Pass H.R.1385 To Recognize 6 Virginia Tribes

( – promoted by navajo)

Please sign the petition to help 6 Virginia Tribes

http://humanrights.change.org/…

This bill has already passed the House. It’s been received in the Senate and read twice and referred to the Committee on Indian Affairs. This petition will target President Obama The Committee on Indian Affairs and a few other Senators.

Please share this petition on Twitter, Facebook, Email and any other way that you are able to. Thank you for signing!

There is a provision in current law that allows unrecognized tribes to gain recognition through appeal to the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Virginia’s Racial Integrity Act of 1924 has hurt the Virginia tribes in their prior appeals to the BIA, according to the Washington Times. Tribe officials say the Act forced Indians to identify themselves as “colored” and led to the destruction and alteration of genealogical records.

Tribal proponents say the Virginia law amounted to a “paper genocide” and makes the bureau process difficult for the six groups, although there are some genealogical records that do exist and have been submitted to the bureau. Va. Gov. Tim Kaine called the vote “a major step towards reconciling an historic wrong for Virginia and the nation.”

President Barack Obama has reversed from past presidents and pledged to support recognition of the Lumbee Tribe, which has sought federal oversight for more than a century. According to the AP, Obama has not said whether he will support recognition of the Virginia tribes.

Growing Up Indian

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American-Indian-Heritage-Month

photo credit: Aaron Huey

The Argus Leader has an important and informative series on what it’s like to grow up Indian in South Dakota, on or off the reservations. The decades of multi-generational trauma and resulting pervasive poverty have taken their toll on our tribes whether they are fighting to maintain their traditional cultures or if they are trying to survive being assimilated into white man’s society.

ACTION: You can help by reading and using the multi-media parts of the series to understand a little of what it’s like to be young and trying to survive against all odds. Your knowledge can help us because we need your influence with policy makers and other leaders/organizers in your state.  

Excerpts and all linkage below:

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The inception of the series started in 2008 when reporter Steve Young [Huron Nation] was working on stories about suicide on South Dakota’s Indian Reservations. It was pointed out to him that most white Americans don’t know about the difficult life on our reservations. This series introduces you to several young individuals and their stories.

The youth interviews are often painful to watch but there are also glimmers of hope, hope that maybe something fortunate will happen in these young lives that will help them survive to find a good life and grow old with dignity.

Start here for an overview of the articles with links to video and photographs.

Below are excerpts from the currently published stories:


Little Neleigh

Neleigh Driving Hawk is 3 years old and full of the innocence and beauty of childhood. She likes to ride her tiny bicycle on the ragged streets of the Lower Brule Reservation. But all around her are examples of what her life may one day be.

More…

Surviving birth

In many ways, Neleigh is lucky. She’s lived three years in a world where children die in birth or in the first few weeks of life at rates well beyond the rest of South Dakota. More…

The early years

The long-term effects of women drinking and taking drugs while pregnant evident across Indian Country, in the faces and the scars of small children starting life with damaged brains and bodies.

More…


Pre-teen guidance

Children in the critical pre-teen stage begin to look around them and understand their world. For Indian children that may be a life void of adults who can show them the right way to live.

More…

The thoughts of suicide

Physical maturity brings a new reality for Indian children in South Dakota. It too often is a period confronting sexual assault, gangs and violence that contribute to the near epidemic rates of suicide.

More…

Teens and violence

The gang culture – initiation, manipulation, drugs, assault and even murder – finds fertile grounds in a place where the family structure is ripped apart and hopelessness reigns. And it’s become a way of life in many parts of Indian Country.

More…


The fleeting promise of education

Only about one in four Indian students graduate high school in South Dakota. But it’s that possibility of graduation and what may possibly lie ahead that drives the ambitious young people on the reservations.

More…

Autumn and the precious few

For all the despair and impossible odds, there is hope. There are successes. Autumn White Eyes graduated from high school and drove away from the Pine Ridge Reservation this fall headed for a future that seems almost unimaginable given what she’s experienced growing up.

More…


Photographer: Devin Wagner

The series runs a few more days so check the Argus for more.

Please share this series with your friends and family.

