John McCain, Indian Agent

( – promoted by navajo)


The justification for Public Law 93-531 passed by Congress in 1974 was that the Navajo-Hopi land dispute is so serious that 10,000 Navajos near Big Mountain, Arizona, must be relocated, forcibly if necessary. It would be the largest forced relocation of U.S. citizens since the relocation of Japanese-Americans during World War II.

But tradition-minded Navajo and Hopi claim there never was a land dispute. They say the dispute was invented to get the Navajos and their livestock off mineral-rich land in the Hopi reservation so it could be developed by mining companies such as Peabody Coal and Kerr-McGee.

This should cost McCain any possibility of him ever being the next president of the United States, period.

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: 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.

– snip –

Senator McCain and his predecessors introduced legislation (S1973-1 and S.1003) which they claimed were justified by what has turned out to be a non-existent range war between the Dineh (mainly consisting of grandfathers and grandmothers in their 70’s living on farmlands that had belonged to their tribe since 1500 AD) and the Hopi (the 3-5 individuals rapidly assembled to assist Peabody Western Group by Senator McCain, Congressman Owens and John Boyden).

Subsequently, as the Dineh were removed from their farms by the “Relocation Commission” authorized by the US Senate at the behest of the revisions to the Public Law 93-531 introduced as S.1973-1 (1996 Partition) and S.1003 (2001 and 2005 accelerated removal of the Dineh by amendment) by Senator McCain, expanded Coal Mining Rights to their lands were granted to Peabody Western who with Bechtel Corp, have been mining the lands formerly occupied by the Dineh, and piping the coal to the Mohave Generating Station in Nevada, which serves the Las Vegas and Reno areas power needs.

He made a bogus claim that the Navajo and the Hopi were having land disputes, when the truth was, they weren’t. So what was the real intention? It must have been to steal their land and give it “to the coal companies without making any provisions to protect the burial or sacred sites,” because that’s exactly what happened.


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.

– snip –

“I feel that in relocating these elderly people, we are as bad as the Nazis that ran the concentration camps in World War II.”

— Roger Lewis, federally appointed Relocation Commissioner upon resignation

“I believe that the forced relocation of Navajo and Hopi people that followed from the passage in 1974 of Public Law 93-531 is a major violation of these people’s human rights. Indeed this forced relocation of over 12,000 Native Americans is one of the worst cases of involuntary community resettlement that I have studied throughout the world over the past 40 years.”

— Thayer Scudder, Professor of Anthropology, California Institute of Technology in a letter to Mr. Abdelfattah Amor, UN Special Rapporteur on Religious Intolerance

That is exactly.


Happened, along with forcibly relocating the elderly and being what Scudder called “one of the worst cases of involuntary community resettlement that I have studied throughout the world over the past 40 years” and what Wager called,  “the largest forced relocation of U.S. citizens since the relocation of Japanese-Americans during World War II.”

I thought the days of Indian Agents deceptively crafting words to steal land and resulting in forced relocation were long gone, but now there’s a republican presidential candidate running sliming for the highest office in the land,

McCain & Bush

who’s done just that. McCain introduced legislation (S1973-1 and S.1003) and claimed that legislation was justified by a non-existent range war between the Dineh and the Hopi.

(emphasis mine)


James McLaughlin served under 12 U.S. presidents as an American Indian agent on the Standing Rock Reservation. He wrote an official government report covering the death of Sitting Bull at a camp near the reservation.

– snip –

Sitting Bull regarded McLaughlin as an evil enemy of all American Indians.

Well, I want a president – not an Indian Agent.


John McCain’s political history is loaded with abuse of his position concerning lobbyists. Since posting actual links is against HuffPo policy, do the simple research yourself.

Look into the forcible removal of the Dineh tribes, known as the Navajo, in Arizona. Follow his ties to Atty John Boyden and the Peabody Western Group (nka Peabody Energy) and their advantages gained from McCain’s legislation S1973-1 and S1003. He pushed Atty Gen Reno in forcing them off their treaty lands and onto

a nuclear waste site (Church Hill, Nevada) through the “Relocation Commission” Look up PL 93-531. Genocide for the expansion of mining rights. Follow the money that supported his political career from the energy elites that own the Mohave Generating Station in Nevada. John McCain is a corrupt politician and the evidence is there to prove it. posted 02/21/2008 at 11:28:47

John McCain “knows what’s best for America”, and that’s Straight Talk, my friends….unless of course you’re a Native American.

Squaw Peak renaming to Piestewa Peak not done yet ….

( – promoted by navajo)

I received this email from a friend of a friend concerning the official renaming of Squaw Peak in Phoenix to Piestewa Peak .

from the email …

   We have just received word that the U.S. Board on Geographic Names will decide on April 10 whether to keep the derogatory name Squaw Peak , change it to Swilling Peak , or change it to Piestewa Peak .  Up to now the name Piestewa Peak has been official only at the state level because the National Board will not act on changes until five years after a person has died.

   The letter asks for the City of Phoenix ‘s response because “evidence of local use and acceptance is critical to the Board’s deliberations.”  It further states that “since April 2 our (US Board) office has received numerous letters and emails from numerous Phoenix residents, 30 of whom support the change to Piestwea Peak and approximately 75 oppose it.”  Furthermore, “Many who oppose it (Piestewa) claim Squaw Peak is a well established historic name that was never intended to us used as a derogatory term, and they will continue to use the name.”  See attached letter.

   Arizona ‘s Tribes fought for years to get rid of the derogatory name for the peak.  It took Lori Ann Piestewa’s death to finally change it.  To paraphrase  James Nicholson, former member of the President’s Cabinet at a 2005 Piestewa Peak memorial, the peak has already been named, consecrated and made hallow by Lori’s bravery and death, “far above our power to add or detract.” ( Lincoln ‘s Gettysburg Address).

