Apology or the Willingness to be Unwilling?

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If link is still down see here

The Consolidated Indigenous Shadow Report mentions “Racially Discriminatory Constitutional Foundations” and  “The Denial of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms in the Political, Economic, Social, Cultural, or any Other Field of Public Life.” I have found a couple videos that I think will clarify those two things in order. The first is from a clip from a movie entitled “Broken Treaties,” and the second is a movie trailer entitled “Broken Promises: Indian Trust.”

Crossposted at Docudharma (see extra video)

I suggest reading this prior to watching the first video to get a grasp on “Racially Discriminatory Constitutional Foundations.” As for the next part, it will become more and more apparent how over 500,000 American Indians losing billions of dollars through “the annual willingness of Congress and the president to provide sufficient funds” is “The Denial of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms in the Political, Economic, Social, Cultural, or any Other Field of Public Life.” It’s the willingness to be unwilling regardless of the consequences to others that has been part of the problem since the period of Allotment (and before, but not mentioned here) to the present.  

If YouTube is still down, please just read this.

The willingness to be unwilling of the president and congress to do the right thing is a theme that seems to permeate “The Denial of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms in the Political, Economic, Social, Cultural, or any Other Field of Public Life,” as it relates to the broken promises of the Indian Trust.

The Consolidated Indigenous Shadow Report. p. 53

“…promises made to American Indians and Alaskan Natives through the Constitution, statutes, case law, and treaties have been subject to the annual willingness of Congress and the president to provide sufficient funds…”

Here is the movie trailer for “Broken Promises: Indian Trust.”

Over 500,000 Indians have had their assets mismanaged. They lost billions of dollars. Our only role was to suffer the consequences of their mistakes…Here’s what I got, $89. $6,000 of the oil taken out of there, and I get 89 bucks?

The “annual willingness of Congress and the president” to do the right thing now is still lacking,

Bush administration seeks another cut in BIA budget

In the last budget of his administration, President Bush on Monday announced a cut of nearly $100 million to the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

The fiscal year 2009 budget seeks $2.2 billion for the agency that serves more than 550 tribes and more than 1.6 million American Indians and Alaska Natives. The request represents a 4.4 percent decrease from current levels and a 5.1 percent decrease from last year’s budget.

and they were willing to be unwilling with the white paper that kept the Indian Health Care Improvement Act from passing. That white paper landed in the hands of the Republican Steering Committee in 2006.


Just who was responsible for the “white paper” that derailed the Indian Health Care Improvement Act?

First, there’s the official answer. “I was told that no one in the Department of Justice released it,” Frederick Breckner III, a deputy assistant general, said last week.

Then, there’s the unofficial one. “The evidence is that the Department of Justice put out a white paper to kill this bill,” said Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-North Dakota), the chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee.

And the Republican Steering Committee has some interesting faces:

Ice Melting Under The Inuit & 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).

I’m afraid there’s nothing new or original about the president’s and the congress’s willingness to be unwilling. It was part of preventing there now being 51 states.

“The Dawes Commission: And the Allotment of the Five Civilized Tribes” by Kent Carter. p. 155.

Not all of the non – citizens were welcome. Although the federal government insisted that it was committed to removing intruders, it was clear that many uninvited guests stayed on the land because no one had the power or the will to remove them.

No 51 states, no Indian Trust or Healthcare; sounds about right unless thepossible apology to American Indians yields Indian Healthcare. We’ll see if it’ll be an apology, or yet more willingness to be unwilling. I’ll leave it up to you to draw your own conclusions.


The Indian apology resolution in the Senate bill is careful to state that it is not meant to authorize or support any claim against the U.S. government or serve as a settlement of any claim.

Eagle Man, Climbing the Sky

( – promoted by navajo)

Red light of evening falls like rain.

Rainbow’s my yarn the sky is my loom

I will weave sunsets later on.

Snow woman, climbing the wind.

Blue light of winter fills her baskets.

Changing woman, dance on the weather lightening and feather mark her trail

Life lovers, splitting the worlds.

Healing the broken and the lame.

Reach out to me, give me your hand

We close the circuits of time

Angel ranger, stay here by me.

Guide my transmission of energy.

Oldest religion simple and clear.

Pour out a lesson into our dreams

Eagle man, climbing the skies.

Red light of evening falls like rain.

Rainbow’s my yarn the sky is my loom

I will weave sunsets later on.

I wish I could post a direct link to what Buffy did with this Dine prayer/poem musically.  But it’s worth the search.  The best I can find is a free trial of “Rhapsody” here:


Im’ closing in on the mourning for my husband, who died in April 2005. This was our song, and the song at his going-away ceremony.  I ask for your prayers as I need to go forward to keep our work on going without him by myself.  It was our song/prayer.

Shadow Report: “Indian Reservation Apartheid”

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…human rights violations and an institutionalized racism against indigenous peoples is alive and thriving in the United States…

Consolidated Indigenous Shadow Report

III. Indian Reservation Apartheid

“Apartheid” is certainly a strong word. And certainly, there are recognized tribes in the U.S. that are now achieving certain levels of relative prosperity primarily due to federal law allowing them to operate casinos, But the data contained in this section as well as others in this report (see, e.g., Violence Against Women, The Right to the Highest Attainable Standard of Health) reflect what only can be described as a system of Apartheid on many Indian Reservations, where Indigenous people are warehoused in poverty and neglect. By purpose or effect, their only option is forced assimilation, the abandonment of their land, families, language and cultures in search of a better life.


The Shadow Report Outlines the following: critical things the U.S. Periodic Report omitted that were supposed to have been reported to the Human Rights Committee; Un – recognized Indigenous Peoples of which “many have waited decades” for recognition; the “Indian Reservation Apartheid;” the “Life Expectancy on the Indian Reservation” with its “high rate of infant mortality, cancer, diabetes, and heart disease;” poverty and unemployment, overall problems with justice;  “Racially Discriminatory Constitutional Foundations;” religious freedom as it relates to access to sacred lands; “Environmental Racism and  its effects on Indigenous Human Rights,” that “you cannot damage the land without damaging those who live upon it;” “The Denial of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms in the Political, Economic, Social, Cultural, or any Other Field of Public Life;”  “Racist Science and the Collective Right of Free, Prior and Informed Consent;” “Articles 6 and 7,” which mention the devastation of Indian Boarding Schools and “Racist Sports Mascots and Logos;” and finally, “The United States and its Transnational Companies and Violations of the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples Abroad.”

To begin with, let’s give an example of  this: “But the data contained in this section as well as others in this report (see, e.g., Violence Against Women, The Right to the Highest Attainable Standard of Health) reflect what only be described as a system of Apartheid on many Indian Reservations, where Indigenous people are warehoused in poverty and neglect.”

McCain (was) Instrumental in Removing Dine(h)-Navajo Tribe

A public research website: http://www.cain2008.org has brought together diverse historical elements of factual proof that Senator John McCain’s was the key “point man” introducing, enacting and enforcing law that removed Dineh-Navajo Families from their reservation on the Black Mesa in Arizona.

No wonder the U.S. Periodic Report omitted critical things that were supposed to have been reported to the Human Rights Committee.

How long is a tribe supposed to wait for federal recognition while keeping in mind the “Life Expectancy on the Indian Reservation,” which is “disturbingly low (by the few scattered statistics available)?” Maybe that answer is long enough for them to not be a “problem” anymore in lieu of “what only can be described as a system of Apartheid on many Indian Reservations.” Is there at least one “law” that is still being used that serves as a legal foundation for stealing and damaging sacred land with a cold heart?

