee 1973 tells this dramatic and emotional story in the words of those men and women who struggled for survival inside the bunkers and ravines at Wounded Knee.

I believe this is a core issue of the Siege of Wounded Knee 1973:

Self-defense Summary: Should the law punish those who use force to defend themselves against criminal acts?

What do you think? I’ll say what I think in the conclusion.

Going back to 1890 from 1973, more people survived if they tried to escape through this tree row, because there was more tree cover.

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More were massacred if they tried to escape through this tree row, because there was much less tree cover.

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The truth has still been tried to be slanted and concealed, even after over one century ago, because the old sign said that there were 150 warriors. The truth is, there were only 40 warriors (the sign at the beginning of this diary records the truth of there being 40 warriors).

To conclude, I think that forgiveness will be very difficult, especially as long as this history is revised to suite the “victors,” the Black Hills continue to be raped, and the fact that many deny the problems indigenous people still face are because of the direct and long lasting effects of the United States extermination policy against them in the most immediate forms of Intergenerational Boarding School Trauma and the Forced Sterilizations that ended in the approximate 1950’s (when Indian Boarding Schools closed) and mid 1970’s, respectively. This is not even mentioning Alex White Plume’s case regarding his attempts to grow Hemp.

However, I sincerely hope that reparations and forgiveness will someday become reality. For forgiveness leads to healing prayers and healing actions in my personal experience, and I believe that healing prayers and healing actions such as the Big Foot Memorial Ride can and will mend the sacred hoop.


The Bear Butte Prayer Gathering will be held from August 1st – 12th on 120 acres of Federal Trust Land managed by the Northern Cheyenne Tribe.  The land is located on the southwest side of the mountain, just north of the Bear Butte State Park entrance. 

After several meetings between a group of organizers from across South Dakota and the Northern Cheyenne tribe, a concerted effort is in progress to make this prayer camp a reality for all tribes who have paid homage to this mountain for centuries past and for those whose spirituality has brought them to this sacred site only recently. 

Special focus of prayer activities are for servicemen men and women, and nations impacted by armed conflict and hunger, as well as for the protection of the mountain and effects of global warming.

A brief history of the Bear Butte issue includes the encroachment of bars and campgrounds onto sacred lands.  “Recently, there has been a push by big businesses and individuals who reap economic gain at astronomical levels during the annual Sturgis Bike Rally to use the sacred site of the northern plains tribes to boost their income by exploiting its beauty and sacredness in return for greenbacks.  It has become evident that federal laws passed to protect sacred sites for indigenous peoples in this country have no meaning.  Money, it seems, is considered more powerful and more important than the creation, the land and its natural people are suffering in its wake,” stated Anne White Hat, member of the Bear Butte Prayer Gathering Working Committee and the Bear Butte International Alliance.

“Many attempts to seek justice and compromise by the tribes with the local Meade County Commissioners have seemed to substantiate this over and over again,” indicated Jay Red Hawk, member of the Working Committee and the Bear Butte International Alliance.  Tribal representatives indicated they have been dismissed, ignored, and treated with disrespect in their attempt to stop encroachment onto sacred lands as the commission continues to grant big business and individuals access to these areas of land for inflated land prices.  “Prices that many tribes or individuals cannot afford, not to mention the blatant treaty violations that continue play a role in any land transactions in the Black Hills as a whole,” furthered Red Hawk.

The most recent development just 1 mile of the north face of Bear Butte is owned by Arizona-based developer Jay Allen who has boasted his intention of building the largest biker bar in the world covering over 600 acres.  Tribes have pushed for a 4 mile buffer zone around the sacred mountain to protect the land and those tribal people who may be praying on the mountain during the time of year that the bike rally takes place.  Just days after the 2005 Sturgis motorcycle rally several tribal members met with Jay Allen to discuss concerns about the potential impact of his development, the Sturgis County Line.  “When Allen was informed about the sacrifices made annually by tribal people at Bear Butte, his response was simply, ‘They should know better than to pray up there during the rally, how naive,'” reported the Bear Butte International Alliance.  Since that statement, Allen has been able to complete construction of a bar with a parking lot to hold over 100 bikes and cars, both of which are within 3 miles of the sacred mountain. 