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My past related diaries:

Pine Ridge: American Prisoner of War Camp #334

Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Hearing re: Youth Suicide

Hope and Opportunity on Pine Ridge Rez

Revealing Pine Ridge Rez Demographic Information

Please Continue Your Support of South Dakota Reservations  

Church Rock: Radioactive Spill Disaster

( – promoted by navajo)

On the morning of July 16, 1979, Church Rock (just east of Gallup, NM and north of I-40)  was a small sun baked community of mainly Navajo (Dine’) people,  herding sheep or growing a little corn amidst red dirt and sagebrush.  Clusters of traditional hogans (eight sided cabins) and mobile homes can be seen from the roads throughout the region, marking family land allotments.  

Behind an earthen pond dam, ninety million gallons of liquid radioactive waste, and eleven hundred tons of solid mill wastes were sitting in a pond waiting for evaporation to leave behind solids.  Suddenly, the dam gave way and the waters burst through, flowing out across the red land, and down the washes to permanently contaminate the Rio Puerco, known to traditional Dine’ as To’ Nizhoni (beautiful water.)  This may look like a large dry wash to people passing over it at 80 miles an hour on the interstate.  There is water mostly when there are thunderstorms in the watershed or when the winter snow melts up in the mountains.  There are not a lot of people living out here.  You can see a long way when the interstate tops a rise, and you can see a great empty distance with long train tracks.  When the freight trains come through, they bear logos like MAERSK, China Shipping, Costco.  Consumer goods bound for the big box stores elsewhere.  

Today, although few tourists stopping at the massive Route 66 casino and tourist/truck stop complex know about it, the Church Rock accident is acknowledged as likely the largest single release of radioactive contamination ever to take place in U.S. history (outside of the atomic bomb tests).  A few weeks after it occurred, the mine and mill operator, United Nuclear Corporation, was back in business at Church Rock as if nothing had happened.

I lived on the Navajo Nation for several years, at Tsaile, Az near Lukachukai – over the mountains to the north and west of Church Rock by maybe 80 miles as the crow flies.  I came to know several families that had been affected by uranium mining.

There are still miners, now in their 80s and 90s who are suffering the effects and bearing witness to those that know them.  

The reason that the Navajo Nation banned uranium mining a couple of years ago was primarily because of the complete and utter disregard for Navajo people that mining has brought with it.  That doesn’t seem to have changed, as companies with recent proposals seem to think that just ghastly after effects will be much more tolerated among Navajos than anywhere else.  

Recently, there have been proposals to use volumes of water and settling ponds as a way of getting uranium out of the ground.  Local meetings are held and the company dismisses concern that this will contaminate the water supply – in an area where water is terribly precious.  If they proposed this with a straight face in any large urban community in the country they would get laughed out of there. Rural areas are in a terrible bind, due to lack of jobs and lack of information resources. There is also a dearth of effective advocacy on the part of elected officials, who are also from the same financially desperate environment and who may depend on mining companies for information.

One of the more amazing things I learned from being in the neighborhood was that children of the original “dog hole” miners from the 1960s and before believe that they experience second generation health impacts and worry about passing genetic damage on.  The health care provider in the area is the Indian Health Service.  I checked with the IHS and discovered that the federal government never did any studies assessing this.  

Consistently, Indian people are treated to a great amount of disregard.  If there are no studies, than the prospect that people can complain about such effects is effectively muted.  That is completely consistent with the history of disregard and disrespect that Indian people have suffered at the hands of government, missionies and loads of well meaning others. These are very family oriented people.  They remain closely connected with aunts and uncles, cousins, and in-law relations across the region.  Experience is shared.  

There are some 700 small mines still unclosed.  A “dog hole” basically means one man, one shovel.  The piles of dirt from these are still right where they were left.  Rain causes local water to be contaminated, which is taken up by plants and eaten by sheep and cows.  This can continue to create cancer risks for local people far into the future. Only recently has cleanup begun to be addressed, since interest in uranium was renewed by 4.00 per gallon gasoline.  

These are not people who can move away.  The land has been inherited down Dine’ family lines since at least the 1868 treaty, and possibly before that, as far back as about 1500 (maybe earlier).  A legacy like that cannot be replaced.

I think the Navajo Nation was right to ban uranium mining outright.  I can foresee a future in which some mining might be done again, but the problem that needs to be addressed is sufficient respect for the land and the people.  What is more likely is mining companies looking for ways to force their way in, through lawsuits, and overpower local concerns just like in the old days.