 Yes, a “Racially Discriminatory Constitutional Foundation” is found in Johnson v. M’Intosh,


The Doctrine of Discovery provided that by law and divine intention European Christian countries gained power and legal rights over indigenous non-Christian peoples immediately upon their “discovery” by Europeans. Various European monarchs and their legal systems developed this principle to benefit their own countries. The Discovery Doctrine was then adopted into American colonial and state law and into the United States Constitution, and was then adopted by the federal legislative and executive branches, and finally by the U.S. Supreme Court in Johnson v. M’Intosh in 1823. Johnson is still federal law today and the Doctrine of Discovery is still being applied to Indian individuals and the American Indian Nations notwithstanding its Eurocentric, religious, and racial underpinnings.

which necessarily affects religious freedom as it relates to access to sacred lands. Indeed, “you cannot damage the land without damaging those who live upon it.” I have written before that

A web of land theft in a “a new kind of Indian war” is taking place. Non Indians’ racism and genocide denial, who engage in attempting to steal tribal sovereignty through the court system, ignore an obvious question. Where would they meet to practice their religion, a white Caucasian word, if their churches were stolen, condemned, and being used to drill for oil and uranium?

Next and skipping to “Articles 6 & 7,”  “Articles 6 & 7” mention the devastation of Indian Boarding Schools and “Racist Sports Mascots and Logos,” Indian Boarding Schools weren’t the result of any “Peace Policy,” and there shouldn’t be any question about whether or “Racist Sports Mascots and Logos” are racist. Furthermore, I wrote the following not having its broader reaching implications in mind in “Dead Indian Creek” & Cultural Hegemony.

So once again, why say “Dead Warrior Creek,” when racism fuels cultural hegemony so well?

It makes stealing –

“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.”

– easier.

A Norman woman challenged the name in 1997, complaining the name was too similar to a notorious saying attributed to Maj. Gen. Phillip H. Sheridan that “the only good Indian is a dead Indian.”

easy as driving down the street in your car,

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

or going to see the Sound of Music.


Cultural hegemony is the concept that a diverse culture can be ruled or dominated by one group or class, that everyday practices and shared beliefs provide the foundation for complex systems of domination.

So as well as the “institutionalized racism against indigenous peoples is (being) alive and thriving in the United States” makes stealing here easier, it also makes stealing abroad easier as outlined in the last section of the Shadow Report entitled “The United States and its Transnational Companies and Violations of the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples Abroad.”

The last section of the Shadow Report contains the following paragraph.

In addition to being complicit the racial discrimination practiced by their trans – nationals, the United States itself practices Environmental Racism indirectly and directly affecting the rights of Indigenous Peoples abroad, These direct racist practices should be stopped.

To conclude, here’s one more element I think that needs to be thought of along with the above paragraph with some final thoughts.

I spent three years living with the indigenous people in Ecuador in the Amazon…at that time were beginning to fight the oil companies…In fact the largest environmental lawsuit in the world has just been brought by these people against Texaco, Chevron.

How To Destabalize Countries Legally .Economic Hitman Part 1

People who come in to overthrow governments and assassinate their leaders…also come out of private industry…It’s done by private consultants that are brought in to do this work (overthrow governments and assassinate their leaders)…

Finally, the next time you hear or read someone say or write something like this,

Indians mark centennial with protest march at state Capitol

To all my Indian brethren – for those who are unhappy with what the “imperialists” did to your culture – move to the panhandle, set up teepees, and hunt for your food. If that’s what you want to go back to, quit whining and protesting and JUST DO IT!

you’ll understand much more just how racist it is, unless you already knew. In either case try on this thought,

Even the most blatant bigots, when made aware of their racism, can change.

Charles R. Ridley

along with one of the greatest things I was ever taught which is – there is no defense against unconditional love.

Continuing “The Genocide of Matriarchal Societies”

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I wrote The Genocide of Matriarchal Societies in April of last year (2007), and there is some additional information I want to share along those general lines now. We’ll pick up where we left off and the answer to “Where Are All Your Women” will be made chillingly clear as to why they are “Missing In Action” after we recognize that a woman is set to be beheaded for “practicing witchcraft.” First however, we will reread the words of Archie Fire Lame Deer and relish in the scholarship of Barbara Alice Mann.


Archie Fire Lame Deer had discovered enormous commonalties in terms of visual imagery between those in his father’s Yuwipi ceremonies and the visual imagery of the Black Madonna. Next, he learned that medicine men and Black Madonnas shared the same tragic fate.

..one last example of synchronicity is between the Lakota and a prehistoric cave in France. Archie Fire Lame tells briefly of his travels there with his daughter, while talking to a guide he described as a “spiritual man.”


Fire Lame Deer & Richard Erdoes. “Gift Of Power.” pp. 277-278.

I found the image of a buffalo carved out of the living rock with water from a sacred spring flowing from its mouth. While I was contemplating this, I heard (his daughter) holler, “Daddy, quick, come here!” – There revealed a face exactly like the one my father always used during his Yuwipi ceremonies –

Then our guide said, “All this goes back thousands of years before Christianity.” – (He) kept the image of a dark-skinned prophetess that nowadays is called the “Black Madonna.” He told me, “They called her and her sisters witches and burned them at the stake.”

“I know all about this,” I said. “They called our medicine men witch doctors and shot them dead for the same reasons.” He went on, “This here has survived. Few have been inside this cave. You have been chosen.”

Next, Barbara Alice Mann has made such valuable contributions in terms of outlining and defining the “Western obliteration of women from the record, (p. 129)” that I don’t think it can be retold too many times.

Unlearning the Language of Conquest Scholars Expose Anti-Indianism in America. “Where Are Your Women?: Missing In Action,” by Barbara Alice Mann. p. 121, 122, 124.

…in the often fractious discussions of the extent of Native American contributions to modern Euro – American culture, the glaring omission of women continues almost utterly unaddressed…Worse, from the European perspective, was the level of political clout wielded by woodlands women. The sixteenth – century Spaniards in La Florida (the whole American southwest) were nonplussed by matrilineage and the cacicas (female chiefs) with whom they were forced to deal…Spanish frustration was not a little focused on Guale females, who undermined patriarchal tampering with Guale culture…In 1724, the Jesuit missionary Joseph Francois Lafitau recorded in astonishment that Haudenosaunee women were “the souls of the councils…” Judicial affairs so entirely belonged to women that any woodlands man who wished to become a jurist or a negotiator had first to have been “made a woman” in order to be qualified for the job…

Mann then proceeds to outline the methods of genocide and cultural genocide used to destroy “the level of political clout wielded by woodlands women.” She tells how the Spanish forced these women “to scalp their own sons, husbands, fathers, and brothers,” and then Mann outlines “pen – and – ink witchcraft.” “Pen – and – ink witchcraft” can be thought of as deliberately revising history. Mann continues to discuss how the “pen – and – ink witchcraft” was used in attempting to change the character and even the very gender of various entities in creation stories.

Mann ends with the following request, “We need the strong arms of our brothers reinforcing us in this effort.” While I’m not a scholar, this is the best I can do in addition to helping spread the news about Stop(ping) Barbaric Execution of Saudi “Witch”! by Valtin. .

It is over 300 years since the famous Salem witchcraft trials, which ended in the hanging of over nineteen men and women at Gallows Hill. The last execution for so-called witchcraft in England was in 1684. The last woman put to death for the “crime” of sorcery was Anna Göldi, beheaded in Switzerland in 1782. The last execution for “sorcery” in Saudi Arabia was in… 2007!

Now its 2008, and staunch U.S. ally Saudi Arabia is about to do it again. Saudi law courts have sentenced Fawza Fahli for “witchcraft, recourse to jinn [supernatural beings], and slaughter of animals.” Held in Quraiyat Prison, she is to be beheaded…

Concluding, one end to studying about history is to not make the same mistakes again in my opinion.  Barbara Alice Mann and Archie Fire Lame Deer share their scholarship and their experiences out of generosity and wanting to make this world a better place. I think that’s a safe conclusion to draw. And making our world a better place necessitates not allowing this atrocious past to happen again, whether it’s in Saudi Arabia or because these forces

On the website of the National Reform Association one can actually find an artifact, by Daniel Lance Herrick, titled Table of Death Penalty Laws in the Pentateuch which, explains the article introduction, “is a sidebar for Why Execute Murderers? which was published in the May – June, 2000 issue of The Christian Statesman.”