   It is very sickening in this day and age that some people would not respect the American Indian’s feelings or Lori Ann Piestewa’s bravery and blood sacrifice for us all.  It is an affront to the American Indian. American Indians have fought and given their lives for their adopted country in far greater numbers than their population percentage.  It is also an affront to the families of fallen heroes and our veterans.  The mountain stands for all our heroes that did not return from the war, and not to honor a single veteran or fallen hero is an affront to all of them.

Ernest Martinez

Piestewa Memorial Committee

Here’s a bit on Lori Ann Piestewa …

   Piestewa was born and raised in Tuba City, Arizona, a town with more than a 50% unemployment rate, the daughter of Terry Piestewa and Priscilla “Percy” Baca Piestewa.[3][4][5] Lori Piestewa’s father is Hopi and her mother is of Mexican ancestry.[6] photo They met in 1964 and married in November 1968.[7]

   Her family had a long military tradition, with both Piestewa’s father and grandfather having served in the U.S. Army. (Her father was drafted and served in Vietnam in 1965, and returned home in March 1967.)[8] Neighbors described her as, while generally supportive of the army, having joined primarily to provide a secure income for her and her two children, Brandon and Carla Whiterock.

If you can take a minute to lend your support for the renaming of the mountain , here’s the contact information


                           Phone:  703-648-4552

                           Fax:       703-6484549

                           Address:  U.S. Board on Geographic Names

                          U.S. Geological Survey

                             523 National Center

                                             Reston , Virginia 20192-052

please send letters in support of the name change by April 10th.

(thanks to navajo at DKos for suggesting I repost this here !)  

There are some terrible things I have to do

( – promoted by navajo)

Tonight I had the task of euthanizing a bird that had been hit by a car at the age of three months old.  His injury prevented him from being released back into the wild, as his wing, even after veterinary care, did not heal with the proper alignment that would allow him to be a successful hunter in the wild.

Us folks, who take in these injured raptors, have to make a decision as to whether to place these birds into educational institutions, or whether to euthanize them, as many of certain species (understandably) do NOT want to live with humans.

His name was Sky, and he was a Red-shouldered hawk, a species generally considered to NOT be one to keep in captivity.

Our own excuse for adopting him into our program was that we actually HAD a Red-shouldered hawk (SQUIRT) in our program, who defied all of these generalizations.  He was a star in our program.  He was mellow, tolerant, playful, interactive, and even courageous enough to jump into our pond to swim around (yes, a hawk, swimming, if you can imagine it).  When we had him out, he’d chase moving sticks, interacted with gophers waiting to play games with him, etc. etc.  And he loved us all, and so did we.

He died 3 years ago of a heart failure.

We missed him very much, and when an opening for an adoption of another Red-shouldered hawk came up for us, a three-month old fledgling, who had run into a car, and one of his wings was never going to allow him to survive in the wild,  we adopted him into our program.

It turned out he was nothing like Squirt.  Squirt had fallen from his nest only a week or two after he hatched, and was basically raised by humans.  He had nor fear of us, and identified with us, trusted us.

Sky, on the other hand, had been raised by his wild parents for three months before he had the run-in with the car.

He KNEW he was a Red-shouldered hawk, and nothing could convince him otherwise.

We tried for two and a half years to convince him otherwise, but it was no good.  His agenda was clear.  Nothing more than freedom and full reign would do.  7 of us tried everything on earth to try to build trust, but we eventually accepted that it wasn’t about building trust – it was about him being a Red-shouldered hawk, and his own mission.  

So tonight, in his honor, with my prayers, with my love, and with the support of all the people who have worked with him over the last 2 years, I euthanized him, along with our prayers.  I do believe he’s coming home to where he belongs.

And the next time I choose a bird for our program, I’ll be much more careful.

AND, to let you know – Sky is the ONLY bird in my program we’ve ever had to face with this decision.

All our other birds, Max, the Great horned owl, Ivan, the Red-tailed hawk, Kachina, the American kestrel, and Tecolita, the Western screech owl,

are all content.  Nevertheless, having to euthanize just ONE of all the ones I’ve cared for, is heart-breaking to me.

Bert and Kong – Ravens in the House

( – promoted by navajo)

Alhough ever since my childhood I dreamed of being close to animals, I never thought I’d share my house with two mischievous ravens.  In 1995 my husband Jim and I had two of these most intelligent birds in our care under an educational permit for the Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network.

Kong was estimated to be between 25-30 years old.  He spent much of his life in a small wire rabbit hutch against the side of a house, and was rescued from that situation by a kind neighbor.  We acquired him to keep Bertram (then 2 years old and imprinted) company during the day.  In the evening we brought them both into the house to break up their boredom – provided Jim and I were BOTH available to watch them, since, as you will soon discover, it takes plenty of attention to watch two ravens.


Bert in particular was blessed with boundless energy, abundant curiosity, and the uncontrollable urge to use his fourteen-in-one toolkit beak, frequently to dismantle items I thought I had placed safely out of his reach. I found only one thing that would keep him from objects of his desire – long skinny animal balloons.  He was terrified of them.  Without these blessed objects life with Bert would have been impossible.  Strategic placement of animal balloons around the house kept Bert from destroying our most precious possessions.

During the first few months of his stay here Bert’s favorite night perch was in our bathroom on top of the shower door, his bottom conveniently facing into the shower.  He quickly became territorial about this spot after dark, and anyone going in to use the bathroom would have to endure a severe Raven scolding.  Bless our two teenage sons who decided on their own to give up taking showers after dark for Bert’s sake.

I liked the bathroom perch idea.  For one thing it was easy to clean up in the morning, and for another I could shoo Bert into the bathroom (the only room with a door in the house) when his antics got a bit much.  He understood this arrangement too as became evident one day: I had just finished cleaning one mess he had made when I turned around and saw that he was already starting another project – he was intensely concentrating on turning a loaf of bread into breadcrumbs.  Not that he was EATING any of it – oh no!  He was purely enjoying the act of dismantling it.  He was also working increasingly rapidly, as he knew I would soon catch on, and that would be the end of the fun.  

