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Topics - walksalone11

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Debate & Discuss / Tribe plans to blockade part of Lake Shasta
« on: May 23, 2012, 12:10:09 pm »Message ID: 541913
In this thread I mean to kill a few birds with one stone so to speak.

I promised JDog that I would post about our young people working to protect our Culture and Traditions.
I also wish to elaborate a bit about my Niece Lyla, whom I mentioned in an earlier thread and finally to address this Nations fight to save their sacred sites as well as their chance at federal recognition.

My Niece who recently graduated from Stanford, worked as an intern for this tribe and lived amongst them while doing so. She also did her honors thesis on this tribes sacred sites issue. I mentioned that she was unavailable at this time, and wont go into specifics of that other than to say that last week she was on the Piute Rez in Nevada and this week she is in California. I will post more on my Nieces efforts in this thread in the coming days.

The following page tells of this coming weekends efforts by this tribe to protect its traditional Womens coming of age ceremonies.

Debate & Discuss / Indian Benefits: Misnomer and Propaganda
« on: May 23, 2012, 10:27:53 am »Message ID: 541865
"Contrary to popular belief, especially among non-Natives, American Indians did not simply relinquish their rights to lands, waters, and other natural resources. Indeed, as a result of historic negotiations and treaties between the U.S. government and tribal nations, federal agencies are obligated to provide specific rights, services, and protections as payment for the basic wholesale exchange of the land mass of the United States.

Misnomer—the use of a wrong or unsuitable term to describe something.

The United States contractually owes tribal nations. “Indian benefits” is a misnomer for the debt owed to Native peoples. The federal government pledged through laws and treaties to compensate for land exchanges accomplished through the forced removal of tribal nations from their original homelands. Unfortunately, payment is commonly expressed as “benefits.” This term—benefits—implies giving assistance, subsidy, or even charity, rather than deserved reimbursement. The Department of Interior even describes the obligated recompense for American Indians as benefits on its webpage.

On the same website, Indian Affairs describes their programs as part of the “unique and continuing relationship with and responsibility to tribes and Indian people.” Words like “support,” “assist,” and “serve” are used in the description of the nature of the relationship between the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Indian people. That is, the purpose of Indian Affairs is to help us develop our “tribal governments, strong economies, and quality programs.” Within this context, the federal government and its Indian policies are benevolent—for the good of Indians and tribes.

Even the payment bartered keeps changing—and not for the good of Indians and tribes. In 2004, a U.S. Commission for Human Rights report found that the conditions in Indian country are at a crisis point due to chronic underfunding by the federal government. This same report contends that the mismanagement of funds by the BIA in 2000 resulted in a $7.4 billion dollar deficit in unmet needs for Indian country—a third of that in child welfare services. Not one of the six federal agencies responsible for the major expenditures in Indian country received a positive review from the Commission, i.e. the Department of Interior, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Justice, Department of Education, and Department of Agriculture.

In any other world, this would constitute default, or perhaps, breach of contract. Instead, the lack of payment by the federal government to the sovereign tribal nations translates into necessary budget cuts and decreased social welfare spending.

Propaganda—communication dispersed widely to influence personal and societal attitudes.

Even worse, tribal citizens endure the stigma that accompanies this discourse of Indian benefits. Whether receiving health care, picking up USDA commodities, or living in subsidized Indian housing, Native people experience shame from being treated as if they are receiving a hand-out, not deserved reimbursement. How do I know? Over the past three years, as part of my academic research about issues in Indian Country, I’ve spoken with hundreds of Native folks representing tribes from all over the country. No matter how the conversations begin, an unsolicited discussion about benefits always comes up.

Most of these Native folks express real anger when discussing the normality of non-Indian people thinking that Indians do not pay taxes and receive copious benefits, like free education, housing, healthcare, and profits from casinos. They believe that nonNative people, in general, misunderstand what services are offered and how often people receive them. Comments like “we’re all getting money from the casinos or handouts from the government” are so common. They speak of the humiliation of sitting in clinics or signing up for programs.

Lillie, an indigenous woman pursuing a master’s degree, summed it particularly well, vehemently stating, “I get sick of working with friends or people and they say, ‘Well, at least you get your school paid for.’ Uh, no, I don’t. Then they say, ‘But you get your healthcare free.’ Yeah well, you sit in the clinic all day. See how you like it. It’s a shoddy system. Also, people think we don’t pay taxes. Hey, nobody gave me that memo.”

Framing the obligatory and promised compensation by the U.S. government as merely “benefits” perpetuates the idea of Native dependency, rather than tribal sovereignty. On its most basic level, sovereignty is tribal self-rule. Sovereignty is the one thing that has been successful in breaking the historical socioeconomic dependency of tribes on the U.S. government.