Herrick’s article contains a series of grid boxes that delineate various offenses, per the Old Testament, that are described in the Old Testament as punishable by stoning to death. the “crimes” demanding communal stoning to death according to Herrick are:

• Idol Worship

• Witchcraft

• Blasphemy

• Cursing the Lord

• Violating the Sabbath

• Enticing to Idolatry

• Women who marry but are not virgins

• Adultery

were wholly underestimated.

Uranium Mining almost near Grand Canyon and is Elsewhere!

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A British mining company is about to begin exploratory drilling for toxic, radioactive uranium in Kaibab National Forest just outside the eco-fragile boundaries of Grand Canyon National Park.

Of course, the idea of uranium is being sold as if it were an absolute necessity.

Do these companies really care about the beauty of the Earth Mother,


they’re altering for the worst?


(only photo of a uranium mine I could find)



This ill-conceived drilling is powerful evidence that tighter restrictions must be enacted to protect the Canyon. It further indicates the critical need to modernize the General Mining Act of 1872, which authorizes mining for economic minerals on federal public lands.

Funny thing about that capitalistic motivation is that in spite of it, there is now an example of an energy efficient home from Extreme Makeover.

So, let’s consider clean energy usage from that new Navajo home verses “high levels of cancer and areas of radioactivity.”


Uranium mining has been linked to high levels of cancer and areas of radioactivity on the Navajo Reservation. The tribe has banned it. The various mining techniques used all risk contaminating the groundwater aquifer or surface water.

Next, let’s consider clean energy usage from that new Navajo home verses “how the uranium mining will affect their water, livestock and their families.”


People in Wyoming and South Dakota are afraid of how the uranium mining will affect their water, livestock and their families, just like their Coloradan neighbors to the south, but they are more afraid of the ramifications of speaking up, White Face said.

Last of all, let’s consider clean energy usage from that new Navajo home verses “Uranium dust from abandoned open-pit mines in Wyoming makes its way into South Dakota, she said, and it even finds its way into the Cheyenne River, which flows into South Dakota’s Black Hills, uranium-rich in its own right.”


White Face said she’s seen firsthand the sorts of things uranium can do to public health, even in more remote parts of the United States. Uranium dust from abandoned open-pit mines in Wyoming makes its way into South Dakota, she said, and it even finds its way into the Cheyenne River, which flows into South Dakota’s Black Hills, uranium-rich in its own right.

Oh wait,
we need to consider clean energy usage from that new Navajo home verses “… make(ing) yellowcake. That material can be turned into weapons-grade uranium or enhanced for use in nuclear power plants.”


Groundwater is oxidized and turned into a solution called a “lixiviant,” which is forced down into the sandstone layers, where the uranium is essentially drawn to combine with the water. The solution is pumped back to the surface and combined with resin beads in a process that works basically the same way as a home water softener. Molecules of uranium hop on to the resin beads, which are taken to a processing facility to strip the uranium off, refine it and make yellowcake. That material can be turned into weapons-grade uranium or enhanced for use in nuclear power plants.

I’d said earlier that there’s a funny thing about that capitalistic motivation,

The military-industrial complex is generally defined as a “coalition consisting of the military and industrialists who profit by manufacturing arms and selling them to the government.”

which is why I don’t foresee the clean energy usage from that new Navajo home being used widely anytime soon, or in my lifetime.

Uranium mining is no solution to the impending doom of it now being merely five minutes to midnight,

(emphasis mine)


The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ Doomsday Clock conveys how close humanity is to catastrophic destruction–the figurative midnight–and monitors the means humankind could use to obliterate itself. First and foremost, these include nuclear weapons, but they also encompass climate-changing technologies and new developments in the life sciences and nanotechnology that could inflict irrevocable harm.

– snip –

Unfortunately, however, the possibility of a nuclear exchange between countries remains.

as uranium mining becomes more common, it may facilitate even more “possibility of a nuclear exchange between countries,”  drawing us closer to midnight.

Threat of Nuclear Autumn

Famine sweeps the Third World. A billion people flee across borders. Vast regions become abandoned. Governments fall. Hundreds of millions die.

This is the future that might overwhelm the planet if any of the eight nuclear-armed countries – or the 35 other countries with enough weapons-grade fuel build their own bombs – start blasting their enemy’s cities with low-yield nuclear weapons.

(Take accordingly. I don’t think anyone but real intelligence has the real numbers, but the point is made)

Where are the bombs?

Pakistan –
– 52 warheads

India –
– 85 warheads

Israel –
– 116 warheads

Britain –
– 200 + warheads

France –
– 350 warheads

China —
 400 warheads

– 10,315 warheads

Russia –
– 16,200 warheads

Think how much uranium had to be used to make all those nuclear weapons and how much beautiful land had to be ruined. Furthermore, think of how much “uranium dust from abandoned open-pit mines” caused health problems, how much uranium mining affected “water, livestock, and families,” and the cumulative effects of the “high levels of cancer and areas of radioactivity” caused by all those uranium mines.

The uranium mining companies must be soooooooooooooo concerned about the possible future of our planet,


or not.

Crossposted at The Wild Wild Left

“Stereotypical Elements (that) appear… in Athletic Contests”

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However, nowhere does the insensitive misuse of American Indian images, icons, and stereotypical elements appear more brashly than in athletic contests at the public high school level in Oklahoma.

Savage Country: American Indian Sports Mascots Part One

The tomahawk chop motion, we see that all the time…they get thousands of people to get going through the motion for the spirit of the game or whatever…not knowing that it’s degrading…it implies something bad that our ancestors were, people that did this. Therefore their team is going to be just like that, chop them up, do battle, or whatever…





Who are the sports fans engaging in that racist behavior imitating? They surely do not think that they are imitating the American Indians who resisted nonviolently, they obviously think they are imitating the American Indians who resisted forced relocation and genocide self defensively; except, for the element of genocide denial that they exhibit in their racial exhibitions. Racism being based on ignorance, among other things, can and should be combated with education and historical facts. The sports fans engaging in the racist behavior of “tomahawk chopping” seem to be imitating, while being wholly ignorant of them, Warrior Societies which had a key beginning and a key ending in 1825 and 1878 in accordance with the “stereotypical elements (that) appear… in athletic contests” that they racially exhibit.

These facts in my opinion: that the U.S. traded weapons to the American Indians which naturally increased violence, and that the U.S. did not keep its treaties and created desperate conditions wherein American Indians would either have to starve or fight; may possibly provide a foundation for historically understanding and doing away with “stereotypical elements (that) appear… in athletic contests.”

The U.S. traded weapons to the American Indians which naturally increased violence.


And the Chiefs and Warriors, as aforesaid, promise and engage that their tribe will never, by sale, exchange, or as presents, supply any nation or tribe of Indians, not in amity with the United States, with guns, ammunition, or other implements of war.

And trade in general increased violence, as well as how “Europeans and Americans manipulated traditional hostilities.”

Encyclopedia of the Great Plains Indians

Edited by David J. Wishart. p. 103

Destructive war in the plains intensified after contact because of migration of eastern tribes (the Cheyennes and the Lakotas, for example) into the Plains as settlement moved west, because Europeans and Americans manipulated traditional hostilities, and because tribes competed for access to European and American trade, especially in fur – rich areas of the Northern Plains and Prairie Provinces.  

The increased violence caused by weapons trade and “Europeans and Americans manipulated traditional hostilities” affected not only Indian Nation to Indian Nation, but it also spread from Indian Nation to white settlers. This certainly wasn’t the last conflict, but the last Indian Raid was in Kansas in 1878. Within those raids and the brutality therein lie much racial resentment in my personal conversations and readings, and quite understandably so. There were deaths on both sides and it matters not to the surviving family members why their ancestor died, only that they were murdered and how. I don’t pretend to have the answer for that; I just know that this racism we are speaking of is not the solution. Let us continue.

The U.S. did not keep its treaties and created desperate conditions wherein American Indians would starve as part of the extermination policy against them, and that meant making a choice to fight in order to survive or to starve to death.