As I walked toward him he quickly dropped the bread bag, walked into the bathroom, and hopped obediently onto his shower perch as if to reprimand himself for his naughtiness.

As time went on, however, he resented the closing bathroom door more and more, and finally communicated this to us in his ravenly manner.  One evening we had put him in the bathroom so we could safely go out to eat.

When we returned I opened the bathroom door to let him out.  But what a sight!  Toilet paper – lots of it!  The roll must have been first measured for length, and then shredded.  A spare roll was soaking in the toilet.  Much of what little jewelry I owned had been disassembled and, along with every one of our towels also stuffed into the toilet.  Retrieving the jewelry proved difficult.  Everything else formerly on shelves was on the floor, much of it in pieces.  The garbage had been emptied, and the most private pieces of feminine trash selected, taken apart and colorfully arranged across the bathroom floor.  The giant wrath of a two-pound bird!

Soon he figured out that if he simply didn’t go into the bathroom any more there would be no door closing on him. He chose a new spot to spend the night: the topmost shelf above the kitchen sink where he could see all the action and join in at a moment’s notice.  

So night showers were okay again, but late-night food fixing was not, as it awakened the interest of both ravens who were expert thieves of not only food, but utensils, margarine tubs, salt and pepper shakers, or anything else that looked like it might provide some fun.

Split-second timing was essential in their thievery, as Bert demonstrated soon after his arrival – when the spoon full of ice cream travelling toward Jim’s mouth arrived empty.  During this time food preparation evolved into an art at our house – not culinary, but martial.   Our sons did not always appreciate the inconveniences, and Jim and I became experts at sighing.

When the lights dimmed, the ravens finally tucked in, UNLESS…… Bert wanted to play a favorite game, which could only be played at night: it required patiently waiting for Jim to fall asleep.  After all, surprise is an important element in successfully catching and killing toes covered up by blankets.

Surprise was also the key in swooping down and quickly biting innocent little dachshund’s tails.  Every opportunity was seized for this mischief, but Tad the dachshund got his revenge by sniffing out and eating Bert’s hidden food stashes.

Jim and Bert often played together with a manzanita stick.  Bert pretended it was prey, chased it across the bed grabbing it with his feet.  When Jim pulled on it Bert held on, eventually lying on his back, feet up in the air, then hanging upside down on the stick.  One could clearly see his brain whirring as he looked around contemplating his upside-down environment.

Bert inspected anything he could get his beak on, but his favorite objects were knives, especially my folding “Sodbuster” pocketknife. One time he flew through the house with an unfolded 24-inch stainless steel pruning saw in his beak, pirate-style.

Bert constantly searched for good hiding places for his loot.  Not just any place would do.  Several had to be tried out before he was satisfied.  Once I thought my knife was gone for good, but three months later I discovered it behind some books in a shelf.   I had been searching for hours — not for the knife, but for the source of a horrible stench in the house, which turned out to be a decomposed anchovy – stashed away for a later snack – between the pages of Webster’s Dictionary.

Bert watched us curiously on many occasions staring into our books, and, for a long time, held the opinion that books were useless except as aides in turning meat into jerky.  But one day he discovered the entertainment value of paperbacks: the right spot to stash stolen items is right underneath the front book cover.  It takes some doing to make the cover fit over the item, but once that’s done it’s time to check on the object by hammering a hole into the middle of the cover with that cool toolkit beak – and peek in to see it it’s still there.  This of course brings up the next question: will the object fit through the hole?  After pulling it out he realized that the place was no longer a secret now and flew off in search of a new hiding place.  

I found out that pillowcases also make great hiding places after removing a mouse hindquarter from my ear after retiring to bed one night.

As time went on I got quite accustomed to these unique experiences, but still, Bert would have been evicted by me were it not for Jim, whose tolerance and understanding of Bert’s nature helped me past my horrified reactions.

Bert also escaped repeatedly by both figuring out how to open the aviary door – a three-step operation, or simply lulling us into a sense of security en route from aviary to house (we carried Bert cuddled against our chest).  He’d make a dash for it at a most unexpected moment.

During these accidental outings Bert ALWAYS sought out large gatherings of people – especially schools.  True to his educational permit, he visited St. Vincent’s School, La Colina Junior High School, The Open Alternative School, and Bishop Diego High School’s football team.  His fearless approaches and thievery (lunches, pencils, car keys) caused a wide range of reactions – from delight to curiosity to fear to aggressive rock throwing.

He became quite famous (local TV news) as a participant in a local golf-tournament when he flew in to pick up golf balls and placed them where he thought was a better location for them.  The local flock of crows caught onto his presence and began harassing him, so he found safety underneath a picnic table attended to by a group of golfers eating lunch. Of course the lunch proved irresistible to Bert and soon he was dining along with the cautiously amused golfers.

Bert’s latest escape took him on top of the entrance door to a voting location where he greeted surprised incoming voters.  Bert always decided to come back – or allow himself to become captured a few days later.  On time he returned with a banged up head (probably from a rock hitting him), and on another occasion he had diarrhea. I guess he found life out there a bit hard.  Crows, especially, would just gang up on him by the hundreds and dive-bomb him.


Our second raven Kong arrived at our place in an almost catatonic state.  He just sat on his perch for days on end, only moving from this spot to eat or drink –or to charge at me when I came in to feed or clean.  He liked men, so my entries into the aviary were met by fierce attacks.  I worked hard on establishing a more trusting relationship: I brought him treats, talked to him, and really went out of my way to change his mind about women.

After about four weeks we were apparently really getting somewhere.  I was sure of it.  He had stopped the attacks, and would occasionally accept food from me (although Bert always tried to snatch it out from under him with split-second timing).  

