Thursday, July 31, 2008

10 New Signatories Including Sir Paul McCartney

Hello Folks,

Another 10 new celebrities / VIPs - including Sir Paul McCartney !!! - have signed the "Leonard Peltier is innocent" petition.

* Ken Livinstone
Lord Mayor of London

* Professor Dr. Herbert Schui, MdB
Member Bundestag (parliament)

* Valery Gergiev
Orchestra director London Symphonic Orchestra; Director Marinsky Theatre

* Dr. Ilja Seifert, MdB
Member Bundestag (parliament)

* Rote Hilfe e.V.
Human Rights organization

* Dr. Wolfgang Strengmann-Kuhn, MdB
Member Bundestag (parliament); Guest Professor of Economics at Goethe University Frankfurt

* Dr. Harald Terpe, MdB
Member Bundestag (parliament)

* Mary McCartney

* Sir Paul McCartney
Singer/Musician; Composer

* Lisa Cherniak
Journalist; Charity Director AAR (Artists Against Racism)

The complete list of signatories can be found at

There are now 561 VIPs who have signed the IPF petition. And more to come soon...

Els, Stef & Vivienne

International Peltier Forum

News from Indianz.Com

Sen. Dorgan seeks testimony from HHS Secretary (7/31)

Senate Indian Affairs business meeting and hearing (7/31)

Young man, possibly Native, killed in vicious attack (7/31)

Job Opportunity: Indian Child Welfare Advisor (7/31)

Tensions continue between Soboba Band and sheriff (7/31)

Column: Pink shawls raise awareness of cancer (7/31)

BIA delays decision on Little Shell recognition (7/31)

Crow couple sues BIA over grazing leases (7/31)

Utes forced to Utah welcomed back to Colorado (7/31)

Historic Lower Brule building destroyed by fire (7/31)

California intertribal court moves to new home (7/31)

Native truth commission attorney questioned (7/31)

Arizona gaming revenues see 7.5 percent drop (7/31)

Soo Tribe announces layoffs of casino employees (7/31)

Tigua Tribe and state spar in court over gaming (7/31)

Pechanga Band makes $30.8M payment to state (7/31)

Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe waits on casino bid (7/31)

More headlines...

Today's Democracy Now!

Raj Patel on the Collapse of the World Trade Organization Talks
Talks to expand the World Trade Organization have collapsed after a week of negotiations. The talks broke down in part because India and other developing nations demanded the right to protect their farming sectors against heavily subsidized imports. The U.S. refused to accept the protections, and insisted on giving U.S. corporations greater access to markets in India, China and other nations.

Plan Mexico and the U.S.-Funded Militarization of Mexico
We broadcast a report from Mexico produced by “Inside USA” (Al Jazeera English) on the U.S. role in Mexico’s growing drug war. And we speak about the Plan Mexico initiative with Avi Lewis, Laura Carlsen and John Gibler.

GOP Congressional Candidate Accuses Al Jazeera of Trying to Kidnap Him In Florida
Al Jazeera host Avi Lewis discusses the bizarre story of Allen West – a retired Army lieutenant and Congressional candidate who recently accused Al Jazeera of trying to kidnap him after a booker from the network asked him to appear on the show. “I don’t know if it was a kidnapping attempt,” West told The New York Daily News. “But I am not going to entrust Al Jazeera with my life. I said, ‘Cancel the interview!’”

Native News from

Appeals court tosses Freedmen suit (WASHINGTON, DC) -- The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit unanimously dismissed a lawsuit against the Cherokee Nation brought by Freedmen descendants Tuesday.

Freedmen Free To Continue Suit (WASHINGTON, DC) -- A federal appeals court on Tuesday cleared the way for Cherokee Freedmen descendants to move forward with a lawsuit that challenges their ouster from the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma.

Freedmen, tribe alike see victory in ruling (WASHINGTON, DC) -- A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that the Cherokee Nation cannot be sued by freedmen descendants seeking citizenship rights but left the door open for a case against tribal officials.

Court keeps Freedmen lawsuit alive (WASHINGTON, DC) -- A federal appeals court on Tuesday kept alive a lawsuit filed by Cherokee Freedmen, ruling that Cherokee Nation officials don't have immunity from allegations that they denied tribal rights to descendants of former slaves.

Bush signs bill to provide billions for reservations (WASHINGTON, DC) -- President Bush signed legislation Wednesday that calls for $2 billion for tribal law enforcement, health care and water projects.

Decision on tribe's recognition could come by Jan. (MONTANA) -- A decision on whether the Little Shell Chippewa Tribe should be federally recognized could be made by January.

Intertribal court moves to Rincon (CALIFORNIA) -- The fledgeling Intertribal Court of Southern California has a new home at the Rincon Indian Reservation.