Custer’s Indian Hostages: (One White Woman & 2 White Children, Part 1)

Moxtaveto lost even more respect for signing the Little Arkansas Treaty of 1865 after the Sand Creek Massacre. It gave some land to Black Kettle and others, promised food and other survival necessities, promised that conflicts would be handled by taking Indians into custody rather than being murdered, “and that no white person, except officers, agents, and employees of the Government, shall go upon or settle within the country embraced within said limits, unless formerly admitted and incorporated into some one of the tribes lawfully residing there, according to its laws and usages.”

Custer “Stayed The Course” & The Kansas Raids

Confining and binding those Native Nations to land where they could not survive by hunting or agriculture, breaking promises to provide those survival means, and propaganda revolving around the Kansas Raids reset Custer “on the course,” as if they were without severe provocation in the first place.

Furthermore, the Sand Creek Massacre descendants were

Encyclopedia of the Great Plains Indians

Edited by David J. Wishart. p. 49

…promised indemnities under the Treaty of Little Arkansas Treaty in 1865, which had not yet been paid as of 2001, although the Cheyenne Sand Creek Descendants Association continues to make legal efforts to collect the funds.

And at that Massacre at Sand Creek

“Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” by Dee Brown. p. 92.

Chivington and his soldiers destroyed the lives or the power of every Cheyenne and Arapaho chief who had held out for peace with the white men.

So: trade in general increased violence, how “Europeans and Americans manipulated traditional hostilities” increased violence, the U.S. not keeping its treaties helped create violence, and the Massacre that started the so called “Indian Wars” that involved “destroy(ing) the lives or the power of every Cheyenne and Arapaho chief who had held out for peace with the white men -“ created much, much, more violence.

Those sports fans who condone the tomahawk chop might start to see how offensive it is, if they had been taught at least the following about the Sand Creek Massacre, but of course this wasn’t taught to them via Colonial Education.

143rd Anniversary of the Sand Creek Massacre of Nov. 29th, 1864

Kurt Kaltreider, PH.D. “American Indian Prophecies.” pp. 58-59:

– The report of witnesses at Sand Creek:

“I saw some Indians that had been scalped, and the ears cut off the body of White Antelope,” said Captain L. Wilson of the first Colorado Cavalry. “One Indian who had been scalped had also his skull smashed in, and I heard that the privates of White Antelope had been cut off to make a tobacco bag of. I heard some of the men say that the privates of one of the squaws had been cut out and put on a stick…”

John S. Smith…

All manner of depredations were inflicted on their persons; they were scalped, their brains knocked out; the men used their knives, ripped open women, clubbed little children, knocked them in the heads with their guns, beat their brains out, mutilated their bodies in every sense of the word…worse mutilation that I ever saw before, the women all cut to pieces…children two or three months old; all ages lying there.

(Emphasis mine)

The process of colonization involves one nation or territory taking control of another nation or territory either through the use of force or by acquisition. As a by-product of colonization, the colonizing nation implements its own form of schooling within their colonies.

Nor do they probably ever consider the full implications of their actions. Who and what are they imitating?

Christopher Columbus & His Crimes Against Humanity?



It would be easy, he asserted, to “subject everyone and make them do what you wished (3).”

The very dishonorable Cotton Mather?




“In a little more than one hour, five or six hundred of these barbarians

were dismissed from a world that was burdened with them.”

Or, are they imitating Chivington with their “chops”?




“the Cheyennes will have to be roundly whipped — or completely wiped out — before they will be quiet. I say that if any of them are caught in your vicinity, the only thing to do is kill them.” A month later, while addressing a gathering of church deacons, he dismissed the possibility of making a treaty with the Cheyenne: “It simply is not possible for Indians to obey or even understand any treaty. I am fully satisfied, gentlemen, that to kill them is the only way we will ever have peace and quiet in Colorado.”

(It is worth noting also that the Fuhrer from time to time expressed admiration for the “efficiency” of the American genocide campaign against the Indians, viewing it as a forerunner for his own plans and programs.)

In conclusion, the sports fans are obviously imitating each other in the phenomenon of mob mentality in the moment, so what is to be said to the adults who think that behavior doesn’t hurt anybody? Well, the past isn’t quite the past now.

Ecuador investigates massacre reports

Ecuadorean authorities combed swaths of the Amazon jungle on Thursday looking for victims of a reported massacre of Indians by loggers, part of a long-running fight over land.

Local media and indigenous leaders said the loggers gunned down 15 Indians from the Taromenani tribe, which in the 1950s cut ties with rest of the country to protect their hunting and gathering customs.

And, as I said in Pledge: Become A Modern Day Warrior For Indigenous Rights (Updated & Edited):

A web of land theft in a “a new kind of Indian war” is taking place. Non Indians’ racism and genocide denial, who engage in attempting to steal tribal sovereignty through the court system, ignore an obvious question. Where would they meet to practice their religion, a white Caucasian word, if their churches were stolen, condemned, and being used to drill for oil and uranium? The “spirit” seems to be this: “What one group calls genocide, another group may call progress.” Let’s try to get an overview of the “progress” in the web of land theft in the “New kind of Indian war.”

There is “a new kind of Indian war” taking place in the courtrooms, and the ones that make the decisions are human beings who will either be motivated by more racism or less racism, depending on  whether or not things like the tomahawk chop and “the insensitive misuse of American Indian images, icons, and stereotypical elements” are more or less influential in their minds. In that way, it could cause harm in my view in the realm of political influence with a more racial social climate. Everyone accepts that racism played a decisive factor in the South in court cases, for example with the Jim Crow Laws. Why wouldn’t the





and “the insensitive misuse of American Indian images, icons, and stereotypical elements” with Law in the Shadow of the Bible yield a comparable result in deciding court cases, resulting in more and more lost sovereignty for the American Indian Nations?

Crossposted at Progressive Historians

Still fighting to protect Bear Butte

A Report on the Hearing of SD House Bill 1309

“South Dakota Legislative Committee says “No” to simple respect”

more below

Feb. 7, 2008

By Charmaine White Face, Coordinator

Defenders of the Black Hills

The state of South Dakota should be ashamed of nine of the thirteen members of the SD House Commerce Committee for the behavior they exhibited during the Hearing on House Bill 1309, entitled “An Act to prohibit the issuance of certain alcoholic beverage licenses for establishments located near Bear Butte.” For the past thirty years, I have participated at various state committee hearings on a number of issues and never have I witnessed such outrageous behavior. It was like watching a bunch of drunken fans hollering at an opponent in a game.

Maybe that was why the time of the hearing on HB 1309 was changed in the schedule from first on the agenda to the last place so there would not be many witnesses to such outrageous behavior. Or was the change made specifically because it was a Bill that was of importance to Native American people and was put at the end of the meeting so that the public would have only a little time to comment. Yet, during the hearing, when two wealthy businessmen gave their comments, even when their comments were off topic as one mentioned, they were allowed to ramble on and on. One of the businessmen gave a lengthy discourse of misinformation about Native Americans, misinformation that had nothing to do with the subject matter of the Bill and was never cautioned about staying on topic. The proponents of the Bill, on the other hand, were told to keep their comments short. One Native American speaker brought statements from seventeen other people from around the world, and stated she would only present a few because of the time constraints. She was allowed to present only one statement. The racism exhibited toward the Native American speakers was blatant.

At the very beginning of the hearing, Representative Jim Bradford amended the Bill which he sponsored. His amendment limited the one-mile alcohol-free area to begin at the top of the sacred mountain, Bear Butte, instead of one-mile away from the perimeter as was stated in the Bill. Beginning from the top of the mountain, the area in the Bill encompassed mostly state and tribal land with a small portion from an area that is to have an agricultural easement, and an existing campground. The Bill already stated it would not affect existing permits. Although the amendment dismayed many proponents who heard it for the first time at the Hearing, they understood the reasons for the change and continued to support the Bill.