When I came in for one feeding I was feeling especially good about the improved situation, thinking how my kindness and positive thoughts toward him had been doing so much good after his long life of cruel solitary captivity.  I was very involved in thinking about this positive stuff: how Kong had changed, and how all I needed to do was to continue giving him love, think loving thoughts toward him, etc., etc.  Suddenly I noticed him moving towards me on the branch.  “Yes,” I thought, feeling quite moved myself, “love works!  He understands! He’s coming over to be friends!”  

All of my love and tender feelings rose to the surface as Kong came closer seemingly just as enamored as me.  His lightening-fast vice-grip bite went through several layers of clothing, and left a huge black and blue bruise on my arm for the next several weeks.  After that I resorted to the garden hose a couple of times – and that stopped the whole thing.

After that he did loosen up.  My continued (although not quite so naïve – and definitely more cautious) efforts paid off when I quite by accident discovered his love for being “preened” around his eyes.  I was standing outside the aviary one day when he walked over to me.  I quickly tried to think up something safe to do with him, and broke off a little twig, which I playfully stuck through the wire.  I expected him to tug on it or break it, but somehow ended up petting him with it around his eye area, and watched – to my amazement – how he melted into a soft black feather ball.  His eyes glazed over as he fell into a trance that lasted for some time even after I stopped.

A couple of weeks later he was sitting on our table in the house – just sitting – not moving – as he often did.  I decided to pull up a chair and join him for a while.  After we both had been sitting like this for several minutes, just feeling each other out, he walked towards me, looked me in the eye, and I got the definite feeling that he wanted me to “preen” around his eyes.

Well, I didn’t have a twig handy, and still had that bruise on my arm, so I was understandably reluctant.  Instead I decided to take the opportunity to get back at him. I told him in human language  (which I knew he couldn’t understand), that if he really wanted me to rub above his eyes he would have to prove to me that’s what he really wanted by coming over to me (like: “God, if you’re really there – give me a sign”).

Of course I expected no such thing……..but to my amazement he walked right up to me and looked at me again – expectantly.  Humbled I swallowed my fear and began to stroke his eyelids with my fingers.  He did not bite, but proceeded to just “melt” into that black feather ball.  It was a very special moment for both of us, which left me pondering the whole thing for quite some time thereafter.

I don’t know whether he changed, or I just learned to read him better, but he stopped biting and charging after that.

His loud protests at Jim’s handling in the evening (when it’s time to come into the house) turned into his walking up to the aviary door in eager anticipation of the “house fun”.  And one day I realized that I had to re-assess my old opinion of him being easier than Bert to have in the house (as he never did anything except just sit there).

He started out in the morning by throwing his stainless steel water bowl off the refrigerator (where he likes to sleep) watching it carefully as it splashed and loudly crashed on the ceramic tile floor.  Then he hopped onto the stove and, one by one, took each of the 4 metal grates off the burners watching them crash onto the floor (chipping the tile floor).  Next he worked on the paper towel roll, shredding the paper so meticulously I had to admire his attention to detail.  After gathering 3 cloth kitchen towels he strutted King-Kong style (that’s where he got his name) across the living room floor to his perch, a real tree stump Jim fixed up for Kong.

Kong began to rip bark into neat little shreds and carried it back – one beak full at a time – to a corner under the kitchen cabinets behind the dishrack.  We had watched him climb over the dishrack into that corner a few times during past evenings wondering what he was up to.

As I watched him arrange dishtowels, paper shreds and bark it finally dawned on me….. Could it be —that he—was making a nest?  Of all things this is the last thing I would have expected from this old raven.  But then again, the one thing I HAVE learned from my time spent with these incredible beings is that I can most definitely expect the unexpected.

Cross-posted at EENR and MYDD

Pe Sla in Black Hills: to be “Sea of Houses”

( – promoted by navajo)

Consolidated Indigenous Shadow Report. p. 34.

…the continuation and preservation of traditional Native American Religion is ensured only through the performance of ceremonies and rites by tribal members. These ceremonies and rites are often performed on specific sites…These sites may also be based on special geographic features…For most Native American religions, there may be no alternative places of worship since these ceremonies must be performed at certain places and times to be effective.

Such is the case at Pe Sla, “one of the five primary sacred sites in the Black Hills to the Lakota nation.”


The Pe Sla is one of the five primary sacred sites in the Black Hills to the Lakota nation because of its position on their annual pilgrimage/journey of prayers and ceremonies.  It is also the only one held mostly in private hands as others are within state or federal property.  This prairie has only known cattle grazing by a handful of ranchers since the Homestead Act.  Now subdivisions are encroaching upon this one pristine open space left in the Black Hills.

I can not speak for any tribe and here is my opinion. I think the ACLU should be seriously considered in terms of asking them to sue the appropriate parties over suffocating the religious freedom of the Lakota Nation to start with. I’m “seeking a way to protect this place,” so I didn’t mention cultural genocide.

(emphasis and underline mine)


When the Forest Service was asked about a cabin being renovated as a memorial to the ranching history on the Pe Sla, the questioners reminded them that there was a much longer history of this site among the Lakota.  The Forest Service representative told us that the Lakota elders with whom they consult told them no one wanted that information known.  A few months later when an official from the county government was standing on Rochford Road that runs through the middle of the Pe Sla or Reynolds Prairie, he exclaimed with great satisfaction that “soon this road will be a black ribbon (paved with asphalt) and this prairie will be a sea of houses”.
 Unfortunately, it is only a matter of time that further abuse and possible desecration will take place so that we must tell the story of this sacred site.  Action must be taken to preserve this prairie for future generations.  

• Please pray for its preservation and for the awareness of its spiritual significance to all people.  

• Please tell the story to all whom you know.  

Please show your support by seeking ways to protect this place.  Some of those possibilities are outlined below.