Mining seems to be accompanied by a psychology that disregards and disrespects local people and the local environment and is dishonest to boot.  Indian people are the last ethnic group to be considered when it comes to progress against racial discrimination.  It is hard to believe it until you develop friends who are Indian and then see it through their eyes.  It is just shameful that this should still be the case in 21st Century America. I am always sorry to see signs of it.

That is why Church Rock needs to be remembered.  

Rez charter school wishlist: calculators

( – promoted by navajo)

crossposted at dkos

Klamath River Early College of the Redwoods is a public charter school in the Yurok Indian Nation within Northern California.

With Native American Indians having some of the highest dropout rates, Gevena Wiki founded Klamath River Early College of the Redwoods, or KRECR (pronounced “krek-er“) to provide a culturally relevant program for tribal high school students in 2005. Since then, KRECR students have surpassed other local schools on high school exit exam scores.

However, KRECR students currently have no scientific calculators. My husband took down a stack of regular calculators today, left over from his business, but we don’t have, and can’t afford, the scientific calculators the kids need. So he set up an Amazon.com wishlist account that will deliver scientific calculators directly to KRECR. The address for the school is included, in case you happen to have an old scientific calculator collecting dust and want it put to good use.

More about KRECR below…

You may have seen Smithsonian Magazine’s feature on Klamath River Early College of the Redwoods and Geneva Wiki, “Making the Grade,” some snippets:

The idea behind this innovative project, part of the Early College High School Initiative, largely funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is that low-income, minority and otherwise disadvantaged young people at risk of dropping out are encouraged to stay in school and get a free, non-intimidating taste of college.  

“This is the front line of our civil rights movement,” says Wiki. “Past generations struggled first over rights to fish and hunt, and then to govern ourselves. Now we need to work on reclaiming ourselves through education.”

In addition to math, science, English and social sciences, Wiki’s students study the Yurok language and such tribal skills as carving redwood canoes, catching eels and making acorn soup. Some educators-including Wiki-believe that such knowledge can make the difference in combating an American Indian dropout rate of more than four in ten nationwide. (Wiki suspects the rate among Yuroks, who have high rates of alcoholism and methamphetamine use, may be even higher.)

North Coast Journal adds to that (check out the slideshow)

Injustice. That’s what Geneva Wiki and her family have been fighting against for as long as she can remember. Wiki is the great-niece of Raymond Mattz, the Yurok man who refused to pay a fine for gill netting on the Klamath River and successfully appealed his case all the way to the Supreme Court, eventually winning back Yurok fishing rights in the early ’70s. Her aunt, Susan Masten, was the former president of the National Congress of American Indians.

Wiki is also the principal of Klamath River Early College of the Redwoods (KRECR), a two-year-old charter high school in Klamath partnered with College of the Redwoods that serves the North Coast’s native community. (About 20 percent of its students are non-native). KRECR is part of the Early College High School Initiative, a program enabling students to earn both a high school diploma and an Associate’s degree in just four years, and it’s completely free.

“I believe that education is my generation’s fight to fight for equality,” Wiki said in her office last Thursday. “Our native young people are underrepresented in educational achievement stats and … we won’t be able to break out of poverty unless we’re able to reclaim education.” Wiki, small and sprightly, wears her heart on her sleeve.

“Our culture is a quiet culture,” Marvin Mattz told me in a whisper earlier that morning. And so, tucked away in a building across the street from the Yurok tribal office, the teachers and students at Klamath River Early College of the Redwoods are changing the face of native education — quietly, perhaps, but profoundly.

The program at KRECR is amazing and the changes for students, their families, and the community, both now and the potential for the future, are huge.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed getting to know about KRECR a bit more and if you’ve got a scientific calculator collecting dust, or some money for a good cause burning a hole in your pocket, I know just the place!

KRECR’s Amazon.com wishlist

Official KRECR website

Disclosure: I’m a former employee of KRECR; my husband tutors at KRECR; and our boys will attend KRECR in a few more years.

Thanks for reading!