In Colorado, reconciliation for a displaced tribe (COLORADO) -- LeAllen Blackhair began the Grass Dance at dusk as thunderheads gathered on the ridges above the White River Valley. The fringes on his regalia swayed in time to the drumbeat as he glided in smooth, symmetrical movements to create a sense of balance on the land.

UNITY: Obama notes ‘tragic’ US past (CHICAGO) -- Sen. Barack Obama, speaking to a gathering of minority journalists yesterday, stopped short of endorsing an official U.S. apology to American Indians but said the country should acknowledge its history of poor treatment of certain ethnic groups.

DOREEEN YELLOW BIRD: There’s no place like home (NORTH DAKOTA) -- We may have complaints about North Dakota’s weather, but there are few complaints about the people who live here. I say this because I traveled outside our area and found people’s interests and manners are different from those in North Dakota.

Successful Hopi mediation program seeks participants (ARIZONA) -- When people have disputes, they often want to have their 'day in court.' But now there is a different path at Hopi for resolving conflicts. It is called mediation.

SRP Cited for Commitment to Native American Communities (ARIZONA) -- Salt River Project was honored as the First American Corporate Leader for continued efforts benefitting the Native American community through partnerships at the Navajo and Coronado generating stations in Page and St. Johns.

Navajo Council approves audit, questions findings (ARIZONA) -- The Navajo Nation Council accepted an audit report Tuesday by KPMG LLP on the Navajo Nation’s financial statements, but not without raising a myriad of questions, including whether it was time to change auditors.

Annual Indian town hall addresses protection of land, water (ARIZONA) -- Hopi Vice Chairman Todd Honyaoma Sr. said he's glad the Arizona Indian Town Hall this year focused on the impact of growth on Arizona's Indian reservations.

Vice Chairman David Reede writes to Carlos Apache Tribe (ARIZONA) -- Dear Tribal Members: This year has been a troublesome year for our tribal government. As citizens of San Carlos you have witnessed our elected officials give themselves raises, purchase personal vehicles, withhold budget figures and information from tribal members and, more damaging, place the tribe in a financial deficit.

More headlines...

Friends Digest Vol. 2, No. 6

* A Shout Out to Supporters/Support Groups *

October 10 is the 10th anniversary of the Jericho National March to the United Nations on behalf of our political prisoners and POWs. We're issuing a call to action to all Peltier supporters -- those up and down the east coast, in particular. Create a presence for Leonard in NYC on Friday, October 10. Rent a bus and bring some friends. Make some noise! Demand freedom for Leonard Peltier and all political prisoners and POWs! Attend the evening concert to benefit the prisoners, as well. See For more information, call 718-853-0893 or send an e-mail to If you can't participate in the anniversary march in NYC, plan a solidarity event in your community. Let us know details so we can help you promote your event.

* Other Events *

NYC: Picnic at the Park for Leonard Peltier! Sunday, August 24, 2008, 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM at 9/11 Field at Prospect Park (Grand Army Plaza side of the Park). Join us for a potluck at Prospect Park, sharing your favorite grilled and barbequed summer treats and restyling your attire to benefit Leonard Peltier's commissary fund. A variety of Peltier stencil designs will be available for you to create your own clothing art. So bring your family, your friends and some clothes to support Leonard and his fight for freedom and justice! 2, 3 trains to Grand Army Plaza; F train to 7th Ave. Sponsored by the NYC branch of the LP-DOC; co-sponsored
by NYC Jericho, Resistance in Brooklyn and In Our Hearts Network.

NYC: A Birthday Party for Leonard Peltier! September 12 from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. at the Brecht Forum, 451 West Street (between Bank and Bethune Streets), New York, NY 10014; Phone: (212) 242-4201; E-mail: Sponsored by the NYC branch of the LP-DOC, NYC-Jericho, Resistance in Brooklyn and In Our Hearts Network.

* Our Birthday Initiative *

As you may recall, September 12th is Mr. Peltier's birthday. Please remember to send him cards and letters: Leonard Peltier #89637-132, USP-Lewisburg, US Penitentiary, PO Box 1000, Lewisburg, PA 17837-1000.

On July 11th, the Longest Walk II presented its "Manifesto for Change" to Representative John Conyers in Washington, DC. See The manifesto addresses many of the concerns in Indian Country including but not limited to the protection of sacred places and healing of the earth. One concern was mentioned, in particular -- the continuing illegal imprisonment of Leonard Peltier. Read the Longest Walk II resolution for/about Peltier

In acknowledgement of Leonard's 64th birthday and his nearly 33 years of imprisonment, please send a letter to Rep. Conyers in support of the Indigenous manifesto. Do this in Leonard's name.

In addition, ask Rep. Conyers to ensure:

1. The release of the over 100,000 documents on the Peltier case that are still being withheld by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) -- These documents are over 25 years old and are of historical significance. The public has the right to know the truth about the FBI's war against the American Indian Movement (AIM) and Leonard Peltier.