Four of the committee members, Representatives Ahlers, Engels, Street, and Nygaard, are to be praised for their extreme patience in sitting in a meeting in which their colleagues exhibited such disrespect to their efforts to submit additional amendments to the Bill. Toward the end of the hearing, Rep. Ahlers finally asked the other committee members to accept only one-half mile from the top of the sacred mountain stating, “This is only a sign of respect” as the land would be almost entirely public land. The other nine loudly hollered, “No!” as they had done time and time again to previous offers of amendments. After shouting their loud, disrespectful “Nos,”… then they would laugh.

The disrespect to the sponsors of the Bill, the four patient members of the Committee, and the public who had attended the hearing was shameful. It is sad that there is no way to sanction the nine members of the Committee for their disgraceful behavior.

To all the people who submitted comments, Thank you. To those who endured this appalling behavior in a respectful manner, you are to be commended. To the sponsors of HB 1309 and the four House Commerce Committee members who tried to have a little respect given to sacred Bear Butte, you will be blessed.


NOTE: Defenders of the Black Hills was not a part of the protests held at Bear Butte more than a year ago precisely because the mountain is such a sacred place. We did not participate because of recommendations from our spiritual advisors. There is an understanding among all traditional Native American cultures that the circle will always come back, although not necessarily in the form that started it. The consequences for the behavior exhibited by the disrespectful nine members of the South Dakota House Commerce Committee will also fall on those they represent all over the state. We understand that the disrespect they gave was not to us as human beings, but to the sacredness of Bear Butte. It is now out of our hands. Ktso. (It is so.)

Posted in Uncategorized

Custer Wannabes Happy about Pipeline & Black Hills

( – promoted by navajo)

Custer’s Pipeline & Genocide Denial

Genocide denial is part of the steel that drills the oil in “Custer’s Pipeline,” is part of what moves the pens making lying papers that are stealing and have stolen the promised sovereignty of American Indians, and what makes the modern day Custers feel joy when they succeed and rage when they fail.

Looks like the modern- day Custers are feeling a little joy lately.


TransCanada has decided to go ahead with its application for approval of a jumbo 42″ gas pipeline cut right through the middle of Lubicon land, without consultation and despite Lubicon objections. They have refused to answer even the most basic safety questions.

The Lubicon Nation needs help now! TransCanada is taking actions that not only open unceded Lubicon territory to even more ruthless and destructive “development”, but enable the huge expansion of toxic tarsands operations and so affect all of us.

Make that quite a bit,


To the question of: “When will all 89 mines be cleaned up?” The answer from MSE was: “Not in your lifetime.”

of joy.

A Canadian company has the legal right to condemn land for a crude-oil pipeline through the eastern part of the state (South Dakota in this case) –

I’ve been working on a slow burn about this, especially after I read that the 89 mines in the Black Hills will not be cleaned up “in your (our) lifetime(s).”  Not only that, but that it looks like Bear Butte will be “almost entirely public land.” Even worse, it’s now “out of our hands.”

(emphasis & underline mine)

Four of the committee members, Representatives Ahlers, Engels, Street, and Nygaard, are to be praised for their extreme patience in sitting in a meeting in which their colleagues exhibited such disrespect to their efforts to submit additional amendments to the Bill. Toward the end of the hearing, Rep. Ahlers finally asked the other committee members to accept only one-half mile from the top of the sacred mountain stating, “This is only a sign of respect” as the land would be almost entirely public land. The other nine loudly hollered, “No!” as they had done time and time again to previous offers of amendments. After shouting their loud, disrespectful “Nos,”… then they would laugh.

Of course, there was racism present during this, imagine that.

To conclude this entire topic, unless something is said other that it’s “out of our hands” in the future, I’ll just state the obvious and conclude with Fool’s Crow’s words once more.

Manifest Destiny is alive and flourishing, and even though I’ve written about this here, here, here, and included it in several other diaries; it just wasn’t enough to add to what was/is already out there to make the difference that was needed.

So, for the last time:


Kola (friends). I am Frank Fools Crow, Chief of the Lakota and I am here today with Frank Kills Enemy, one of the most respected headmen and also an expert on Indian treaty rights. Before we begin, I would like to ask you why when we speak you do not listen, and when you listen, you do not hear, and when you hear us, you do not choose to understand what we say. This is one time that I ask you to listen carefully and understand what we have to say.

The people unanimously reaffirmed our long-standing position that the Black Hills are not for sale under any circumstances. We are therefore standing behind the resolution we passed at Ft. Yates in February of this year. That resolution, my friends, reads:

The Black Hills are sacred to the Lakota people. Both the sacred pipe and the Black Hills go hand and hand in our religion. The Black Hills is our church, the place where we worship. The Black Hills is our burial grounds. The Bones of our grandfathers lie buried in those hills. How can you expect us to sell our church and our cemeteries for a few token whiteman dollars. We will never sell.

I’m sorry grandpa Fools Crow,

“We continue to believe that someone important someplace cares and will do something before our situation becomes impossible.”

Fools Crow from “Fools Crow,” by Thomas E. Mails. p. 217

I tried and contributed my best, but you taught us there are some things there aren’t cures for. I guess Manifest Destiny is one of them, but I’ll never stop hoping and praying about it.

Mitakuye Oyasin

McCain Instrumental in Removing Dineh-Navajo Tribe

( – promoted by navajo)

How does history repeat itself? Let’s count some of the ways.



The Indian Removal Act was signed into law by Andrew Jackson on May 28, 1830, authorizing the president to grant unsettled lands west of the Mississippi in exchange for Indian lands within existing state borders. A few tribes went peacefully, but many resisted the relocation policy. During the fall and winter of 1838 and 1839, the Cherokees were forcibly moved west by the United States government. Approximately 4,000 Cherokees died on this forced march, which became known as the “Trail of Tears.”

In 1974 the U.S. Government legally endorsed genocide when Congress passed Public Law 93-531, which enabled Peabody Coal Company to strip mine Black Mesa by ripping the traditional Navajo and Hopi peoples from the land.


The Dawes Commission” by Kent Carter. p. 208.

The debate continued and shifted to the controversial subject of what to do with the valuable coal deposits in the Choctaw Nation that had been segregated from allotment. Senator Robert LaFollette of Wisconsin objected to the provision in the bill that authorized selling the deposits because he believed the railroads would gain control.


The Dineh (otherwise known as Navajo) were stripped of all land title and forced to relocate. Their land was turned over to the coal companies without making any provisions to protect the burial or sacred sites that would be destroyed by the mines. People whose lives were based in their deep spiritual and life-giving relationship with the land were relocated into cities, often without compensation, forbidden to return to the land that their families had occupied for generations. People became homeless with significant increases in alcoholism, suicide, family break up, emotional abuse and death.

And on and on, ad infinitum.

The ACSA challenges Senator McCain on his legislative history of Human Rights Violations: “a Skeleton in his closet: UNFIT to hold public office!”

A public research website: http://www.cain2008.org has brought together diverse historical elements of factual proof that Senator John McCain’s was the key “point man” introducing, enacting and enforcing law that removed Dineh-Navajo Families from their reservation on the Black Mesa in Arizona. The McCain revised law relocated them to Church’s Hill, Nevada (a Nuclear Waste Superfund Site, called “the New Lands” in PL 93-531). The Dineh-Navajo, a deeply spiritual and peaceful people, engaged in only peaceful resistance to being moved off lands they’d owned since 1500 A.D. Nonetheless, the Public Press and UN depicted brutalization, rights deprivation and forcible relocation.

Perhaps everyone’s hopes and prayers for peace should be,“Please don’t let them find natural resources on our land.”

Crossposted at Progressive Historians

Clinton and Obama on Native American Issues [Updated]

( – promoted by navajo)

Cross-posted from the Daily Kos.

Even though I have a very strong personal opinion based on my position as an anti-war voter, I want to present both Obama’s and Clinton’s policy proposals on Native American issues.  

I believe that Amnesty International did a lot through its report, United States of America: Maze of Injustice: The failure to protect indigenous women from violence, and follow-up work with State and National legislators to give these issues more national attention.