Furthermore, I think Joe Garcia, President of the NCAI, should be contacted by the ACLU in order to proceed in the manner which would not damage tribal sovereignty in any fashion what-so-ever.


National Congress of American Indians (NCAI)

1301 Connecticut Ave NW, Suite 200, Washington D.C. 20036

Phone: (202) 466-7767, Fax: (202) 466-7797


The ACLU could do a fund and membership drive revolving around this, which would hopefully increase their membership and help raise finances for the case. Everything considered, what are the other alternatives?


The Pennington County Highway Department held a meeting regarding the reconstruction of South Rochford Road at Hill City, SD, on Monday, March 3, 2008, at 6:30 pm. This project runs from Deerfield Lake to the village of Rochford passing through the middle of Reynolds Prairie, or the Pe Sla, one of the most important and sacred Lakota annual pilgrimage sites. Currently it is a gravel road but the plans are to asphalt eleven (11) miles of road with $7.5 million dollars. If the road is blacktopped, housing development and increased traffic will occur. The Hill City Chamber of Commerce is pushing this project.

If they were considering condemning hundreds of churches for the sake of “development” or uranium for that matter, we wouldn’t even be having this discussion; a discussion that both Obama and Clinton should have in South Dakota and Montana.

Letter: Clinton, Obama should debate Indian issues

“Montana and South Dakota are scheduled to hold Democratic primaries June 3. No other state is having a primary that week. In fact, there are no Democratic state contests in the two weeks leading up to June 3. With more than 125,000 citizens who identify themselves as American Indian in these two states, I believe we should urge the Obama and Clinton campaigns to come to an Indian reservation in Montana or South Dakota to debate Indian country issues.

To conclude and once again, “It is only a matter of time that further abuse and possible desecration will take place so that we must tell the story of this sacred site.  Action must be taken to preserve this prairie for future generations;” and, if they were considering condemning hundreds of churches for the sake of “development” or uranium for that matter, we wouldn’t even be having this discussion.

S.1200/H.R.1328 and the Future of Native American Health

Yá’át’tééh  Shik’is!, and hello everyone. Since this is my first post here, let me begin by introducing myself.

I’m a (mostly) white grandfather with a bit of Mohawk in my background, and I live on the border of the Onondaga Nation in Central New York, USA. I’ve been disabled since 1995, and am a “handyman”, computer whiz and googlegeek, or as my kids used to say: “My Daddy can fix anything!” (not true)

There’s more…

I come here by way of Daily Kos and Navajo (Asdzáni Tso of the Diné), shik’is for several years now, and the reason I started “learning” Navajo words – it’s MUCH easier than Mohawk, of which there is very little online. (If you see only letters+numbers when we post words in Navajo, it’s because Navajo and I have a Navajo language font on our machines; I can dig it up for you if you ask – it contains all the inflection marks. There’s also a great site, I believe, that has spoken files – it’s such a beautiful sounding language.) I have a great deal of respect for Navajo and we have become good friends – she did me the great honor of letting me write a eulogy for her brother Spencer when he passed; she had asked me to join and Moderate NetRoots some time ago, but (as some of you may know) I have been in mourning for the last year, and only recently began writing again.

I had never looked deeply into my NA past before becoming friends with Diné, but have done some digging since then; along with the fact of living within 150 miles or so of the following Tribes of the Northeast, the Haudenosaunee (i.e., the indigenous peoples, the Six Nations, the Iroquois, or People of the Longhouse) – Onondaga, Oneida, Cayuga, Mohawk, Tuscarora, and Seneca. I won’t go into the various divisions of those Nations, which now are really more for Federal recognition than historical relationships, and no, I’ve only visited some of them – they resemble hamlets, if anything; the total population in the 11 current locations of the Haudenosaunee of New York State is only about 25,000.

So, I’m more familiar with the Haudenosaunee than any other Peoples, and that means you’ll have to bear with me a bit as I try to tackle what I think is going to be a momentous piece of legislation; “S. 1200 Indian Health Care Improvement Act Amendments of 2007” (which is more likely to be dated 2009 or 2010 before it is signed into law), and what it means to NA Nations. The Indian Health Care Improvement Act P.L. 94-437, is the single most influential Act affecting Native health matters ever passed, and it’s no secret that until now, the Act has been poorly implemented, funded, and managed, so the Amendment has a chance to redress some of the worst faults, depending on what it contains when it finally lands on the POTUS desk. (For purposes of this series, I’m “combining” the Senate and House versions of the bills under S. 1200 for ease of use, and will highlight any substantial differences if necessary; it will of course morph into an entirely “new” piece of legislation before reaching the POTUS, but for now only the Senate version has passed – the House version is still in Committee.)

As a beginning, I’ll explore the roots of the Act and its current state of authorization; then we’ll look at the Amendments and their strengths and flaws; finally, I hope to help with a piece on how we can influence passage. If you find this series helpful, please don’t hesitate to copy anything and pass it along to others; we’ll need to bring a lot of influence to bear if it has any chance of passing in a truly meaningful form! Keep in mind that this is likely to be THE defining legislation for NA health issues in our lifetimes. Already, there are sections I find well-crafted, and parts that are repugnant, but overall it IS an improvement IMHO. We’ll see, shall we?

For now, let me leave you with this section, at the end of S. 1200, just because I find it so noteworthy at this time; I never expected to see THIS in any piece of legislation from the 110th!