SHOSHONE-BANNOCK TRIBES Support Larry EchoHawk for Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs

SHOSHONE-BANNOCK TRIBE: Statement in Support of Larry EchoHawk as Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs

January 22, 2009

To Tribal Leaders:

We were disappointed and surprised to read a recent statement by Scott Crowell criticizing Larry EchoHawk as a possible choice for the next Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs. Mr. Crowell formerly represented the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes on gaming matters but no longer represents the Tribes, and he does not speak for the Tribes. His statement contains a number of factual and legal misstatements that need to be corrected. To be clear, the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes fully support Larry EchoHawk and have full confidence in his strong commitment to Tribal sovereignty and Indian interests, including economic development through gaming enterprises.

Larry began representing the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes in 1977 and served for nearly nine years as the Tribes’ chief general legal counsel. At that time, he was one of the first ever Native American lawyers entrusted with the responsibility as the primary attorney for a large Indian tribe. He provided diligent and faithful service during these years. During his time as Tribal Attorney, he also served two terms in the Idaho legislature and worked hand-in-hand with Tribal leaders in Idaho to advance tribal interests. It was during his time in the legislature that positive laws respecting tribal sovereignty were passed for the first time in Idaho history, and Larry played a significant role in their passage. These laws include the State-Tribal Relations Act, the Tribal tobacco sales tax exemption, the Indian Antiquities and Burial Site Protection Act, and the amendment to the State Joint Powers Act to authorize state agencies to enter into agreements with Tribal governments, to name a few. Much of this was brought about due to Larry’s efforts to help create a State Indian Affairs Committee.

He ended his position as the Tribes’ general legal counsel in 1986 on good terms with the Tribes to become the prosecuting attorney for Bannock County, Idaho’s fourth largest county that borders the Fort Hall Reservation. While he served as prosecutor, he demonstrated a continual respect for tribal sovereignty and jurisdiction by deferring cases to the Tribes that could have been prosecuted under Public 280. In 1990 he was elected as Idaho’s Attorney General, and became the first Native American in United States history to be elected to a state-wide constitutional political office. As Attorney General, he supported legislation and efforts to protect native religious freedoms, salmon treaty fishing rights, and other legal matters impacting tribal sovereignty. While Attorney General, Larry also lead efforts to improve state-tribal relations through the Conference of Western Attorneys General.

In response to Mr. Crowell’s statement on Larry EchoHawk’s position relating to Indian gaming, the record should be clear that Larry EchoHawk supports the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act and recognizes that it is the responsibility of the Assistant Secretary to faithfully execute the law. The EchoHawk law firm, which includes Larry’s sons Paul EchoHawk and Mark EchoHawk, has provided nearly ten years of legal services to the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, and continue to provide excellent legal services. They have worked on a number of important issues for the Tribes, including gaming matters. Specifically, Mark EchoHawk recently served for six months as the Interim Executive Director for the Fort Hall Casino. We are confident that Larry’s possible service as Assistant Secretary would be beneficial to Tribal interests, including the continued development of Indian gaming enterprises.

Mr. Crowell’s statement misstates the law and facts related to Larry EchoHawk’s role in the 1992 Idaho constitutional amendment. First, Crowell wrongly stated that Larry called the special legislative session. In fact, only the Governor has the authority to call a special legislative session in Idaho. Idaho Const. Art. IV, Sec. 9. The determination to call a special session in 1992 was made by the governor alone. Crowell’s statement also is misleading in that it suggests that Larry personally supported restricting Indian gaming or had a policy-making role in the matter. Both of these suggestions are false and misleading. The fact is that the state attorney general is the chief legal officer for the state and is charged with specific legal duties as directed by the Idaho law. See Idaho Code 67-1401. The law is clear that the state attorney general has the primary obligation to enforce state laws and cannot act as a litigant or exercise any broader power than that granted by the constitution and legislature. The attorney general is required to take an oath that they will “support the Constitution of the United States, and Constitution of the State of Idaho, and that [they] will faithfully discharge the duties of attorney general to the best of [their] ability.” This includes an obligation to perform all legal services for the state and to represent the state in all tribunals and provide unbiased legal advice to the legislature and governor when requested. The attorney general is not a lawmaker or a policy maker. Although Larry EchoHawk clearly has a long and proven track record of advancing tribal sovereignty, his legal and ethical duty as Idaho’s attorney general was to provide legal advice to the governor and legislature. He did this according to his oath of office, and he did not advocate against Indian gaming specifically at any time. Contrary to Mr. Crowell’s statement, Larry EchoHawk’s law firm has provided years of exceptional legal services to the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, including work to further advance the Tribes’ profitable gaming interests. It is simply unfair and disingenuous to suggest that performing his duty as attorney general shows a lack of commitment to Indian interests and tribal sovereignty in the face of Larry’s long and distinguished career working for Indian people.