So, whomever you support right now, all of this is great news. Below I have blockquoted each set of proposals from the Clinton and Obama campaigns. They are long, but I wanted to give you the complete statements. I am just providing information here, not cheers or jeers for one or the other!

Update #1: I’ve been informed by an Obama supporter that I’ve left out some info, and am searching right now for more on his website. When I find it, I’ll put the update below the fold.

Update #2Turns out I left out an extremely significant chunk of Obama’s platform on Native American issues. Thanks so much to ivorybill and jennybravo for new links.

I’ll start out with Clinton:

You can find this statement here

As President, Senator Clinton will:

Recognize the Government-to-Government and Trust Relationship: Hillary will sign an Executive Order that supports regular and meaningful consultation and collaboration with Indian tribal governments. She recognizes that the federal trust responsibility is a legal obligation under which the United States “has charged itself with moral obligations of the highest responsibility and trust” towards Indian tribes.

Appoint Native Americans
: Hillary will work to appoint Native Americans to key positions in a number of federal departments and agencies. She will work to nominate qualified judges from all backgrounds who understand tribal sovereignty and the government-to-government relationship between tribes and the federal government. And she will appoint a senior official in the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs to serve as her liaison to Native American communities in recognition of the government-to-government relationship.

Elevate the Director of the Indian Health Service to the Assistant Secretary Level: Health care is a key priority for American Indian communities. For too long, its importance has been underemphasized in the organizational structure at the Department of Health and Human Services. While other important areas of health policy are spearheaded at the assistant secretary level, the Indian Health Service’s lead officer remains a director. Hillary will elevate the head of the Indian Health Service to Assistant Secretary so that he or she can advocate more effectively for Native American health care needs.

Work to Improve Health Care for Native Americans: The average life expectancy for Native Americans is 71 years of age– nearly five years less than the rest of the population. [iii] Today, American Indians continue to experience troubling rates of diabetes, mental health disorders, cardiovascular disease, pneumonia, and influenza. Native Americans are 650 percent more likely to die from tuberculosis, 420 percent more likely to die from diabetes and 52 percent more likely to die from pneumonia or influenza than the United States average, including white and minority populations.

In the Senate, Hillary has taken steps to improve the access and quality of health care for Native Americans by co-sponsoring the Indian Health Care Improvement Act Amendment of 2007, a comprehensive piece of legislation to improve health care for American Indians throughout the country.

As President, Hillary will support meaningful increases for the vital investments to provide health care to Native American communities. Throughout the country, there is an acute need for access to quality health care for Native Americans – a need that too often goes unmet today. The per capita expenditure for Native Americans is only one-third of the average annual expenditure for Medicaid assistance. In 2003, the federal government spent nearly $6,000 for each Medicare recipient, but only $2,000 for Indian Health Service medical care per person. The Indian Health Service is severely underfunded, and the lack of available facilities forces people in remote locations to travel great distances for routine check ups. [iv] Hillary is committed to meaningful increases to the Indian Health Service budget to provide all Native Americans access to quality, affordable health care.

Stand Up for Native American Veterans
: Native Americans have a long and proud tradition of participating with distinction in the U.S. Armed Services. By the end of the 20th century there were nearly 190,000 Native American Veterans. They have one of the highest per capita service rates among ethnic groups in the United States. [v] By the end of December 2005, the Department of Defense reported that 20,000 Native Americans and Alaskan Natives were serving in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force. As President, Hillary will ensure that all of those who have sacrificed on behalf of our country receive the help and care they need. She has proposed to fully fund our veteran’s health care system, including intensive care for those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. She will fight to cut the red tape facing our wounded soldiers and she will protect servicemembers against predatory lending, insurance fraud, and other financial scams. Above all, she will ensure that veteran benefits extend to all veterans.

Increase Funding for Indian Head Start Program: A September 2007 study from National Geographic revealed that tribal languages are the most vulnerable to extinction in the world. Senator Clinton supports Pre-K and schooling programs that support a child’s native language. Consistent with all Head Start programs, the American Indian Head Start Program supports the rich and diverse culture and heritage of the children they serve, and encourages teachers to incorporate language and culture into their curriculum and program goals. More than 80 different languages are spoken in Indian Head Start. Because of the social and economic circumstances in Indian Country, Senator Clinton has and will continue to support increased funding for this vital program which is critical for the future of Native American children.

Achieve Universal Pre-K for Native American Children: Studies show that providing four-year-olds with a high-quality early education leads to higher achievement and graduation rates and higher-earning careers. Nonetheless, less than 20 percent – only 800,000 out of four million – of four year olds and 120,000 three year olds are currently enrolled in state pre-K programs, according to the National Institute for Early Education Research. Hillary has proposed a national pre-K initiative that would extend access to high-quality pre-K programs to every four-year old in America. As part of her initiative, Hillary will allocate funds to tribally-sponsored pre-K programs. She will ensure that tribally-sponsored pre-K programs receive federal matching dollars just as state programs do. Her program is designed so that children from low-income families and children from limited English households can enroll in pre-K programs at no cost.

Increase Support for Tribal Colleges and Institutions Serving Native Americans: Since the late 1960s, the nation’s tribal colleges and universities (TCUs) have played a critical role in promoting tribally-determined higher education. Currently, the 34 TCUs in the United States are providing culturally-relevant teaching, community outreach, and research services to tribal communities throughout the country. Hillary supports increased funding for tribal colleges. She voted for the recently signed College Cost Reduction and Access Act, which includes $10 million to help create a program for Native American Serving Institutions.

Improve Native American Housing: Native American families live in overcrowded homes and lack plumbing, telephone service and kitchen facilities at rates far exceeding the general public. Approximately 90,000 Native families are homeless or under-housed, and an estimated 200,000 housing units are needed immediately in Indian Country. Hillary supports efforts to improve the acquisition, rehabilitation, and construction of affordable housing on Indian lands. Specifically, Senator Clinton would increase funding for the Native American Housing Block Grant and modernize the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act.

Encourage Energy Efficient Development: Hillary supports the rights of tribal governments to adopt and regulate their own environmental policies, but she also understands the important role the federal government plays in catalyzing energy efficiency in Indian Country. As president, Hillary will create and expand federal-tribal partnerships to promote the use of solar and wind power in Indian Country. And as part of a major nationwide weatherization initiative, Hillary will work to fund the weatherization of all low-income homes in Indian Country. Last winter the average fuel bill was $889; this year it is expected to jump to $997. [vi] The weatherization of Native American homes will curb rising costs and improve energy efficiency.

Law Enforcement for Indian Country: American Indians experience violence at rates more than twice the rate for the country as a whole. [vii] There are only about 2,500 Bureau of Indian Affairs and tribal uniformed police officers serving an estimated 1.4 million Indians covering more than 56 million acres of tribal lands in the lower 48 states. On tribal lands, 1.3 officers must serve every 1,000 citizens, compared to 2.9 officers per 1,000 citizens in non-Indian communities with populations under 10,000. [viii] These staffing levels are simply insufficient to meet the law enforcement challenges facing Indian Country. Amnesty International recently released a report that concluded that one in three Native American women will be raped in her lifetime. And, in recent years methamphetamine has disproportionately devastated Native American tribal communities- Native Americans are more than four times as likely as whites to use crystal methamphetamine. [ix] An informal survey of the seven FBI offices located primarily in Indian Country estimated that approximately 40-50% of violent crime cases investigated in Indian Country involve meth. [x] Hillary supports providing resources for law enforcement in Indian Country, promoting state-tribal cooperative agreements where appropriate to reduce crime, and improving the collection of data on Indian Country crime and how those crimes are handled by authorities.

Here’s Obama’s position from his website, which you can go to here.


The most fundamental function of all governments is to ensure the safety of their citizens and maintain law and order. For tribes, this responsibility falls on tribal governments, and in certain respects, the federal government. The federal government has a legal trust responsibility to aid tribal nations in furthering self-government in recognition of tribes’ inherent sovereignty. Unfortunately, the government has failed to live up to its obligation to help tribes maintain order.