2. the conduct of a congressional investigation into the long-term effects of the FBI's COunter INTELligence PROgram (COINTELPRO) -- It is well known that the FBI targeted AIM and other political dissidents for annihilation. The FBI COINTELPRO effort resulted in the assassination, criminalization, vilification, and the splitting of various movements leading to their destruction, with many political activists today languishing in prisons. Yet, in 1974, the Senate Church Committee investigating the illegal FBI COINTELPRO activities declared such practices unconstitutional. The Senate Church Committee failed to complete their investigation by examining actions taken against AIM or the Pine Ridge "Reign of Terror" (1973-1976). Phone/fax/write to John Conyers and appeal to him to conduct public hearings on why victims of COINTELPRO still languish in prison over 30 years after the program was declared unconstitutional. Also contact your congressional representative and senators. Urge them to enable John Conyers to reopen COINTELPRO hearings.


Honorable John Conyers, Jr., Chairman
U.S. House of Representatives
Committee on the Judiciary
2138 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Fax: 202-225-0072

Here's a new approach. Share your thoughts with Rep. Conyers with a video advocacy message in just three simple steps:


* Voter Registration and Get-Out-The-Vote Initiative *

If you're not registered, you can't vote. We encourage everyone to register to vote and urge others to do the same.

Also take the time to e-mail your contacts in your address book several times before the general election. Remind your friends, families, and associates to vote. Keep reminding them until the last vote is cast. Tell them: Vote for the candidate(s) of your choice, but vote!

We'll provide more resources for Decision 2008 in the coming weeks.

Time to set him free... Because it's the RIGHT thing to do.

Friends of Peltier

Political Prisoners USA_1

Mobilization to Demand Freedom for Our Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War!


March on the United Nations, New York City!

Mobilization to Demand Freedom for Our Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War!

October 10th Coalition (list in formation): Jericho Movement, Malcolm X Commemoration Committee, NYC Anarchist Black Cross Federation, NYC Free Mumia Coalition, NYC branch of the Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee, ProLibertad, Resistance in Brooklyn, Safiya Bukhari/Nuh Washington Foundation, Malcolm X Commemoration Committee.


For more information, contact * 718-853-0893.

Download the flyers from or make your own.


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Send Karl Rove to Jail

The House Judiciary Committee just voted 20-14 to hold Karl Rove in contempt!

WHAT THIS MEANS: The decision by the HJC to hold Karl Rove in contempt is a recommendation to the full House, who can now vote to adopt the recommendation with a contempt resolution by a simple majority vote. Should they pass a contempt resolution, the Sergeant-at-Arms for the chamber would be ordered to arrest Karl Rove and bring him to the floor of the House to answer to the charges and to be issued punishment. The case would then be referred to the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, who would in turn refer it to a grand jury. If convicted, Rove could face between one month and one year in jail.

BACKGROUND: Karl Rove has made a career out of distorting facts to destroy political rivals. In the case of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman, he went even further: he deliberately put a political opponent in prison based on trumped up charges. The GOP couldn’t beat the most successful Democratic politician in recent Alabama history at the ballot box. So instead, at Karl Rove’s direction, the Bush Justice Department used U.S. attorneys to cook up a false criminal case against Siegelman in order to hand the Governor’s Mansion over to the Republican Party.

It’s no surprise that Karl Rove puts politics before due process, democracy and civil rights. That’s why even when faced with a subpoena from Congress, Rove has refused to testify. Unlike Don Siegelman, Karl Rove is breaking the law.

Rove believes that he is not only above the law, but that he controls it. He’s wrong.

Sign our petition.
Send Karl Rove to jail.

Money for Native Americans, but Health Care Improvements Still Stalled

Money for Native Americans, but Health Care Improvements Still Stalled
Native American Legislative Update, July 30, 2008

Congress added much needed funds for Native Americans to legislation expected to be signed into law this month, but the Indian Health Care Improvement Act (H.R. 1328) is still stalled in the House. We begin this Native American Legislative Update with some recent positive news:

Positive Legislative Developments

Additional Money. Two billion dollars in additional funding for Indian health, law enforcement, and water supply and safety projects were included in a $50 billion global health initiative approved by Congress and sent to the president in late July. These funds were secured through a bipartisan effort in the Senate. The president is expected to sign the appropriations bill.

Continuation of Diabetes Funding. The Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act includes a two-year reauthorization of the Special Diabetes Program for Native Americans at the current funding level, $150 million per year. The Senate voted 70-26 to override the president's veto of the Medicare bill.

Heightened Attention to Victims of Crime. On June 19 and July 23, the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs held hearings on law enforcement problems. Committee chair Byron Dorgan (ND) introduced the "Tribal Law and Order Act" to help improve law enforcement. It has 12 sponsors.