However, the rhetoric of sovereignty itself becomes the stumbling block. After all, if tribes are sovereign nations with self-rule, why does the U.S. have to support and assist them? Why must the good people of the United States continue to support “Indian Benefits” with their hard-earned tax dollars? The American public must be educated that we’re not asking for any favors or charity—just what is owed to us. Nothing more, but certainly, nothing less.

Dwanna L. Robertson is a citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, a doctoral student at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a public sociologist, and an invited speaker. Having grown up in Oklahoma, attending stomps and going to wild onion dinners, she can’t wait to get back west as soon as possible."

Read more:

Debate & Discuss / Oldest known Maya calendar found in Guatemala
« on: May 11, 2012, 12:37:09 pm »Message ID: 536008,0,597949.story

"By Thomas H. Maugh II, Special to the Los Angeles Times
May 10, 2012, 3:53 p.m.
In the remote northeastern corner of Guatemala, archaeologists have found what appears to be the 9th century workplace of a city scribe, an unusual dwelling adorned with magnificent pictures of the king and other royals and the oldest known Maya calendar.

This year has been particularly controversial among some cultists because of the belief that the Maya calendar predicts a major cataclysm — perhaps the end of the world — on Dec. 21, 2012. Archaeologists know that is not true, but the new find, written on the plaster equivalent of a modern scientist's whiteboard, strongly reinforces the idea that the Maya calendar projects thousands of years into the future.

The astronomical calculations are similar to those found in the well-known Dresden Codex, a bark-paper Maya book from the 11th or 12th century, and they may yield insights on how that well-known work was prepared.

But scientists say the real value of the find is the rare appearance of paintings and numerical calculations. The building, dating from about AD 813 in what is known as the Classic Maya period, contains the oldest known Maya astronomical tables and the only preserved artwork not found in a palace.

The discoveries, made in a region of lowland rain forest, are unusual because artwork and writings from the area are easily destroyed by heat and rain.

"The state of preservation was remarkable," said archaeologist William A. Saturno of Boston University, who led the expedition.

"We've never seen anything like it," added archaeologist David Stuart of the University of Texas at Austin, who is deciphering the hieroglyphs.

The artwork and writings are reported in Friday's edition of the journal Science and in the May 29 issue of National Geographic magazine.

The discovery was made at a site called Xultun, which was discovered in 1915 but not thoroughly studied until recently because of its isolation. One of Saturno's students, Maxwell Chamberlain, was on a lunch break in 2010 when he spied what appeared to be very faint paint on a stone in a looter's trench.

When Saturno dug farther into the room opened by the trench, he said he was shocked to find a mural of a king sitting on a throne holding a white scepter and wearing a red-feathered crown with a headdress streaming away from him. A courtier or servant peeks out from behind him.

The archaeologists immediately preserved the site and came back the next year to excavate it. The 40-square-foot room had been filled with rubble before other structures were built on top of it. That was an unusual practice for the Maya, who typically collapsed roofs and walls before rebuilding, and had done so to other rooms around the site. But it led to the preservation.

The portrait of the king was found in a rounded niche on the north wall of the structure. Bone curtain rods would have allowed a drape to be drawn across it to hide it.

On the wall next to it is the portrait of a figure in brilliant orange, with jade bracelets, holding a stylus. The figure, who may have been a scribe, was labeled "younger brother obsidian" or perhaps "junior obsidian." He may have been the king's son or brother, the team said.

A mural on the west wall shows three identically dressed individuals, painted in black. Each wears a simple loincloth, a white medallion and a large black headdress with a single red feather. No such grouping of identical headdresses had been seen before. The largest figure in the group is labeled "older brother obsidian," or perhaps "senior obsidian."

On the east wall are rough sketches of people and several different areas with columns of numbers and calculations, either written with red and black paint or inscribed in plaster. Several areas appear to have been plastered over several times, as if to provide fresh writing surfaces.

Not all of the writing has been deciphered yet, but some clearly describe the 260-day ceremonial calendar, the 365-day solar calendar, the 584-day cycle of Venus and the 780-day cycle of Mars. Another calendar nearby comprises 17 baktuns, or 400-year periods, encompassing an additional 4,000 years beyond the 21st century.

"This is our first real look at this kind of writing and this kind of a space in a Maya city," Saturno said.

Stuart acknowledged that "we don't know exactly what this is noting," but the Maya were looking at "patterns in the sky and intermeshing them mathematically."