Smaller scale setups have come to exist even closer, the Free Spirit Campground is actually at the base of the north face and even up the side and houses a small bar to host bands and strippers.  Sacred tobacco ties left on the mountain by native people can be seen around the tents that campers set up to stay at the Free Spirit Campground.  A fifteen minute helicopter ride is made available during the rally so bikers and tourists can fly around the top of the sacred mountain for $85 dollars per flight.  “Many tribal people who pray on the mountain at this time are disrupted constantly and must endure the constant noise of rock bands and the drone of bikes twenty four hours a day,” reported Red Hawk.

Currently tribes are organizing to continue the struggle for recognition of religious freedom and protection of Bear Butte mountain as a sacred site.  Many tribes hold a vast history of homage to this sacred mountain through spiritual covenants and creation history.  Tribal affiliation with Bear Butte dates back thousands of years and various tribes each have their significant tribal name for this mountain that represents their own history.  “Within this history is the instruction to pay homage during a particular time of the year when all of creation is in attention and human beings make sacrifices for continued life on this earth.  This time of year has been dictated for thousands and thousands of years while the Sturgis Bike Rally is a miniscule 67 years old.  Who is being naive here?” said camp organizer Marcella Gilbert.

“Fortunately by creation human nature holds compassion and truth in light even in the most challenging of times and the biker culture has proven that these values can be powerful,” remarked Gilbert.  Bikers locally and nationally have offered support to this issue in many ways, one of which was by the Southern Cruisers who hosted a rally near New Orleans recently to support the efforts of protecting this sacred site from encroachment.  Many bike rally attendees are in support of allowing native people to have their space to pray, and have offered to stay away from highway 79 during the rally.  Simple gestures build big success and community.  “A big thank you goes out to those bike rally participants who support the Bear Butte issue with simple gestures, including deciding not to ride near Bear Butte,” said Gilbert. 

The Bear Butte Prayer Gathering is a spiritual encampment scheduled for August 1-12, 2007.  The first 4 days will encompass setting up camp logistics, which will involve a lot of work.  Anyone who wants to assist in this working process is welcome during those first 4 days of August.  August 5-11th the camp will focus on prayer and August 12th will be the day we break camp.  Tribes are encouraged to attend and all other people who believe in prayer and protection of the earth are welcome.  Please be as self sufficient as possible as there are limited resources for showers and toilets.  Open fires will not be allowed, bring coleman or solar stoves or something similar that is controllable for cooking needs. 

The camp will be set up in traditional camp circles and follow strict traditional protocol and natural law.  Videotaping, loudspeakers, alcohol, drugs, violence, weapons, confrontation, cultural or spiritual exploitation will not be tolerated.  Persons or groups who can not follow traditional protocol will be asked to leave the premises.  This is not a protest camp. 

Media communication will be filtered through the Bear Butte working committee who will have designated spokespersons who will speak on behalf of the encampment.  Please be aware that the weather will most likely be very hot.  Remember to have plenty of water available and be able to find some place cool if need be. 

Children are welcome however please be aware that the open range buffalo pasture is very close to the camp site therefore keeping a close eye on your children is a must. 

The Bear Butte working committee is working hard to attain resources to provide a first aid station in cases of emergencies and minimal comforts for the elderly if possible.  For a detailed list of needs, please visit our website at www.BearButtePrayerGathering.org go to the “How you can help section” for our latest needs list. 

You can also now make your donations via Pal Pal, by visiting our website and clicking on the Contribution Link. Many needs remain to be met and your tax-deductible contributions and donations can be sent to the
Bear Butte International Alliance,
PO Box 4232,
Sturgis, SD 57785. 

Logistics and Preparation
August 1 – 12, 2007

After several meetings between organizers from across South Dakota and the Northern Cheyenne tribe, a concerted effort is in progress to make this prayer camp a reality for all tribes who have paid homage to this mountain for centuries past and for those whose spirituality has brought them to this sacred site only recently. At this time we are calling on those who wish to participate and those who wish to support this gathering to assist us with preparation.

The schedule for the week is as follows:

August 1st – 4th Prepare the Camp – Blessing of the Grounds Those who wish to assist in preparing the campgrounds and setting up the camp are urged to arrive during this time.