Legislation Still Requires Public Support

Indian Health Care Legislation Stalled in the House: The Indian Health Care Improvement Act has passed the Senate and been approved by all three committees of jurisdiction in the House. It is ready for floor action.

Your representative will be back in your area for most of August. This is a prime opportunity for you to tell her or him that you hope this legislation will be approved by the full House in September. If this legislation is not approved in the Senate before the 110th session of Congress ends, legislators will have to start all over with the process of modernizing health care in Indian Country with the 111th Congress next year.

Read a
briefing on what the Indian Health Care Improvement Act would do(PDF) prepared by the National Indian Health Board.

Take Action

Urge your representative to speak out in favor of this legislation and to call on the House leadership to schedule a vote on final passage for September.

Ongoing Commitment to Indian Health. Reauthorization of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act has been a decade-long advocacy process. At many key moments, non-Indian organizations have supported Native leaders and organizations. The most recent joint letter to the House was signed by these groups:

American Friends Service Committee

American Humanist Association
Church of the Brethren Witness/Washington Office
The Episcopal Church
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility
Mennonite Church USA
Methodist General Board of Church and Society
National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd
NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby
Sojourners Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations
United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries

Seventh-Day Adventists sent letters in support of H.R. 1328 for "humanitarian" reasons. The Religious Action Committee of Reform Judaism broadcast an action alert to its network to assist Native American families. The appeal contained this paragraph:

Jewish tradition emphasizes the importance of the community providing health care for its vulnerable members. Maimonides, a revered Jewish scholar and physician, listed health care first on his list of the ten most important communal services that a city must offer its residents. Nearly every self-governing Jewish community throughout history set up systems to ensure that [its] citizens had access to health care. Furthermore, the Talmud teaches, "Whoever is in pain, lead him to the physician" (Baba Kamma 46B) and the Torah commands, "Do not stand idly by the blood of your neighbor" (Leviticus 19:16).

Baptist and Presbyterian organizations, Church Women United, National Council of Jewish Women, and other faith-based groups signed letters sent earlier to the Senate.

Delay Continues. Floor action on the Indian Health Care Improvement Action is not expected until the fall.

Many people are unaware that the Apology Resolution sponsored by Senator Brownback (KS) was added to S. 1200. The strongly worded and very specific resolution would apologize for past government misdeeds towards Native Americans. It would "acknowledge a long history of official depredations and ill-conceived policies by the United States government regarding Indian tribes, and offer an apology to all Native Peoples."

* More Delay. The Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act (NAHASDA) has passed both Houses of Congress and is ready to go to conference to resolve differences in the bills. NAHASDA undergirds Indian housing programs in areas such as home ownership and community development. The House of Representatives has named conferees but, to date, the Senate has been reluctant to do so.

Will Financial Justice Prevail in Court?

The Cobell v. Kempthorne lawsuit on behalf of half-a-million Native Americans is coming to an end. The trial on the money phase of the case was held in June; final legal briefs were submitted July 21. In August, U.S. District Court Judge James Roberson will render a verdict in the Individual Indian Money trust fund case.

Based on lack of accounting for 120 years, the plaintiffs asserted that Indians were owed $56 billion in restitution, while the government asserted that its research found few accounting mistakes. The government testified that experts hired by the Department of the Interior reviewed a set of account ledgers and identified a single error, for $60.94. The government argued that, overall, more errors of overpayment than underpayment were found. By the end of the trial, the plaintiffs argued for $47 billion. As it had for 12 years, the government resisted any reimbursement. By the end of the trial, the government argued that if a monetary award was given "it should be a low amount indeed" because $409.8 million was the most that could not be explained regarding missing disbursements. The government's begrudging total would result in payment of $817 per plaintiff.

letter to the editor from FCNL was published in the Washington Post.

Friends Committee on National Legislation
245 2nd Street NE
Washington, DC 20002

Freedmen dispute continues despite court decision

Freedmen dispute continues despite court decision
Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A decision by a federal appeals court in the Cherokee Freedmen controversy resulted in little change from both sides of the dispute on Tuesday.

Cherokee Nation, repeated its position to "let the courts decide" even after the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that tribal officials can be sued. The case will return to a federal judge who has already called out the tribe for repeatedly marginalizing the descendants of former African slaves.

But as the tribe claimed success,
Marilyn Vann, the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit, wasn't disappointed that the court protected the Cherokee government's sovereign immunity. She said the Freedmen will be able to hold individual officials responsible for allegedly violating an 1866 treaty.

A key critic in Congress also described the decision as a victory.
Rep. Diane Watson(D-California) is leading efforts to cut federal funds to the tribe unless the Freedmen are restored to citizenship.

The differing views mean resolution of the dispute is far from over as Congress heads into the final months of the 110th session. Though national issues like the election, gas prices and the economy are dominating the agenda, the Freedmen issue has had a big effect on Indian bills on Capitol Hill.