     (a) Findings- Congress finds that–

           (1) the ancestors of today’s Native Peoples inhabited the land of the present-day United States since time immemorial and for thousands of years before the arrival of people of European descent;

           (2) for millennia, Native Peoples have honored, protected, and stewarded this land we cherish;

           (3) Native Peoples are spiritual people with a deep and abiding belief in the Creator, and for millennia Native Peoples have maintained a powerful spiritual connection to this land, as evidenced by their customs and legends;

           (4) the arrival of Europeans in North America opened a new chapter in the history of Native Peoples;

           (5) while establishment of permanent European settlements in North America did stir conflict with nearby Indian tribes, peaceful and mutually beneficial interactions also took place;

           (6) the foundational English settlements in Jamestown, Virginia, and Plymouth, Massachusetts, owed their survival in large measure to the compassion and aid of Native Peoples in the vicinities of the settlements;

           (7) in the infancy of the United States, the founders of the Republic expressed their desire for a just relationship with the Indian tribes, as evidenced by the Northwest Ordinance enacted by Congress in 1787, which begins with the phrase, `The utmost good faith shall always be observed toward the Indians’;

           (8) Indian tribes provided great assistance to the fledgling Republic as it strengthened and grew, including invaluable help to Meriwether Lewis and William Clark on their epic journey from St. Louis, Missouri, to the Pacific Coast;

           (9) Native Peoples and non-Native settlers engaged in numerous armed conflicts in which unfortunately, both took innocent lives, including those of women and children;

           (10) the Federal Government violated many of the treaties ratified by Congress and other diplomatic agreements with Indian tribes;

           (11) the United States forced Indian tribes and their citizens to move away from their traditional homelands and onto federally established and controlled reservations, in accordance with such Acts as the Act of May 28, 1830 (4 Stat. 411, chapter 148) (commonly known as the `Indian Removal Act’);

           (12) many Native Peoples suffered and perished–

                 (A) during the execution of the official Federal Government policy of forced removal, including the infamous Trail of Tears and Long Walk;

                 (B) during bloody armed confrontations and massacres, such as the Sand Creek Massacre in 1864 and the Wounded Knee Massacre in 1890; and

                 (C) on numerous Indian reservations;

           (13) the Federal Government condemned the traditions, beliefs, and customs of Native Peoples and endeavored to assimilate them by such policies as the redistribution of land under the Act of February 8, 1887 (25 U.S.C. 331; 24 Stat. 388, chapter 119) (commonly known as the `General Allotment Act’), and the forcible removal of Native children from their families to faraway boarding schools where their Native practices and languages were degraded and forbidden;

           (14) officials of the Federal Government and private United States citizens harmed Native Peoples by the unlawful acquisition of recognized tribal land and the theft of tribal resources and assets from recognized tribal land;

           (15) the policies of the Federal Government toward Indian tribes and the breaking of covenants with Indian tribes have contributed to the severe social ills and economic troubles in many Native communities today;

           (16) despite the wrongs committed against Native Peoples by the United States, Native Peoples have remained committed to the protection of this great land, as evidenced by the fact that, on a per capita basis, more Native Peoples have served in the United States Armed Forces and placed themselves in harm’s way in defense of the United States in every major military conflict than any other ethnic group;

           (17) Indian tribes have actively influenced the public life of the United States by continued cooperation with Congress and the Department of the Interior, through the involvement of Native individuals in official Federal Government positions, and by leadership of their own sovereign Indian tribes;

           (18) Indian tribes are resilient and determined to preserve, develop, and transmit to future generations their unique cultural identities;

           (19) the National Museum of the American Indian was established within the Smithsonian Institution as a living memorial to Native Peoples and their traditions; and

           (20) Native Peoples are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, and among those are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

     (b) Acknowledgment and Apology- The United States, acting through Congress–

           (1) recognizes the special legal and political relationship Indian tribes have with the United States and the solemn covenant with the land we share;

           (2) commends and honors Native Peoples for the thousands of years that they have stewarded and protected this land;

           (3) recognizes that there have been years of official depredations, ill-conceived policies, and the breaking of covenants by the Federal Government regarding Indian tribes;

           (4) apologizes on behalf of the people of the United States to all Native Peoples for the many instances of violence, maltreatment, and neglect inflicted on Native Peoples by citizens of the United States;

           (5) expresses its regret for the ramifications of former wrongs and its commitment to build on the positive relationships of the past and present to move toward a brighter future where all the people of this land live reconciled as brothers and sisters, and harmoniously steward and protect this land together;

           (6) urges the President to acknowledge the wrongs of the United States against Indian tribes in the history of the United States in order to bring healing to this land; and

           (7) commends the State governments that have begun reconciliation efforts with recognized Indian tribes located in their boundaries and encourages all State governments similarly to work toward reconciling relationships with Indian tribes within their boundaries.

(Passed the Senate, February 26, 2008)

How to get involved

( – promoted by navajo)

I’m a white teenager from Bucks County, Pennsylvania who is hoping to get involved in the betterment for the Native American community.  I joined this forum because it is so hard for me, having no background in the Native American culture, to really grasp where to start learning and understanding the modern aspects.  There also aren’t a lot of major organizations in my area on the web in which a teen has the opportunity to get involved, or I’m looking in all the wrong places.  My desire is to teach high school level students on a reservation.  It started as an interest, then an infatuation, to guilt, and finally a motivation for change.  If anyone knows of anyway for me to get involved locally, it would be so much appreciated.  I feel so lost.

Arctic Is New Gold Rush, Ignoring Inuit Is Not New (Photo Edited)

( – promoted by navajo)

…but the Arctic is the scene for a new kind of international gold rush…

Arctic a potential conflict zone, Europe warned

BRUSSELS, Belgium – European Union leaders will receive a stark warning next week of potential conflict with Russia over energy resources at the North Pole as global warning melts the ice cap and aggravates international security threats.

See video

The first question asked in “The Dawes Commission: And the Allotment of the Five Civilized Tribes” by Kent Carter is, “What can you do when you discover a continent but there are already people living on it?”

People, what people?

The Ice People By Alberto Leoncini

The ambient devastation and the climatic changes have become an actual debate on the polar areas and its destiny; they are also well known as geopolitical and energy areas.