August 5th – 11th Prayer Days Those who wish to participate in prayer and scheduled activities should arrive during these days.

August 12th Take down the Camp.

A more detailed daily schedule will be announced.

There are many ways you can help. We are posting various ‘wish’ lists along with a budget for this gathering and respectfully request your assistance to help us provide basic services, including first-aid/medical services and at least one evening meal a day. Thank you in advance for any assistance you can provide this grassroots effort. Any amount of assistance or funding is always appreciated, no amount is too small, it all helps to make a difference!

Water buffalos (large water tanks on a trailer), water tanks, Large beverage cooler,s Bottled water

We are asking organizations, programs, community groups, families, and businesses to consider sponsoring or co-sponsoring one or more meals. Donations of water, food and supplies are more than welcome! We are also asking for monetary donations to rent a refrigeration unit, please refer to the budget if you or your group is interested in assisting with this need.

We are seeking volunteer doctors, nurses, medics, first-response teams, etc. to help ensure basic medical assistance and first aid is available throughout the gathering. Canopy Tent, Cots, snake bite kits, First-Aid kits, medical supplies, water, Gatorade, Powerade, electrolyte replenishing fluids, water coolers.

Canopy tents are needed, all sizes and shapes. Flashlights, Batteries, and solar lighting. There is no access to electricity or open fires so we need creative lighting systems and supplies. Tables, chairs, benches, Tipi’s, poles, tents Propane, propane cookstoves, coffee pots, pots, cooking utensils, serving dishes. Cleaning supplies

Paint, brushes, plywood, banner and sign making materials, fabric or banner material, and volunteer painters and carpenters.

As horse-mounted security will be provided, we are seeking assistance with horse care needs, including, watering tanks, tack, temporary fencing/corral, horse feed and hay. Radio units, flashlights, batteries

As a way to document this gathering from the voices of the participants, we encourage daily journaling by all. Take a few minutes to express your experience throughout your stay at Bear Butte. Please consider donating notebooks, journals, and pens.

We would appreciate your help in providing a youth centered area for children of all ages. This can be a place where we can culturally engage and enrich children and young adults through art, music and storytelling. Please consider donating: canopy tent, shading, storytellers, drummers, singers, artists, teachers, grandma?s, art supplies, journals, seating.

A1 Portables (porta-potties) $27.50/day/toilet x 12 x20 $6600
Dumpsters deposit $2000 3 dumpsters(10yrd) x $175 + 4% tax $546.00
Emptying of dumpsters 2 dumpings x 546.00 $1092.00
Landfill charge $38.11 x 3 tons $114.33
Refrigerator truck (24 ft) $150/day x 12 days $1800.
Diesel fuel $3.00 x 40 gals x 4 fills $480
Food and water 12 days x 500+ persons (estimated) $6000
TOTAL $18,632.33 

We may not need 3 of the 10-yard size dumpsters but estimated on the higher end, as well with the porta-potties.

  Please contact members of the Working Group to coordinate your generous offer of help and thank you again for any assistance you can provide this grassroots effort.

Monetary donations are tax-deductible and can be made payable to:
Sicangu Way of Life Project or the Bear Butte International Alliance Mail to:
Bear Butte International Alliance
PO Box 4232
Sturgis, SD 57785

Remember to mark your gift to the “Bear Butte Prayer Gathering”.

Please visit our website to make an online donation: www.BearButtePrayerGathering.org

Please arrive and be prepared to be as self sufficient as possible. No open fires.

For Information and to Support this Grassroots Effort with Much-Needed Donations please contact Members of the Working Committee:
*  Tamra Brennan 605-347-2061 Tamra[at] ProtectSacredSites.org www.ProtectSacredSites.org
*  Gilbert Brady 406-477-3175 nochey01[at] yahoo.com
*  Marcella Gilbert 605-624-9288 twotails100[at] hotmail.com
*  Phillip Gullikson 605-624-9288 arikaria_king[at] hotmail.com
*  Jay Red Hawk 605-347-4127 cetanduta[at] yahoo.com
*  Anne White Hat 605-347-4127 BBIA[at] MatoPaha.org www.MatoPaha.org