Among other things, the calculations showed which god was the patron of each day and month, marked celestial events tied to religious ceremonies and allowed astronomers to calculate the dates of eclipses, which were important in rituals."

Debate & Discuss / A plea from a young Apache girl
« on: May 11, 2012, 07:54:41 am »Message ID: 535873
Alamogordo Daily News
By Twyla Rayne, For the Daily News
Posted:   05/08/2012 06:50:02 PM MDT

"I am an Apache Indian from the Mescalero reservation. Otero Mesa is more than just a place to me, it's a sanctuary. It is a place of peace, understanding and reliability not only for me, but for animals of all sorts, as far as spirits go.

I felt spiritually reborn when I visited Otero Mesa and I am concerned for its spiritual well-being.

Like a seed it needs care, patience and time. It needs nutrition. For it to be completely pure it needs natural resources to be as providing as possible. It still feeds on its instinctive well-being. Who are we to contaminate that?

My dream is to keep it pure of bad spirit, unwanted corruption and contamination, and for its natural elements to remain. It was not only a stronghold Apache fortress, but a place of spiritual renewal and visionary aspects, as well as a place of mental sanity.

I can feel it just looking at pictures and remembering the present smells, sights and calming sensations of the neutral atmosphere.

When I first got the privilege to visit the place for the first time, I was excited. I couldn't wait to go, and I knew it would mean the best to go dressed in my cultural clothing, knowing that moccasins haven't stepped foot on the natural desert terrain for generations. It was something very special to me -- a feeling that goes deep into spiritual meaning, a movement that would take away any value that money could never buy.

I could feel my ancestors' presence and was able to relive the patience of the true nature of our people, my abalone shell on my chest, the buckskin fringes on my dress, the feathers in my hair and the hide under my feet. We were one and we were home. I could feel it.

I could feel the crunch of rocks and sand underneath my feet and see the sight of the cliffs reaching for the sky. It was all too perfect, like a missing puzzle piece put into place or a diamond in the rough. Those are the best kind. I can see why wildlife are so isolated there, because it's the strength that Otero Mesa provides -- its security.

Dawn and mist hold the desert, solid cold holds the cliffs bearing thousands of exotic desert plants, rocks, grasses and carved-in petroglyphs in visions of our past. It is a place of focus, spiritual understanding and vision, and like any other colorful canvas, it is a masterpiece of Apache culture.

In my eyes, it is one of the purest in New Mexico wild land, a piece of "No Man's Land," owned truly of Apache spirit. The consumption of its natural resources and its maintained minerals will not be used for humanity needs. Never will I see this place be un-naturally treated.

Not while I'm alive.

Twyla Rayne is a direct descendant of Cochise, the great Apache leader and warrior of the 19th century. She was born and lives on the Mescalero Apache Reservation."

Debate & Discuss / When Same-Sex Marriage Was a Christian Rite
« on: May 10, 2012, 07:38:23 am »Message ID: 535285
"Contrary to myth, Christianity's concept of marriage has not been set in stone since the days of Christ, but has constantly evolved as a concept and ritual. Prof. John Boswell, the late Chairman of Yale University’s history department, discovered that in addition to heterosexual marriage ceremonies in ancient Christian church liturgical documents, there were also ceremonies called the "Office of Same-Sex Union" (10th and 11th century), and the "Order for Uniting Two Men" (11th and 12th century).

These church rites had all the symbols of a heterosexual marriage: the whole community gathered in a church, a blessing of the couple before the altar was conducted with their right hands joined, holy vows were exchanged, a priest officiatied in the taking of the Eucharist and a wedding feast for the guests was celebrated afterwards. These elements all appear in contemporary illustrations of the holy union of the Byzantine Warrior-Emperor, Basil the First (867-886 CE) and his companion John."

Read the rest of the article @

Debate & Discuss / Anyone want $5,000
« on: May 08, 2012, 08:19:34 am »Message ID: 534161

Officials investigate slaying of rare white buffalo


Texas Rangers and the Hunt County Sheriff's Department are investigating the deaths this week of a rare white buffalo calf, considered sacred by its Lakota Sioux owner, and its mother.

Ranch owner Arby Little Soldier reported finding the white buffalo, named Lightning Medicine Cloud, dead Monday, just shy of its first birthday.

The buffalo's mother, named Buffalo Woman, was also found dead the next day on the ranch near Greenville.

The calf's father, Ben, was killed April 3 when he was struck by lightning during the storms that spawned several tornadoes.

"To lose all three in a month is really terrible," Hunt County Sheriff Randy Meeks said Friday night.

Last year, thousands of people attended a naming ceremony at the ranch to celebrate the calf's birth on May 12. Meeks spoke at the event.