Tribes have been divested of much of the authority to control their own lands, and the government has failed to support tribal law enforcement systems. As a result, many tribal communities experience staggering rates of crime, having neither the resources nor the jurisdiction to protect their own communities. Barack is committed to providing tribal nations with adequate funding for law enforcement and judicial systems. He is also committed to addressing core jurisdictional problems so that tribes can provide for the public health, safety, and political integrity of their communities.

Policing: Traditional tribal societies had sophisticated methods of maintaining law and order. Unfortunately, centuries of destructive federal policies have left tribes with few resources to provide basic law enforcement services in today’s society. The government made the adoption of the United States’ justice system mandatory, stripped tribes of the authority to enforce it, and has consistently failed to adequately support tribes or enforce the law in their stead. Obama is committed adequately funding Bureau of Indian Affairs Law Enforcement services and removing bureaucratic obstacles to improving the delivery of law enforcement services. Barack Obama also supports fully funding the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program that many tribal law enforcement agencies have come to rely upon.

Tribal Courts: Strong tribal courts able to enforce, interpret, and make tribal law foster healthy communities. Additionally, many tribal courts utilize dispute resolution systems rooted in traditional tribal common law, which serves to empower local communities. Despite the vital role of tribal courts to community development, many tribal justice systems are severely underfunded and unable to meet ever-growing case loads. Tribes regularly struggle to provide infrastructure and staffing needs such as such as security, digital recording, clerks, and case management systems. Barack Obama will increase aid to tribal nations for tribal court systems.


Burgeoning Violence: Violence in Indian Country is committed at rates among the highest levels in the country. A recent study by Amnesty International details the alarming rates at which Native women are subject to violence. The report states that 1 in 3 American Indian women will be raped in their lifetime, and are almost 3 times as likely to be raped or sexually assaulted than other women of America. Similarly, Methamphetamine use on reservations is out of control. For example, in 2005 more than one quarter of babies born on the San Carlos Apache Reservation were born addicted to meth, and 74 percent of Indian law enforcement agencies responding to a national survey reported that meth use was the greatest threat to their communities. The same survey reported dramatic increases in cases of domestic violence, child neglect, sex crimes, and weapons charges.

A Jurisdictional Maze: Both of these unfortunate situations, along with the extreme rates of crime on reservations, share a root problem: the jurisdictional maze on Indian lands makes law enforcement complex, uncertain, and all too often, rare. Depending on the identity of the victim and the perpetrator, criminal jurisdiction falls to the tribe, the federal government, or the state. When the offender is non-Indian, the tribe does not have jurisdiction. This is a problem as a substantial portion of offenses are committed by non-Indians. For example, 88% of crimes against Native women are committed by non-Indians. Having different jurisdictions depending on the race of the involved parties makes identification of the proper enforcement difficult and disheartening, and non-tribal law enforcement is often sparse and distant. This maze allows for pockets of lawlessness, and allows reservations to be easy targets for drug rings and manufacturers.

A New Look at Tribal Justice: Barack Obama will work to encourage a reexamination of the current jurisdictional scheme. A recent DOJ report states that the 1978 legal decision largely responsible for the current design is an “obstacle” to getting control of the abysmal crime rate in Indian country. As president, Barack Obama will reexamine this decision. Without jurisdiction over both Indians and non-Indians alike, tribes are unable to address a large portion of the criminal activity on their homelands. Meanwhile, Obama encourages authorities with jurisdiction on reservations to work with tribes in order to provide Native women and families with the protection they need. Barack Obama also supports policies targeting methamphetamine manufacturers and distributors.

Combat Meth Act of 2005: Barack Obama supported the Combat Meth Act of 2005 which was signed into law during the 109th Congress. The act puts federal funds into the fight against methamphetamine, provides assistance to children affected by meth abuse, and places restrictions on the sale of the ingredients used to make the drug. Medicines containing pseudoephedrine and ephedrine (decongestants and asthma medication, for example) must now be kept behind pharmaceutical counters, and consumers must provide proof of age to make a purchase.

A Proven Counter-Meth Record in Illinois: Illinois has had some success combating use of methamphetamines thanks to the Southern Illinois Enforcement Group, a program paid for in part by federal Byrne Justice Assistance Grants. The Byrne grants helped this 31-county task force pay five of its 12 agents. The Bush Administration proposed eliminating the grant program from the FY 2006 budget. Barack Obama supported an amendment to the Justice Department spending bill that increased funding for the Byrne program from $625.5 million to $900 million for 2006.

Fight Meth’s Precursor Chemicals
: Drug enforcement experts have long believed that methamphetamines can be best fought by striking at the source: the factories that produce its precursor chemicals. Unlike cocaine and marijuana, drugs that are derived from widespread, easily grown plants, methamphetamines are based on legally-manufactured chemicals produced in only nine factories worldwide (one in Germany, one in the Czech Republic, two in China, and five in India). Restricting global imports of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine according to national pharmaceutical demand could help cut off drug labs. Mexico, for example, imported 224 tons of precursor chemicals in 2004-an amount twice the estimated national need.

Take on the Mexican Cartels:
The United States’ aggressive lab seizures and restrictions on over-the-counter sale of ephedrine- and pseudoephedrine-based products have compelled Mexican drug cartels to move their operations south of the border. Today, 65 percent of methamphetamines in the United States come from Mexican cartels. When the State Department began working with the Mexican government to restrict precursor imports, the cartels moved manufacturing operations to Latin America and began importing freshly manufactured methamphetamines from Asia. Obama believes that the role of Mexican drug cartels and their global network must be thoroughly addressed by the international community.

Some background on the mention of the cartels. There were news reports that representatives of these cartels were basically giving away free samples on the reservations to get people hooked. When I find a link to that article, I’ll edit in here.

UPDATE: I left out a whole chunk of Obama’s positions because they weren’t all on the same page. Sorry about that. Here’s more:


American Indians experience some of the most severe socioeconomic conditions in the United States. Poverty and its effects are pervasive, with more than a quarter of all American Indians living in poverty and unemployment rates reaching 80 percent on some reservations. Obama’s experience as a community organizer working in poor neighborhoods plagued by high unemployment has taught him that there is no single solution to community poverty. Therefore, he supports using a comprehensive approach that includes investment in physical, human and institutional infrastructure, increased access to capital, the removal of barriers to development, and above all, authentic government-to-government relationships between the federal government and tribes.


Housing: American Indians suffer from some of the deplorable housing conditions in the nation. Some 14 percent of all reservation homes have no electricity, and on some reservations, as many as 20 people are forced to live in a single-family home. Barack Obama supports providing adequate levels of funding for the Indian Housing Block Grant and other Indian housing programs as well as working to increase the effectiveness of these programs.

Roads: Safe, reliable roads are a basic component of economic development. Unfortunately, the federal government is failing in its commitment to help tribes maintain tribal road systems. Many reservation roads are unsafe and under-maintained, impacting not only economic development but health and safety as well. Motor vehicle fatality rates for American Indians are nearly twice as high other races. As president Barack Obama would support increased resources for tribes to maintain their road systems, like the Indian Roads Reservation Program and the BIA Indian Road Maintenance program.

Energy:Tribal nations have joined in America’s quest for alternative, renewable energy. Because of their rural land bases and access to natural resources, many tribes have made great strides in economic development in the energy sector. Tribes have successful operations producing gas, solar, and wind energy. In addition to harnessing and producing energy, tribes have an interest in energy rights-of-way across tribal lands. Obama supports the production and mobility of sustainable energy in all communities, and recognizes the potential for energy development in Indian country. He also encourages energy companies and Indian tribes to negotiate in good faith to ensure tribes receive just compensation.

Additionally, tribes are effectively unable to use the renewable energy Production Tax Credit, which provides tax incentives for the operation of renewable energy facilities. Obama supports creation of a Joint Venture Production Tax Credit that allows tribes to partner with private companies and fully utilize vast tribal energy resources.