But very little attention is given to the people that live and of course are born in those areas and especially in the Arctic area. The reference is obviously to the Inuit culture,  known as “Eskimos” (recent studies state that this word, referring to the Arctic Population that speak the family Eskimo- Aleuta language, means “those who speak a foreign  language” and not “raw meat eaters”, as it was known up to a few years ago; as states and theated at p. 27 of the catalogue “inuit and the ice people” mentioned in bibliography), bearers of a stratified culture reinforced in the centuries by the severity and the adversity from the atmosphere and climate conditions.

What are they going to do with the Inuit, treat them as human beings or as “problems” to eradicate?

Will the United States look the other way yet again?

Will the main press who could and should make a difference by at least mentioning their presence in their five second sound bites, give the needed attention to the people living there and their dire situation?


Inuit have settled into 53 communities as far west as Aklavik, NWT within close proximity to north Yukon border; east to Kikiak (Rigolet), Labrador; north to Grise Fiord, on Ellesmere Island in Nunavut, approximately 640 kilometers from the magnetic North Pole; and south to Kuujjuarapik, PQ on the south east shore of Hudson’s Bay. Just under 10% of the Inuit population live outside their respective land claim regions most notably Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia.

Inuit have a homeland that covers almost a third of Canada. The Inuit AHRDAs serve vast areas where air travel is the only alternative. 50 of the 53 Inuit communities in the 467,107 square kilometers of Inuit settlement land rely heavily on air service for regular supplies and passenger service. Regular air scheduled service can be sporadic due to extreme weather conditions. During the short summer months – July to September heavy equipment, bulk cargo, and building materials are delivered by sea lift or river barge.

Dire situation, what dire situation?

Ice Melting Under The Inuit & Action Call!

(Emphasis mine)

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.


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.

The ice is melting underneath the Inuit while there is “a new kind of international gold rush.” Why should people be so alarmed?

This is a difficult connection for some to make: that gold, coal, and silver rushes have led to genocide against indigenous people. Simply put, coveted resources have been on indigenous land, and “No people, no problem” as Stalin gruesomely stated once. In addition, people are already in a habit of ignoring genocide against American Indians.


…denial of the genocide of Native Americans is still very strong. It works primarily through omission; people just refuse to talk about the issue.

Next, there is something we need to avoid and acknowledge in this discussion.

Let’s not make the mistake of presentism, but look at the present.


…The NSA demands that elders give up their lands to

build the levee, and further, that they travel a distance of 3 miles, to go

through checkpoints, to walk, recreate, and to farm and herd goats and


This threat against indigenous people, life ways and lands has been

very very serious and stress inducing to local leaders…

Whether or not the Inuit are treated as human beings or “problems” to eradicate, remains to be seen on a massive scale five centuries after Columbus. I hope the United States and the other countries choose the former and reject the latter.

Carter Camp’s Indian Mascot Essay, “Mass Racial Taunting; America’s Weekend Sport”

( – promoted by navajo)

Carter Camp gave me his permission to repost his essay entitled “Mass Racial Taunting; America’s Weekend Sport” in the comments of “Stereotypical Elements (that) appear… in Athletic Contests” posted at Native American Netroots. I had mentioned that I wanted to cite the Shadow Report as an introduction, so here’s what the Consolidated Indigenous Shadow Report says about Indian Mascots on page 72.

Although the United States would probably respond that racist mascots and logos are an exercise of free speech that it has reserved under the Convention, they reveal the depth and pervasiveness of the racism against Indigenous Peoples so deeply engrained in the history and psyche of the United States and the dominant culture.

And over the break is Carter Camp’s essay entitled “Mass Racial Taunting; America’s Weekend Sport,” which he wrote “several years ago when people in Tulsa were protesting the Union High redskins.”

Crossposted at Docudharma


by Carter Camp, Ponca Nation

For thousands of people in America, Friday nights in the fall are for going to the High School football game.  On Saturday, college towns across America swell to double or triple their normal size as fans pour into town to cheer the local college football team.  On Sunday, Sunday evening, and Monday night, millions of Americans gather in stadiums, in bars, and in front of their televisions to see a great communal American pastime, professional football.  But did you ever stop to think that a great percentage of these same all-American people also will spend some of their time hurling racial epithets at my people? Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (and Monday night) millions of Americans will scream and beg for my Indian people to be scalped, chopped, burned, tomahawked and murdered, by the Indians, Savages, Redskins, and Braves across the field.  In the winter it moves inside for basketball and in the spring back outside for baseball, but every weekend all year around, one of Americas’ favorite things to do is to spend some time ignorantly portraying a stereotypical Indian person or spending a few hours mock-hating and degrading Indian people.  And when we Indians dare mention it is offensive, they argue they should keep on doing it because ‘they have done it for a long time’, longer ago than when they kept slaves or would not let women vote, so long that now it is a tradition! You see, in America even screaming racial epithets can become a cherished tradition that some people are willing to fight a civil war over.*

Not ‘racist’ epithets, the Americans who are screaming to kill, burn, and scalp us, don’t mean us really, they mean those people dressed as caricatures of our ancestors.  And they also do not mean to denigrate our religion because most of them do not even know we have religions and they all assume our culture is dead because they have been taught we were a “vanishing race”, so it must be ok to insult our Grandfathers dress, speech and hair.  They may not be ‘racist’ people but their ‘racial’ barbs are just as harmful to our children.

One of the things Americans like to tell us is not to be so sensitive, it is all done in good fun.  And perhaps it would be funny to us if the very things they scream to be done to the Indian mascot had not actually been done to our Grandfathers by theirs. I am one generation removed from the atrocity of the genocidal “Ponca removal”, my Grandfather and Grandmother survived the Ponca,” trail of tears” forced march to Oklahoma Territory in the late 1800’s, but one third of my Tribe perished.  What is ancient history to most Americans is still fresh in the minds of we Indian people, as close as Hitler’s holocaust is to a Jew and much closer than slavery is to a Black person.  I think it is too soon to ask us not to be sensitive, I still mourn my Grandparents and my people are still not whole.