Little Soldier issued a statement Friday that the white buffalo "was brought in by God, but taken out by hands of evil people."

Lightning Medicine Cloud's first birthday was going to be celebrated at a pow-wow May 11-12 at the ranch.

Little Soldier said the scholarship pow-wow will go on as scheduled but now will be a memorial to the animal.

According to Lakota Sioux lore, the goddess of peace once appeared in the form of a white buffalo calf.

This white buffalo, which was not an albino, was born during a thunderstorm, Little Soldier has said. The calf was named Lightning Medicine Cloud in recognition of the circumstances of his arrival.

The birth of a white buffalo is a one-in-several-million occurrence and fills a centuries-old American Indian prophecy, he said.

According to Little Soldier's website, the white buffalo has long been sacred to the Lakota and other Plains tribes.

"They believe that man's survival as a people depends on heeding the white buffalo's sacred message, which urges man to live with the understanding that all living beings are linked and interdependent," he said.

"The white buffalo is considered a warning by the Lakota, but it is also a chance for all people to collectively focus their energy on the peaceful, healthy, harmonious world that the buffalo is urging us to create."

According to KXAS/Channel 5, the calf was found mutilated and skinned.

Meeks declined to discuss details of deaths of the two buffalo, other than that "it was pretty bad." They were buried on the property.

Little Soldier has offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever is responsible for the deaths.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Hunt County Sheriff's Department at 903-453-6800 and ask for either Sheriff Randy Meeks or Lt. Tommy Grandfield.

Greenville is about 75 miles east of Fort Worth.

This report includes material from The Associated Press and the Star-Telegram archives.

Read more here: "

Debate & Discuss / The Doctrine of Discovery: Another Condemnation
« on: April 25, 2012, 10:38:38 am »Message ID: 526350
"Whether they are looking ahead a couple of weeks to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues or recalling the past of 500 years ago, a panel of Native scholars on April 20 insisted the Doctrine of Christian Discovery’s destructive fallout continues today in law and in policy and they plan to continue saying so.

Panel members were Steve Newcomb, Lenape/Shawnee, author, co-director of the Indigenous Law Institute and a columnist for Indian Country Today Media Network; Debra Harry, Northern Paiute, author and executive director, Indigenous Peoples Council on Biocolonialism, and Sharon Venne, Cree Nation, Alberta, Canada, lawyer, scholar, and member of the U.N. Working Group of Indigenous Peoples. Glenn Morris, Shawnee, of the University of Colorado-Denver (UC-D) political science faculty, was the moderator.

The Colorado Council of Churches is endorsing the World Council of Church’s statement on the Doctrine “and its enduring impact on Indigenous Peoples,” Morris announced (The lengthy statement by the WCC executive committee from February 14-17 is available here). He, the panelists, UC-D students and others will attend the UNPFII May 7-18, in New York City when the Doctrine will be a central issue.

The Doctrine is a “legal fiction” allowing Europeans to invade the territories of Indigenous nations to take their lands and resources and to dominate or kill the Native people, he said. U.S. courts that gave Indian land to the U.S. or restricted its sale and declared tribes to be “domestic dependent nations” have affirmed the Doctrine.

Sharon Venne, Cree Nation, Alberta, Canada, and a panelist on a Doctrine of Discovery discussion at the University of Colorado-Denver. (Carol Berry)
Newcomb, author of Pagans in the Promised Land: Decoding the Doctrine of Christian Discovery, said “dehumanization and domination” affect people around the world and it is important to understand the language more deeply to understand its history.

When Columbus landed on present-day San Salvador, he erected a cross to denote religion but also a gallows, to represent “justice,” Newcomb said. The Anglo-Saxon doctrine of dominating “inferior” peoples was to ensure domination by the designated people over those destined to be dominated, he said.

Another panelist described a contemporary form of domination. Harry is concerned that the U.N. World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and other groups are “really for the benefit of others who want access to Indigenous Peoples’ knowledge and resources for their own commercial benefit,” and the resources “could be subsumed into the intellectual property framework.” The possible end result is that cultural heritage “will become alienable resources that can be owned, bought and sold as commodities.”

The rise of a “technician class is facilitating states’ agendas,” she said, explaining that technicians are indigenous people who have become part of the process of “commercialization and commodifying our knowledge and heritage.” A Nagoya 2010 conference would place biodiversity in the marketplace and “key issues were decided behind closed doors.”

Venne said, “Governments are using technicians—and a lot of money—to sit there with their suits and ties and agree with what they’re saying. How do they claim they have title to our lands and resources?”