In sum, we are proud to hear of Larry EchoHawk’s possible appointment as the next Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs. We are confident that he will do an outstanding job in continuing his efforts to advance Tribal sovereignty and economic self-sufficiency. We urge Tribal leaders to join us in supporting Larry for this important position for Indian Country.

Sincerely,

Alonzo Coby, Chairman

Fort Hall Business Council

Shoshone-Bannock Tribes

Source: Pechanga.net  http://216.109.157.86/press_re…

Pretty Bird Woman House Update: Why Isn’t Anything Easy in Indian Country?

(crossposted on the Daily Kos and Street Prophets under betson08 and Docudharma under PiledHigherand Deeper – I guess I have an unstable identity!)

I want to update everyone who has been involved in the Pretty Bird Woman House fundraiser on the situation with the house purchase.

After you read this you might also ask: Why isn’t anything easy in Indian Country?

While we were running this fundraiser, the City Council of McLaughlin, which exists as a separate entity within the boundaries of the Standing Rock Reservation, passed an ordinance requiring that any nonprofit wishing to establish a boardinghouse or shelter in a residential area get the approval of the City Council first.

This means that  even though Pretty Bird Woman House could have closed on the house on January 4th, they had to wait for a Council meeting on January 7th.

Everyone was certain that after hearing about the shelter, the City Council would just say “of course you can” to their request.

Not so.  

Unfortunately, Georgia Little Shield, the shelter director, was attending a mandatory federal training associated with their new grant, so she was unable to go to the hearing. However, six representatives of PBWH and neighboring shelters did attend, including Jackie Brown Otter and a lawyer from the South Dakota Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Someone from the Lutheran church, the owner of the house the shelter bid on, also attended in support of the shelter.

The new ordinance that is affecting the shelter was passed in response to complaints about the men residing in a homeless shelter in another neighborhood, since they were making nuisances of themselves. While I can’t blame the residents for wanting drunken men off of their lawns, the measure does seem draconian in relation to the size of the problem it sought to address.

In general, reports from people who attended the meeting indicated that the ratio of support to opposition on the Council was about 60/40. Instead of voting on it that night, however, they decided to take the full 30 days allowed by the ordinance, and have another hearing.

The problem they are having, which has definite racial overtones, generally seems to stem from the fact that some of the members of the community could not conceptually distinguish between a homeless shelter, which houses men with emotional and drug problems, and a women’s shelter, which houses women who are escaping abuse, and want nothing more than a safe place to stay and to be as unobtrusive as possible. This is quite the opposite of a homeless shelter.

One reason for hope for a positive resolution was that Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth publicly came out in favor of the shelter in a recent Rapid City Journal articleabout the shelter. By the way, that paper also carried a very nice article about the shelter and the netroots fundraising efforts, which you can see here.

The Congresswoman seems to have become a champion of this cause, and programs to assist domestic violence victims in Indian Country in general. Kudos and applause to her!

And, without trying to dictate to the city council, Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, D-S.D., nonetheless has made it clear that her heart is with the shelter as it searches for a permanent home.

“I’m not going to get involved in that (council vote),” Herseth Sandlin said earlier this week. “But I do hope that our efforts in making greater resources available to those isolated reservations will be a factor in the decision making — to know that a member of their congressional delegation is paying particular attention and wanting to be partners in their effort to have a safer community.”



Herseth Sandlin visited the Pretty Bird Woman House twice last year and supported Congressional bills with additional financial resources for law-enforcement and domestic-violence programs on reservations.

But she went further. The article notes that after visiting the burned shelter back in October:  

…Herseth Sandlin returned to McLaughlin with Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Wash., Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies, as well as congressional staffers. They stopped by the shelter apartment, which had by then been abandoned, and met with federal and local law-enforcement officials, shelter representatives and Dumdei.

After the visit, Dicks inserted language into an omnibus appropriations bill expressing his concern that “methamphetamine use, violence against women and other serious crimes have reached epidemic levels in certain areas of Indian Country,” and directing the Bureau of Indian Affairs to increase the level of law enforcement and criminal prosecution in such areas.