When all else fails, mascotteers like to tell Indians they are really “honoring” us.  Even those who mean it sincerely must not have considered that there are two sides to every contest and one half of the people in the stadium are in no way seeking to “honor” the “redskins” they are about to “slaughter”.  There can be no way to honor Indian people by using their Tribe or race as team mascots because mascots become a part of the fray and to half of the people attending they are an enemy to be punished, mocked and defeated.  We would like it very much if Americans really did honor us as co-Americans who are worthy of the same respect you give all the other races.  Black, White and Yellow people are exempted from the great American weekend custom of mass racial taunting, is it too much to ask of our fellow citizens that we also receive such an exemption?

* Statistics: There are approximately 3,000 schools using Indian people as mascots. Each has four grades with aprox. 6 teams for each grade. Each team plays aprox. 10 games per year. This makes 720,000 games, and if each game has 500 people (stadiums have many thousands while soccer fields have few, 500 is an arbitrary but real number used to make my point), there are 360,000,000 Americans taking part in a given year. If one-half of them are in the opposition, we have the amazing statistic of 180 MILLION! Americans per year taking part in the Great-American-Weekend-Sport of “Mass Racial Taunting”! (MRT) of Indian people.   The other 180 million Americans think it is not a big thing. Warning: These statistics do not take into account the hundreds of millions of Americans joining the “MRT” of my people, at home, in front of their kids. CC

Buffalo Slaughter in Montana

( – promoted by navajo)

(At the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma)


Where are the Buffalo? Gone

The Great Chief in Washington sends word that he wishes to buy our land. How can you buy or sell the sky? The warmth of the land? The idea is strange to us. Yet we do not own the freshness of the air or the sparkle of the water. How can you buy them from us? Every part of this earth is sacred to my people.

We know that the white man does not understand our ways. One portion of the land is the same to him as the next, for he is a stranger who comes in the night and takes from the land whatever he needs. The earth is not his brother but his enemy and when he has conquered it he moves on. He leaves his fathers’ graves and his children’s birthright is forgotten.

If only those words weren’t so relevant today.

The Gallatin National Forest has been permitting the Montana Department of Livestock to capture and slaughter bison, and the Forrest Service wants to continue letting the Montana Department of Livestock continue the capture and slaughter of bison in the Horse Butte area.  


The Montana Department of Livestock (MDOL) was issued a special use permit from the Forest Service, after completion of a site specific environmental analysis in 1998.  The special use permit authorized a portable bison capture facility to be operated on National Forest System (NFS) lands in the Horse Butte area.  

– snip –

Proposed Action

The Forest Service is proposing to renew, for a 10 year term, MDOL’s permit, which authorizes continued use of NFS lands for the operation of the Horse Butte bison capture facility.

The Montana Department of Livestock and Yellowstone National Park have slaughtered 505 buffalo since February 11th. This is the last remaining free roaming herd of American Bison, (genetically pure) and they are threatened by the cattle industry in Montana.

Dear Buffalo Friends,

Yellowstone officials continue to spill the blood of America’s last wild buffalo, our national heritage.  Sixteen more buffalo were transported to slaughter Wednesday, 30 more were captured, and the 17 calves that were slated to be sent to the Corwin Springs Quarantine Facility will be sent to slaughter today, because the facility is not ready for them.  A press release from Yellowstone National Park is pasted at the end of this special alert.

Thank you for all the action you have been taking in the past couple of days.  This morning our Week of Action begins in earnest with a series of National Call-in Days to target decision-makers responsible for the harassment and slaughter of the last wild buffalo population in the United States.

We begin by calling Yellowstone Superintendent Suzanne Lewis.  Three phone numbers and talking points are provided below.

I know I’m supposed to write more in my own words, but I can’t right now. I just can’t.

MSNBC Covered Native American Issues Last Tuesday…

( – promoted by navajo)

At approximately 10:12 p.m. last Tuesday MSNBC covered Native American issues after the presidential debate. “It’s high time we started covering these critical concerns affecting American Indians that are in our own back yard at least as much as we cover what happens across the ocean in other countries,” one MSNBC commentator said. I couldn’t believe my ears as to what they said next.

Crossposted at Docudharma

“The next president should heed the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,” one commentator strongly suggested.

My mouth hung open.

“Yes, because the United States voted against the declaration, whilst 143 nations voted in favour and eleven abstained,” the other commentator agreed and confirmed.

My mouth hung wide open now, but what he said next made me jump to my feet.

“Indigenous People have been labeled “savages” and considered to be satanic, all which boils down to dehumanization; consequently, excuses for land encroachment and land theft.”

I started yelling “Yes! Yes! Yes!” at the top of my lungs; I just couldn’t help myself.

He continued, “The next president heeding the Declaration would help change all of that.”

I then felt a strong tug on my shoulder. My wife was staring at me, “The television service was interrupted at 10:12 for some reason, what were you dreaming about?”

The adulation left me as I realized I had only been dreaming and I responded, “Nothing honey, let’s go to bed.”

Now that the dream is over, here’s the draft that didn’t pass.


Article 7

Indigenous peoples have the collective and individual right not to be subjected to ethnocide and cultural genocide, including prevention of and redress for:

(a) Any action which has the aim or effect of depriving them of their integrity as distinct peoples, or of their cultural values or ethnic identities;

(b) Any action which has the aim or effect of dispossessing them of their lands, territories or resources;

(c) Any form of population transfer which has the aim or effect of violating or undermining any of their rights;

(d) Any form of assimilation or integration by other cultures or ways of life imposed on them by legislative, administrative or other measures;

(e) Any form of propaganda directed against them.

And here’s some information leading up to the draft that passed in 143 nations.

Finally, the version that passed in 143 nations can be downloaded at the link at the bottom of this page.

I can dream, can’t I?