Under the Doctrine, organizations try to use technicians to give them authority, but who gave them the authority—who are the true owners of these resources?” Venne said.

She responded to her own question with a short tale about a Northern chief visited by a government functionary who said the chief’s territory wasn’t his, but the crown’s. The chief told the man, “If it’s your land, take it with you when you go.” The man left, the chief looked out the window, and, of course, the land was still there. Smugly, he told the people around him, “It’s ours.”

The upcoming UNPFII will, panelists and others hope, help to define “ownership” as clearly as it is depicted in this account."

Read more:

Debate & Discuss / UN To Investigate Plight of US Native Americans For First Time
« on: April 23, 2012, 12:13:34 pm »Message ID: 525340

"UN To Investigate Plight of US Native Americans For First Time The UN human rights inquiry will focus on the living conditions of the 2.7 million Native Americans living in the US

Ewen MacAskill 22 April 2012

Many US Native Americans live in federally recognised tribal areas plagued with poverty, alcoholism other social problems.

The UN is to conduct an investigation into the plight of US Native Americans, the first such mission in its history.

The human rights inquiry led by James Anaya, the UN special rapporteur on indigenous peoples, is scheduled to begin on Monday.

Many of the country's estimated 2.7 million Native Americans live in federally recognised tribal areas which are plagued with unemployment, alcoholism, high suicide rates, incest and other social problems.

The UN mission is potentially contentious, with some US conservatives likely to object to international interference in domestic matters. Since being appointed as rapporteur in 2008, Anaya has focused on natives of Central and South America.

A UN statement said: "This will be the first mission to the US by an independent expert designated by the UN human rights council to report on the rights of the indigenous peoples."

Anaya, a University of Arizona professor of human rights, said: "I will examine the situation of the American Indian/Native American, Alaska Native and Hawaiian peoples against the background of the United States' endorsement of the UN declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples."

The US signed up in 2010 to the declaration, which establishes minimum basic rights for indigenous people globally.

Anaya said: "My visit aims at assessing how the standards of the declaration are reflected in US law and policy, and identifying needed reforms and good practices."

(Excerpt) Read more at ..."

Debate & Discuss / Seen any Indians on TV lately?
« on: April 22, 2012, 06:07:01 pm »Message ID: 524988
"Seen any Indians on TV lately? Probably not, and you’re not likely to. Here’s why: The FCC has allowed the American television Industry, which I like to call “a content provider,” because the Internet has changed everything. They don’t know what to call themselves either. The federal government, through its oversight of the FCC, has allowed the content providers to do three things with us and our image. These will have a devastating impact on American Indians economically, and we don’t yet know the negative social and psychological impact to generations of American Indian children.

First, the FCC allows the content providers to call us a minority, which really chaps me because the government knows we are not. We are social and political entities—separate and distinct from America.

So, now we have to compete with all the real minorities—blacks, Latinos, Asians and gays—for the scraps. We don’t even get a bone.

The second screwy thing the FCC allows the content providers to do with us is to determine that we don’t matter, since in the world of television, it’s all about numbers. When television moguls look at us, they see only a tiny percentage of the United States. They think in terms of much larger groups: such as age groups, women and large minority groups such as blacks and Latinos. Marketing and advertising makes the TV world go round, so the more numbers you have the louder your squeak and the more grease you get. We don’t have the numbers that advertisers desire.

My partner Sonny Skyhawk and I have been running our heads into those slamming doors for years. It wouldn’t bother me so much if it weren’t for two things: being on television is important for us as a people—and their demographics are a damn lie!

The third thing that the FCC allows the content providers to do with us is the sickest of all. They allow them to determine who is an Indian. This is why you’re children don’t see people like us on TV. Here’s what I think we need to do about it:

The FCC has dumped us into the minority diversity pile within the media industry and the content providers don’t have the experience or knowledge of the complicated U.S.-Indian relationship to know that we are not a minority. This is very important. We share a government-to-government relationship with the United States, a classification far more detailed and complicated than with any minority. American Indians are the only racial, ethnic or religious group in America to be addressed in the American Constitution. Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3 reads: “The Congress shall have Power to … regulate commerce … with the Indian tribes.” This clause forms the basis for Congressional lawmaking authority regarding the tribes, and the unique tribal-federal government relationship. The concept of the Indian desk has been established throughout the U.S. government, and the private sector has long been mandated by Congress to the needs of American Indians when it comes to economic development in the form of set-asides. This logic should apply to the content providers.

Television can open new doors to “Commerce” between American Indians and main-stream America; a relationship that would greatly help tribes to help themselves. So where is Congress, the Supremes and the FCC when it comes to helping Indians with Commerce and the respect we deserve by the TV Providers when it comes to television?