That doesn’t provide more money specifically for Standing Rock but directs BIA to focus more resources on isolated areas where law officers are scarce. Herseth Sandlin said the October Congressional stop was part of the inspiration for adding that language into the spending bill. It also helped raise awareness in Congress about the issues of domestic violence and inadequate law enforcement on isolated reservations, she said.

“I think it has been very important to keep raising awareness about the epidemic of various crimes, especially domestic violence, and the inadequate staffing levels of BIA officers,” she said.

Again, thank you Congresswoman Herseth!

Additionally, the Mayor, who is in somewhat of a bind here, was quoted in the same article:

Mayor Ron Dumdei said this week that he and council members appreciate the value of the shelter but also must consider the concerns of members of the community. Some citizens worry that the shelter could again be victimized by vandals and pose other potential threats to the community in its new location.

“I understand their need for a shelter, but I also have to be sensitive to the other community folks who have concerns about it,” Dumdei said. “We’ll do what we can to make things right.”

He seems to have good intentions here, so that’s another good sign.

Another issue that arose during the meeting was what seems to have been a misconception about the local police authority to arrest Indians. Because McLaughlin has a white police department operating inside an Indian reservation, according to one opponent of the shelter, the white police officers have no jurisdiction, so it wouldn’t matter whether or not the shelter is close to a police station (was that a wtf moment for you? It was for me).

This is plainly not true. There are jurisdictional issues that make it difficult to hold people, but they can be arrested, as the Mayor’s statement to the Rapid City Journal reflected:

Jurisdiction issues between the tribe, federal agencies and state and local law enforcement officers create problems as well, Dumdei said. Non-Native officers who apprehend tribal lawbreakers may only hold them until they can be picked up by the federal officers, Dumdei said.

The jurisdictional issues make it difficult for nontribal law enforcement to be effective, he said.

“It creates some problems here. But we’re trying to work it out,” Dumdei said. “What we want to do is provide a safe community. It’s a complicated issue, but we’re going to do the best with what we’ve got.”

Unfortunately, though, the original argument was not quashed at the meeting. In any case, as Georgia told me by phone yesterday, there has not been one case in South Dakota of a batterer attacking a women’s shelter. What happened to the shelter was vandalism, and we do not know the race of the vandals. The shelter needs to be in a safe area for the safety of the women inside it, just in case they are stalked, as well as to to deter  vandals, but not because any batterers are likely to attack the shelter.

During the upcoming 30 days, the Council will hold another town meeting and give Georgia a chance to talk about the shelter. That will also give the women’s shelter advocates in the area some time to educate the residents about exactly what a shelter is and does.

One thing IS certain. WE WILL HAVE A SAFE HAVEN FOR WOMEN ON THE STANDING ROCK RESERVATION, NO MATTER WHAT. Compassion WILL win.

Georgia also told me that one other thing they will immediately do is create a Plan B for purchase of a house. Since they could not close on a house on Jan.4th, as originally planned, they are now technically out of compliance with the grant that provides for operational expenses for the house. Thank God for the fundraiser. If they have to renovate some other house farther away from town, they will now be able to. Lets hope that doesn’t happen.

Right now, we’re not asking for letters to anyone in McLaughlin, except thank yous to Congressional Reps. Herseth and Dicks for their support. I think it is entirely possible that the members of the Council who oppose the shelter will come to their senses after they have been educated about what a women’s shelter really is, especially with more press coverage of the situation. This may just be another bureaucratic delay.

While I wait, what I am going to do is research the history behind these  towns on Indian reservations in the Dakotas. Some of the social relationships that have been described to me since I have become involved with this project are so oddly 19th century that sometimes I have difficulty overcoming my disbelief at what I’m hearing. I need to educate myself on this.

And things are just as messed up at the federal level too, which reinforces these problems.  Senator Dorgan has developed a concept paper with ideas for legislation to improve law enforcement in Indian Country. We really need to change federal laws that create conditions where people are treated differently by law enforcement just because of their race. You can read that paper here

Senator Dorgan is requesting comments on this paper.

Well, there you have it. This situation still embodies what Native American women face when they try to make change in their community. I feel so great to be able to say that now they’ve got the netroots behind them.

P.S.You can still get lots more information, and until the end of the month donate too, at the PBWH blog