Last fall, supporters of the Freedmen added language in the
Native American Housing and Self-Determination Act to prevent the Cherokee Nation from receiving funds under the bill. The Senate passed a version without the provision in May and lawmakers are finally moving to resolve the difference after two months of inaction.

The House is also closer to passing the long-delayed
Indian Health Care Improvement Act, which cleared the Senate in February. The bill was finally placed on the House calendar last month though it's not clear whether the Freedmen issue will be addressed.

The tribe views Congressional interference as an affront to all of Indian Country. Chief Chad Smith compared the controversy to the forced relocation of Cherokee ancestors from their homelands in the southeast U.S.

"It remains to be seen whether Congress will treat the Cherokee Nation any differently 170 years later," he said yesterday.

Vann, on the other hand, said the treaty "trumps the right of our elected officials to oppress us." Her attorney,
Jon Velie of Oklahoma, said the Freedmen will be able to proceed with the case without infringing on tribal sovereignty.

An estimated 2,800 Freedmen have been temporarily reinstated to citizenship by a Cherokee court. Vann said 23,000 descendants are eligible for citizenship in a tribe with more than 200,000 members.

The 1866 treaty, along with the
Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, ended slavery on the Cherokee Nation. The treaty required the tribe to treat the Freedmen as citizens, according to letters from the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

The tribe contends that acts of Congress in the early 1900s ended whatever rights the Freedmen may have possessed. The appeals court did not rule on the issue.

D.C. Circuit Decision:
Vann v. Kempthorne (July 29, 2008)

Source URL:

Comcast Illegally Interfered with Web File-Sharing Traffic, FCC Says

Comcast Illegally Interfered with Web File-Sharing Traffic, FCC Says
A majority of the FCC has concluded that cable operator Comcast unlawfully disrupted the transfer of certain digital video files, affirming the government's right to regulate how Internet companies manage Web traffic.
Cecilia Kang, Washington Post

News from Indianz.Com

Job Opportunity: Indian Child Welfare Advisor (7/30)

Yellow Bird: On UNITY, Amtrak and North Dakota (7/30)

Both sides claim victory in Freedmen case (7/30)

Indian inmate settles religious rights lawsuit (7/30)

Indian bishop changes story about Gallup injuries (7/30)

Oklahoma man convicted of assaulting children (7/30)

Bill provides $527M to settle Crow water rights (7/30)

Fire destroys foster home on Pine Ridge Reservation (7/30)

Santa Fe Indian School demolishes buildings (7/30)

Navajo Nation Council passes public smoking ban (7/30)

New Mexico adopts Navajo language textbook (7/30)

More than 60 caribou carcasses discarded in Alaska (7/30)

Judge backs Miccosukee Tribe in Everglades suit (7/30)

San Manuel Band donates $100K to food bank (7/30)

Opinion: Indians and constitutional rights (7/30)

More woes for GOP with Sen. Stevens indictment (7/30)

House resolution offers apology for slavery (7/30)

D.C. Circuit won't rehear Gun Lake casino case (7/30)

County sheriff asks NIGC to close Soboba casino (7/30)

California tribe worried about state lottery plan (7/30)

Nottawaseppi Huron casino set for 2009 opening (7/30)

Choctaw Nation breaks ground on $12.3M casino (7/30)

More headlines...

Today's Democracy Now!

Field of Schemes: Congress Probes How New Sports Stadiums Turn Public Money into Private Profit
A congressional committee is investigating whether New York City and the New York Yankees wildly inflated the value of the site for the team’s new stadium to float nearly $1 billion in tax-free bonds. [includes rush transcript]

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Defends Her Opposition to Impeachment: "If Somebody Had a Crime that the President Had Committed, That Would Be a Different Story."
On Monday, Rep. Pelosi appeared on ABC’s The View and suggested impeachment is off the table because there is no evidence President Bush has committed any criminal acts. We ask Rep. Dennis Kucinich for a response. Kucinich recently introduced a single article of impeachment against President Bush. The article accuses Bush of deceiving Congress to authorize the invasion of Iraq. [includes rush transcript]

Black America: A Neglected Priority in the Global AIDS Epidemic
According to a new report by the Black AIDS Institute, if blacks in the United States constituted their own country, that nation would rank sixteenth in the world in the number of people living with HIV. Two percent of adult black Americans are infected with the virus, and only four countries outside Africa have a higher HIV prevalence.

Report: Vast Majority of African American and Latino Middle-Class Families Are on Shaky Financial Ground
A landmark study developed by Demos and Brandeis University finds that three-out-of-four African American and four-out-of-five Latino middle-class families are on shaky financial ground. This marks the first comprehensive report to examine economic stability of households of color in this country.