The Bureau of Indian Affairs’ mishandling of our mineral management was a hellish fiasco (Cobell), but it’s just the tip of the iceberg if you consider how much revenue we’re losing because we’re not part of mainstream America and its commerce. This is where the FCC’s role to serve the underserved falls apart. Natives are the bottom of the group and we get nothing—no channels, no programming, no advertizing, no jobs. Indigenous people in America are left out of the picture with too few numbers for the content providers to be bothered, and the FCC is not correcting the situation. The correction will cost the content providers greatly, but not as much as it has cost us.

What’s at stake? We are being denied a powerful tool that would allow us to confront and correct misconceptions about us. We also lack a national platform to share with one another critical information and solutions to problems. Television is a powerful tool in addressing these problems! Another critical issue is one of our images itself. Who has controlled our image(s), who controls our image now and who will? We have watched others lay out and define issues about us, and it’s about time we take control of our own image. Television would be a good start.

We need American Indian media visionaries on an FCC committee. The FCC has no Indian experience, and hey, why would they? One or two tribes are making plans to spend millions on their reservation to get a small percentage of their membership hooked up to television in rural and remote places; in reality this is a pork project. After spending millions they will find they have the cart before the horse, because they have no Native-oriented content to broadcast. So even after these tribes get their televisions, they still won’t see Indians on them. But they will see plenty of what white people think Indians are."

Dan Jones is a filmmaker.

Read more:

Debate & Discuss / 41 American Indian Tribes Settle for $1Billion with Obama Administration
« on: April 15, 2012, 04:06:18 pm »Message ID: 521295

WASHINGTON – In an historic gesture, the Obama administration announced today the settlement of tribal trust claims with 41 American Indian tribes that total just over $1 billion. The announcement was carried live from the White House on the Native News Network.

Hall of Tribal Nations – Interior Department, Washington DC
These settlements resolve claims dating back more than 100 years and will bring to an end protracted litigation that has burdened both the plaintiffs and the United States. Ending these long-running disputes about the United States' management of trust funds and non-monetary trust resources will allow the United States and the tribes to move beyond the distrust exacerbated by years of litigation. These settlement agreements represent a significant milestone in the improvement of the United States' relationship with Indian tribes.

Prior to becoming president, Candidate Barack Obama promised to settle the vast number of tribal trust cases pending against the United States by American Indian tribes and, in some cases, individuals. As president, he has worked diligently to resolve many of the tribal disputes.

“President Obama has done more for us than the last five presidents put together have done,”
Stated Chief James Allan, Coeur d'Alene at the White House settlement event today.

“President Obama has not made treaties, but gets things done. His word has been golden.”
Two Cabinet members were part of the White House event:

US Attorney General Eric Holder and
US Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar.

"These settlements fairly and honorably resolve historical grievances over the accounting and management of tribal trust funds, trust lands, and other non-monetary trust resources that, for far too long, have been a source of conflict between Indian tribes and the United States,"

said Attorney General Holder.

"Our commitment to tribes is the cornerstone of the Department of Justice's policies and initiatives in Indian Country, and these settlements will enable the tribal community to pursue the goals and objectives they deem to be appropriate while marking another step in our shared future built upon mutual respect and strong bonds of trust between tribal governments and the United States."

“These important settlements reflect President Obama's continuing commitment to ensuring empowerment and reconciliation for American Indians,”
said Secretary Salazar.

"It strengthens the government to government relationship with Tribal nations, helps restore a positive working relationship with Indian Country leaders and empowers American Indian communities. I want to commend Attorney General Holder, our Interior Solicitor Hilary Tompkins and other key officials who were involved in the long negotiations leading to these historic agreements. I look forward to working with Tribal leaders to further strengthen our government to government relationship based on mutual respect and a shared concern for the proper management of tribal trust assets and funds."

The Department of the Interior manages almost 56 million acres of trust lands for federally-recognized tribes and more than 100,000 leases on those lands for various uses, including housing, timber harvesting, farming, grazing, oil and gas extraction, business leasing, rights-of-way and easements. Interior also manages about 2,500 tribal trust accounts for more than 250 tribes.

Starting in the fall of 2009, lawyers for many of the tribes with litigation pending against the United States wrote to the president and asked the administration to engage in expedited settlement discussions with their clients.

In April 2010, Associate Attorney General Tom Perrelli, Assistant Attorney General of the Environment and Natural Resources Division Ignacia Moreno, Interior Department Solicitor Hilary Tompkins and Treasury Department General Counsel George Madison met with attorneys for the tribes, and the parties embarked on a settlement process that the tribes termed the "Settlement Proposal to Obama Administration," or "SPOA," which led in part to today's announcement.