Access to Capital

Earned Income Tax Credit: In both the Illinois State Senate and the U.S. Senate, Obama has championed efforts to expand the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which is one of the most successful anti-poverty programs to date. Unfortunately, many Native families and individuals do not claim the EITC because they simply do not know about it. As president, Obama would support a Native EITC awareness campaigns and tax preparation programs.

As president, Obama will reward work by increasing the number of working parents eligible for EITC benefits, increasing the benefit available to parents who support their children through child support payments, increasing the benefit for families with three or more children and reducing the EITC marriage penalty which hurts low-income families. Under the Obama plan, full-time workers making minimum wage would get an EITC benefit up to $555, more than three times greater than the $175 benefit they get today. If the workers are responsibly supporting their children on child support, the Obama plan would give those workers a benefit of $1,110. The Obama plan would also increase the EITC benefit for those families that are most likely to be in poverty – families with three or more children.

Minimum Wage: Barack Obama believes that people who work full time should not live in poverty. Before the Democrats took back Congress, the minimum wage had not changed in 10 years. Even though the minimum wage will rise to $7.25 an hour by 2009, the minimum wage’s real purchasing power will still be below what it was in 1968. As president, Obama would further raise the minimum wage, index it to inflation and increase the Earned Income Tax Credit to make sure that full-time workers can earn a living wage that allows them to raise their families and pay for basic needs such as food, transportation, and housing — things so many people take for granted.

Tax Exempt Bonding:Currently, tribal governments cannot issue tax-exempt bonds in the same manner as state and municipal governments. Tribes can issue bonds only for a narrowly defined set of essential government functions. The distinction, unique to tribes as defined by the Internal Revenue Service, creates barriers for tribes wishing to issue bonds to finance economic development projects and build infrastructure like schools and hospitals. Barack Obama supports treating tribal governments as sovereigns and recognizing their right to issue tax exempt bonds.


Education is the key to improving the lives of American Indians and empowering tribal nations to build a better future. While educational policies in the 1970s attempted to reverse past federal policies aimed at eradicating American Indian languages and cultures, there is still much work to be done. Unfortunately, American Indians suffer from some of the lowest high school graduation and college matriculation rates in the nation. We must continue to honor our obligations to the First Americans by providing tribes with the educational resources promised by treaty and federal law.

Indian Language Education:Tribes are struggling to preserve their languages. It is estimated that by 2050 only 20 of the over 500 Native languages once spoken will remain. Research shows that instruction in tribal language increases American Indian academic performance in other areas like math and science. Barack Obama supports funding for Native language immersion and preservation programs.

No Child Left Behind: The goal of the No Child Left Behind Act is a vital goal – ensuring that all children meet high education standards – but the law has significant flaws that need to be addressed. These flaws are especially apparent in Indian country. Unfulfilled promises, ineffective implementation, and shortcomings in the design of the law itself have created countless obstacles for tribal educators. Barack Obama would fund No Child Left Behind and reform the law to better incorporate Title VII, the law’s Indian, Hawaiian, and Alaskan education provision. Obama’s plan would provide greater flexibility in integrating Native languages, cultures, and communities into school programs in a manner consistent with principles of tribal sovereignty.

Early Childhood Education: Research shows that half of low-income children begin school up to two years behind their peers in preschool skills and that these early achievement gaps continue throughout elementary school. Barack Obama supports increasing funding for Head Start, including the American Indian and Alaska Native Head Start Programs, to provide American Indian preschool children with critically important learning skills, and supports the necessary role of parental involvement in the success of Head Start. Obama has called on states to replicate the Illinois model of Preschool for All. Tribes should also be given the opportunity to implement culturally appropriate versions of this program.

OK, originally, it seemed that Clinton had the more comprehensive set of proposals, but now I’m thoroughly impressed. There’s even more from Obama:


An Indian in the White House – Appointment of a National Indian Policy Advisor:Tribes must interface with an increasingly complex array of departments, bureaus, and programs within the administration. As a result, comprehensive American Indian policy has been hard to implement and tribes must spend their limited resources navigating government bureaucracy. The need to foster a coherent approach and organize the efforts of the various agencies is particularly crucial to tribes because of the profound role of government programs in Indian peoples’ daily lives. In order to better serve tribes, ensure that their issues are given proper consideration, and promote a more cohesive approach to Indian affairs, Barack Obama will appoint a National American Indian Policy Advisor to serve as a member of his White House staff and create the National American Indian Advisory Council.

The Advisory Council will be chaired by the Policy Advisor and include the head of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the various heads of Indian programs in other executive departments, and appointed individuals knowledgeable and experienced in Indian policy. The Advisory Council will be charged with developing and implementing Obama’s American Indian policy initiatives, and coordinating the activities of the many offices in the administration that deal with Indian affairs.

Agency Appointments: Tribal peoples know best how to best serve their own communities. Obama is committed to appointing American Indians to pertinent government positions who maintain close ties their communities, and possess firsthand experience and knowledge about issues affecting Indian country.

Annual White House Tribal Nations Summit: The federal government’s trust responsibility to the First Americans means more than merely administering programs to help tribal nations develop. The trust responsibility also means maintaining open lines of communication from one government to another. Regrettably, past administrations have failed to or only halfheartedly lived up this obligation. As president, Obama will host an Annual White House Tribal Nations Summit to meet with tribal leaders about how his administration can better serve tribal communities.

On Obama’s website, you can also can sign up for First Americans for Obama, which means that there is a forum for these issues within the campaign itself.

Update: Originally, I took both candidates to task for not mentioning the Trust Fund issue, which the government has refused to come clean about. Turns out that, although he might not have it on his website, Obama did tell Indian country today this:

Furthermore, I firmly believe in the words of Justice Hugo Black that ”[g]reat nations, like great men, should keep their word.” So under my presidency, we will live up to the federal government’s solemn commitments enshrined in treaties with the tribal nations. And I will ensure that we live up to our commitments in ensuring the effective, efficient and honest management of trust income, as this Nation has promised to do, and to equitably redress the errors of the past.

Thanks JennyBravo for the link to that.

The Trust Fund issue is being heard again in the courts. This is what an editorial in today’s New York Times, called The Verdict: It’s Broken had to say about a recent verdict in a case first brought in 1996:

In 1996, Elouise Cobell, a Blackfoot Indian, filed a lawsuit claiming that the government had mismanaged billions of dollars in oil, timber and other royalties held in trust for some half-million Indians. The Indians were given land allotments between the end of the 19th century and 1934, a time when it was government policy to try to do away with tribal entities and reservations. The government held title to the land, and these accounts were meant to collect and disburse the revenues.

The simple question is this: can the government account for the money it held in trust? Judge Robertson’s judgment: “It is now clear that completion of the required accounting is an impossible task.” This, as he points out, is an “irreparable breach of fiduciary duty,” a breach that, in our opinion, is all the more galling because these individual trust accounts have come over time to look like a form of paternalistic fraud.

Even with meticulous oversight, monitoring them accurately would have been a tough assignment. But the government’s failure is not simply sloppy bookkeeping. It is willful neglect, including the active destruction of records and the failure to comply with court orders.

A new hearing has been scheduled to try to find a new remedy. However, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, which is in charge of this trust, has for years refused to provide an accounting of these funds, and recently has been accused of destroying documents. The contempt that the Bureau has shown over time is criminal in my opinion.

OK, so Obama has made reference to this, and Clinton has not, which I feel is a major oversight. However, I do feel that both Obama and Clinton should take a very strong stand on this terrible travesty of justice in their proposals, and, at the very least, if elected, appoint a competent manager for the BIA whose continued employment should depend on a full accounting of these monies.

In any case, I am heartened by the attention each campaign has already given to Native American issues.

I hope I’ve provided useful info on how each campaign is addressing Native American issues. Again, I don’t want to join the fracas here, just some info.

OK, I’ve gotta admit it, I’m an Obama fan, and now I’m just dazzled by the comprehensive nature of his proposals! At first I thought they were kind of tied, but after I got this additional info, I just have to say “Yes, we can”