Native News from

Appeals court: Freedmen can sue tribal officials (OKLAHOMA) -- Marilyn Vann of Oklahoma City has fond memories of her family honoring Cherokee heritage and rituals from the time she was a child.

Court rules freedmen can sue Cherokee tribal officers (WASHINGTON, DC) -- The descendants of former slaves owned by some Cherokees can sue Cherokee Nation officers for disenfranchising them from tribal elections, a federal appeals court here ruled today.

The Fives: Land of Lakotah not the first to look for a split from the U.S. (SOUTH DAKOTA) -- Talk of secession can be serious business, just ask Russell Means. The recent development with the proclaimed Republic of Lakotah seeking further separation from the Union seems like an unusual step to address some real problems.

Sealaska offers credit protection to shareholders (ALASKA) -- Sealaska Corp. arranged credit protection service for its shareholders after company data was stolen from one of its employees.

N.M. first state to adopt Navajo textbook (NEW MEXICO) -- State officials say New Mexico is the first to adopt a Navajo textbook for use in the public education system. The text book was written by Evangeline Parsons Yazzie, a Navajo professor at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.

2 more plead guilty in case of unrecognized tribe (KANSAS) -- The so-called secretary of state for a group that claims to be an American Indian tribe pleaded guilty Tuesday to harboring illegal immigrants.

Police commission rejects appeal of fired officers in Neil Stonechild case (SASKATCHEWAN) -- The Saskatchewan Police Commission has dismissed the appeals of two Saskatoon officers fired after the freezing death of aboriginal teen Neil Stonechild.

DOREEEN YELLOW BIRD: There’s no place like home (NORTH DAKOTA) -- We may have complaints about North Dakota’s weather, but there are few complaints about the people who live here. I say this because I traveled outside our area and found people’s interests and manners are different from those in North Dakota.

Ambassador's letter 'arrogant': Mi'kmaq elder (CANADA) -- A Mi'kmaq elder on P.E.I. is disappointed that a letter from the French ambassador to Canada failed to apologize for remarks made by the French prime minister during Quebec City's 400th anniversary celebrations.

Clayoquot logging could lead to more blockades: environmentalists (BRITISH COLUMBIA) -- A showdown could be brewing once again in the forests of Clayoquot Sound on Vancouver Island.

Lawsuit over photos of injured bishop settled (NEW MEXICO) -- Gallup has settled a lawsuit over whether photographs of a former Roman Catholic bishop -- who was injured in an apparent fall at his home -- were public record.

More headlines...

New Declaration of War, Torture Cover-up

A few days ago, we alerted you to Attorney General Michael Mukasey’s demand that Congress issue a new declaration of war. This would make the entire globe -- including the United States itself -- a “battlefield” where the president gets to decide who is an “enemy combatant” and lock that person up forever.

The Bush/Mukasey plan also includes a congressionally-approved subversion of the Constitution and a cover-up of the Bush administration’s systemic torture and abuse of detainees.

At the same time, an ACLU lawsuit has uncovered new evidence that the torture and abuse Mukasey wants Congress to cover up was authorized by -- you guessed it -- the Justice Department. One of the documents obtained by the ACLU is a redacted version of a previously undisclosed 2002 Justice Department opinion that authorizes the CIA to use specific interrogation methods, including waterboarding.

Now, Mukasey -- as head of the Justice Department -- wants Congress to cover up torture committed under the watch of his predecessor, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. It’s outrageous!

Don’t let it happen. Take action now at:

Anthony D. Romero
Executive Director

IPF Update

We have added 47 new videos, clips, documentaries and movies on our website. Take a peep... all at

in the category INDIGENOUS MUSIC (Canada, USA, Australia)
-A Tribute to Floyd Red Crow Westerman - "Warrior of the People" (01:25 min.)
-A Tribute to Floyd Red Crow Westerman - "Going Back" (03:11 min.)
-Robbie Robertson ft. Ulali - "Mahk Jchi" live at Jay Leno Show (03:58 min.)
-Buffy Sainte-Marie - "Darlin' Don't Cry" (04:12 min.)
-John Trudell - "Look At Us" (05:51 min.)

-J.R. Redwater (06:00 min.)
-Gerry Barrett (05:44 min.)
-Craig Lauzon (07:26 min.)
-Ryan McMahon (07:09 min.)
-Don Burnstick (06:14 min.)
-Charlie Hill (05:29 min.)
-Howie Miller (05:37 min.)
-Graham Greene (00:54 min.)