“We recognize the efforts of – and very much appreciate – this administration,”
Gary Hayes, tribal chairman of the Ute Mountain Tribe.

“Today's settlements allow the United States to recognize its trust responsibility to tribes. We still have a lot of work ahead of us.”
The sum total of the settlements with the 41 tribes is approximately $1.023 billion.

The 41 Tribes
Below is the list of the American Indian tribes that are part of the Settlement Proposal to Obama Administration:

Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes of the Fort Peck Reservation
Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians
Blackfeet Tribe
Bois Forte Band of Chippewa Indians
Cachil Dehe Band of Wintun Indians of Colusa Rancheria
Coeur d'Alene Tribe
Chippewa Cree Tribe of the Rocky Boy's Reservation
Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation
Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes
Confederated Tribes of the Siletz Reservation
Hualapai Tribe
Kaibab Band of Paiute Indians of Arizona
Kickapoo Tribe of Kansas
Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians
Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Indians
Makah Tribe of the Makah Reservation
Mescalero Apache Nation
Minnesota Chippewa Tribe
Nez Perce Tribe
Nooksack Tribe
Northern Cheyenne Tribe
Passamaquoddy Tribe of Maine
Pawnee Nation
Pueblo of Zia
Quechan Indian Tribe of the Fort Yuma Reservation
Rincon Luiseño Band of Indians
Round Valley Tribes
Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community
Santee Sioux Tribe
Shoshone-Bannock Tribes of the Fort Hall Reservation
Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians
Spirit Lake Dakotah Nation
Spokane Tribe
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe of the Fort Yates Reservation
Swinomish Tribal Indian Community
Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone Indians
Tohono O'odham Nation
Tulalip Tribe
Tule River Tribe
Ute Mountain Ute Tribe
Ute Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation

Debate & Discuss / US feared Indigenous self-rule and land claims with UN Declaration
« on: September 14, 2011, 05:45:43 pm »Message ID: 417376

The United States feared, and fought, passage of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News
Photo by Michelle Cook, Navajo/Cochabamba, Bolivia, Climate Conference 2010.
Wikileaks has exposed a US diplomatic cable revealing why the United States feared, and fought, the passage and implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The US reveals in this cable that its fears Indigenous Peoples will use the UN Declaration to expand self-government, sovereign rule, and initiate new land claims to ancestral lands. Further, the US is alarmed over the potential for Indigenous Peoples gaining control of renewable and non-renewable resources.

The US is alarmed over the right for Indigenous to be consulted on any law pertaining to them. This is now known as the "right to free, prior and informed consent," as stated in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The cable is from the US Embassy in La Paz, Bolivia, dated Jan. 28, 2008.

"Although most indigenous leaders seem to view the UN Declaration as a 'feel good' document that will give them more inclusion in the public sector, some leaders are citing the Declaration in support of concrete aims like self-governance and control over land and resources," states the US Embassy in La Paz, Bolivia.

"Post will watch for further developments, particularly with regards to property rights and potential sovereignty or self-rule issues."

In previous US diplomatic cables exposed by Wikileaks, prior to its passage, the United States threatened Iceland about its relations with the US, if Iceland supported the UN Declaration. Further, other cables revealed that the US undertook an education campaign in an attempt to dissuade Ecuador from voting in favor of the UN Declaration.

The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was adopted by the UN General Assembly on Sept. 13, 2007. The United States, the last country in the world to signal support, gave provisional support in 2010. The US was preceded by Canada, which gave provisional support.

Wikileaks released the following US diplomatic cable on Sept. 1, 2011. The US Ambassador called it "Bolivia: Repercussions of UN DRIP."

The cable is written by then US Ambassador Phillip Goldberg, President Bush's choice, who arrived from Kosovo with questions rising about his role in ethnic cleansing. Goldberg's role in Bolivia was short-lived. President Evo Morales expelled Goldberg in September of 2008, eight months after Goldberg wrote this cable. President Morales accused Goldberg of spying and attempting to divide the country and his administration. The US denied the allegations.

Goldberg is now US Asst. Secretary of State for Research and Intelligence.
Reference id aka Wikileaks id #138916  ? 
Bolivia: Repercussions Of Un Drip
Embassy La Paz (Bolivia)
Cable time
Mon, 28 Jan 2008 13:29 UTC
First published on Thu, 1 Sep 2011 23:24 UTC

Debate & Discuss / Here's.....You're "Sign"
« on: September 14, 2011, 12:09:03 pm »Message ID: 417225

Debate & Discuss / First annual Taos Celebration of the Youth
« on: August 21, 2011, 05:44:49 pm »Message ID: 405091
Just a little something some friends and i are working on in response to the present and on going problem of youth suicides in the area...

Invite all your friends to this event as to help spread the word!

[DAY 1] Friday, September 2:

-Opening Prayer at Dawn
-Fasting for the Young Begins (Either Full Fast or Restricted Diet)
-Hearing the Young
Open invitation for young people to express their ideas and
concerns. Dialogue with elder generations. Things expressed
will be taken into account for prayer sessions for the rest
of the celebration
-Loving Hands Concert and Mural Project
Benefit concert at theSpot (900 Paseo Del Pueblo Norte)
Donations go to Essay Contest Winners answering the
following question: "What advice would you give older generations to make Taos a better place for it's young people?"
Submit essay with age and contact info to:
-Sweat for the Young
Sweat Lodge Ceremony offered near Steakout

[DAY 2] Saturday, September 3:

-Running for the Young
Running as prayer for the young
(from Taos Pueblo to Town)
-Wiping of the Tears Ceremony
(For families who have suffered the loss of their young)
-Dancing Out Grief, Dancing In Joy
-Sweat for the Young (7PM)
Sweat Lodge Ceremony offered off Middle Road

[DAY 3] Sunday, September 4:

-University for the Young
We are learning and teaching each other across generations
So far we have a deer-hide tanning class, spoken word
workshops, mural painting workshop, a soccer clinic, DJ
lessons, yoga classes all day, silversmithing, flint
fire-making, theatre, manifestation lessons, peer counsel-
ing, reiki lessons and modern dance classes What will you learn,
what will you teach?
-Kirtan Chant for the Young
-Pipe Ceremony for the Young
-Sweat for the Young
Sweat Lodge Ceremony offered off Cruz Alta

[DAY 4] Monday September 5:

-CELEBRATION of the Young
Final Bash at Kit Carson Park with exhibition of young artistic
talent, facepainting, graffiti contest, spoken word, and more.
-Breaking of the Fast
Local and Organic Foods provided at Kit Carson Park
-Sweat for the Young
Sweat Lodge Ceremony in Los Cordovas for the Young


In light of past and recent suicides and a blatant issue of misunderstanding of our youth in Taos, we are instigating the greatest party our young people will ever know to show them how much we love them/us. All events will be drug and alcohol free, we will be high on love.

We need your input! If you see a way that you can contribute to the schedule of event below, or if there is another event you'd like to add to the schedule please contact, or (707) 857-6126 or simply write it on the wall.

Debate & Discuss / Tar Sands
« on: August 21, 2011, 12:20:48 pm »Message ID: 405021
By Tar Sands Action

Sunday, Aug. 21, 2011
WASHINGTON - Fifty more Americans were arrested this morning at the White House as fifty of their fellow protestors were held in jail in an attempt to “deter future participants” (1) from participating in an ongoing sit-in at the White House to push President Obama to deny the permit for a massive new tar sands oil pipeline.

Writer and environmentalist Bill McKibben, who is spearheading the protests, sent a message from jail last night, “The only thing we need is more company. We don’t need your sympathy, we need more company.”

This morning’s sit-in featured participants from as far away as Montana and North Dakota to risk arrest defending their air, water and climate. A group of doctors from Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility wore their white lab coats as they stood at the White House fence waiting to be arrested.

The ongoing protests have helped turn fight over the proposed Keystone XL pipeline into President Obama’s most important environmental decision before the 2012 election. Many of the participants in the sit-in this morning wore “Obama 2008” buttons as a statement that they want back the candidate who promise to take on climate change and help end our dependence on fossil fuels.

McKibben was amongst those arrested yesterday, along with the co-founder of NRDC and former White House official Gus Speth, gay rights activist Lt. Dan Choi, author and activist Mike Tidwell, Firedoglake founder Jane Hamsher, and many others.

“Saturday’s arrests and overnight jailings are already lighting a fire,” said Mike Tidwell, director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, who was also arrested Saturday. “More people are now inspired, determined, and committed to join. On Monday alone over 20 DC-area doctors, lawyers and students will be going to jail to chant, sing, and stop the pipeline. They’ll be joining Nebraska ranchers and others nationwide. Word is spreading.”

Harriet Korim Arnoldi, a folk musician from Cape Cod, was arrested today and she celebrated her 65th birthday in handcuffs.



1. US Park Police told event organizers that they want to “deter future participants.” A full description of the situation is at

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