-Floyd Red Crow Westerman - 2004 Interview on the struggle in prisons (09:43 min.)
-Splitting The Sky - "Truth To Power" - 21 July 2008 (09:43 min.)
-Longest Walk II - Pura Fé at the start of the Longest Walk 2 on Alcatraz - Febr. 10, 2008 (05:01 min.)
-Longest Walk II - Start on Alcatraz - Febr. 11, 2008 (04:04 min.)
-Longest Walk II - 2008 (03:48 min.)
-Skull Valley Goshute; People of the Dust (09:18 min.)
-Grassy Narrows First Nation - Activist Nation (05:34 min.)
-Cobell v. Norton - Dangerous Ideas (05:42 min.)
-The Cobell Case (02:47 min.)
-Trail of Tears: Cherokee Legacy (07:10 min.)
-Going Home: In 2006, the Morongo Band of Indians in California and their

-Catalina Island Conservancy sent the Buffalo back home to the Brulé Lakota on the Rosebud Reservation, South Dakota. Wonderful video! (07:26 min.)
-Taku: Our Land is Our Future: This is an abbreviated version of the film Our Land is Our Future, a documentary about the the Taku River Tlingit people's relationship with their traditional territory and their struggle to honor their land, sovereignty, and way of life (09:39 min.)
-British Columbia: Nigeria North?: In 2005 the BC government sold Shell Canada drilling rights to explore for coalbed methane within Tahltan Lands, located in what's now known as British Columbia, Canada. (04:37 min.)Saving the Sacred Headwaters: In 2005 members of the Tahltan First Nation put Shell on notice and demanded they stop coalbed methane drilling and exploration in their traditional territory. (06:26 min.)

-Resistir para Existir: La Lucha de los Cucapa: This Spanish spoken documentary with English subtitles tells the story the Cucapa, an Indigenous people of Mexicali, who have been denied fishing permits, even though they have been fishing in their valley for over 9,000 years; indeed, even before this area was considered Mexico (17:51 min.)
-Guerrero: La Ruta al Sol: Guerrero is best known for the Mexican beach resorts of Acapulco and Zihuatanejo, but few know that it continues to be the site of the most blatant human and economic rights violations in Mexico (28:34 min.)

-Amazon: in the hands of a few: Recently, the Enawene-Nawe, a people indigenous to the Juruena River basin in the Mato Grosso state of Brazil, invited Greenpeace to visit them and document their ways of life. (12:08 min.)

-National Indigenous Peasant March: On October 31, 2006, more than 1,000 Campesinos and activists from the lowlands of southeastern Bolivia began marching one thousand kilometers (620 miles) from Santa Cruz to La Paz. They hoped to rally support for modifications to the National Institute for Agrarian Reform (INRA), originally passed in 1996, which legitimized the possession of illegally-obtained land in Bolivia, a particular gem for large landowners. (09:54 min.)

-The Children Of Lead: Mining and refining are key drivers of Peruvian economy, but it comes at the cost of the most vulnerable, poor young children being contaminated at alarming rates. (09:23 min.)

-The Land Owns Us: Between 1910 and 1970, a massive campaign of assimilation was carried out in Australia. Up to 100,000 Aboriginal children were forcibly taken from their homes and families, creating the Stolen Generation (06:14 min.)

-The Life and Death of Steven Biko (26:25 min.)

-Sweet Crude: this documentary tells the story of the Niger River delta and the struggle of the People in the region. For 50 years, the people in the region known as the 'south-south' have lived a life of hopelessness and desperation as they watch the land become devastated, and their own lives become unsustainable not just because of the 6,000 reported oil spills rampant gas flaring and several major pipeline explosions that have killed thousands of people but also because the people are actively oppressed and murdered by the Nigerian military. (16:02 min.)

-The Green Deal in Cambodia: leading figures in Cambodia’s government are involved in large scale illegal logging, and have been implicated in kidnappings and the attempted murder of at least 2 activists (30:30 min.)

-Rumah Nor: A Land Rights Test for Malaysia (26:55 min.)

-An Appeal For The Katkari: This 21 minute documentary examines their plight, looks at one group trying to help them and appeals to the international community to help change their lot. It features unique performances by several Katkari musicians. (21:41 min.)

-The Fourth World War - the full movie !!! - is the story of men and women around the world who resist being annihilated in the war "against terror" (1:16:07 hour)

in the category LEONARD PELTIER
-Renaud: "Leonard's Song" live at Bercy, France. (song is in French) - THIS IS A KOLA/IPF FAVOURITE !!! (05:44 min.)
-Little Steven: "Where is the Justice for Leonard Peltier" (04:04 min.)
-Peltier Place, New York City: In 1993, a small group of NYC activists rename and reclaim the streets! (03:41 min.)
-My Life Is My Sundance: Video from Leonard Peltier's play (02:11 min.)
-Comme un Gerrier : English video with French subtitles by Jean Louis Nizon (07:51 min.)

in the brandnew category NATIVE AMERICAN FASHION
-Fashion Xpo 2007: The beginnings of Native American Fashion Week - June 19, 2007. (04:43 min.)
-Reserve Parade Fashion Show & Concert: Held in Shiprock, New Mexico October 2006. (03:06 min.)
-Top Native Model July 2007 Winnipeg (09:08 min.)
-Top Native Model April 2007 Edmonton (05:11 min.)
-Native Style: Litefoot's clothing 2008 Spring ad campaign (01:33 min.)

all at

International Peltier Forum

30 Days: Life on an Indian Reservation

The Long Run: Teaching Law, Testing Ideas, Obama Stood Apart

July 30, 2008
The Long Run
Teaching Law, Testing Ideas, Obama Stood Apart

CHICAGO — The young law professor stood apart in too many ways to count. At a school where economic analysis was all the rage, he taught rights, race and gender. Other faculty members dreamed of tenured positions; he turned them down. While most colleagues published by the pound, he never completed a single work of legal scholarship.

At a formal institution, Barack Obama was a loose presence, joking with students about their romantic prospects, using first names, referring to case law one moment and “The Godfather” the next. He was also an enigmatic one, often leaving fellow faculty members guessing about his precise views.

Mr. Obama, now the junior senator from Illinois and the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, spent 12 years at the University of Chicago Law School. Most aspiring politicians do not dwell in the halls of academia, and few promising young legal thinkers toil in state legislatures. Mr. Obama planted a foot in each, splitting his weeks between an elite law school and the far less rarefied atmosphere of the Illinois Senate.

Before he outraised every other presidential primary candidate in American history, Mr. Obama marched students through the thickets of campaign finance law. Before he helped redraw his own State Senate district, making it whiter and wealthier, he taught districting as a racially fraught study in how power is secured. And before he posed what may be the ultimate test of racial equality — whether Americans will elect a black president — he led students through African-Americans’ long fight for equal status.

Standing in his favorite classroom in the austere main building, sharp-witted students looming above him, Mr. Obama refined his public speaking style, his debating abilities, his beliefs.

“He tested his ideas in classrooms,” said Dennis Hutchinson, a colleague. Every seminar hour brought a new round of, “Is affirmative action justified? Under what circumstances?” as Mr. Hutchinson put it.

But Mr. Obama’s years at the law school are also another chapter — see United States Senate, c. 2006 — in which he seemed as intently focused on his own political rise as on the institution itself. Mr. Obama, who declined to be interviewed for this article, was well liked at the law school, yet he was always slightly apart from it, leaving some colleagues feeling a little cheated that he did not fully engage. The Chicago faculty is more rightward-leaning than that of other top law schools, but if teaching alongside some of the most formidable conservative minds in the country had any impact on Mr. Obama, no one can quite point to it.

“I don’t think anything that went on in these chambers affected him,” said Richard Epstein, a libertarian colleague who says he longed for Mr. Obama to venture beyond his ideological and topical comfort zones. “His entire life, as best I can tell, is one in which he’s always been a thoughtful listener and questioner, but he’s never stepped up to the plate and taken full swings.”

Mr. Obama had other business on his mind, embarking on five political races during his 12 years at the school. Teaching gave him satisfaction, along with a perch and a paycheck, but he was impatient with academic debates over “whether to drop a footnote or not drop a footnote,” said Abner J. Mikva, a mentor whose own career has spanned Congress, the federal bench and the same law school.

Douglas Baird, another colleague, remembers once asking Mr. Obama to assess potential candidates for governor.

“First of all, I’m not running for governor, “ Mr. Obama told him. “But if I did, I would expect you to support me.”

He was a third-year state senator at the time.

Popular and Enigmatic

Mr. Obama arrived at the law school in 1991 thanks to Michael W. McConnell, a conservative scholar who is now a federal appellate judge. As president of The Harvard Law Review, Mr. Obama had impressed Mr. McConnell with editing suggestions on an article; on little more than that, the law school gave him a fellowship, which amounted to an office and a computer, which he used to write his memoir, “Dreams From My Father.”

The school had almost no black faculty members, a special embarrassment given its location on the South Side. Its sleek halls bordered a neighborhood crumbling with poverty and neglect. In his 2000 Congressional primary race, Representative Bobby L. Rush, a former Black Panther running for re-election, used Mr. Obama’s ties to the school to label him an egghead and an elitist.

At the school, Mr. Obama taught three courses, ascending to senior lecturer, a title otherwise carried only by a few federal judges. His most traditional course was in the due process and equal protection areas of constitutional law. His voting rights class traced the evolution of election law, from the disenfranchisement of blacks to contemporary debates over districting and campaign finance. Mr. Obama was so interested in the subject that he helped Richard Pildes, a professor at New York University, develop a leading casebook in the field.

His most original course, a historical and political seminar as much as a legal one, was on racism and law. Mr. Obama improvised his own textbook, including classic cases like Brown v. Board of Education, and essays by Frederick Douglass, W. E. B. Dubois, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, as well as conservative thinkers like Robert H. Bork.

Mr. Obama was especially eager for his charges to understand the horrors of the past, students say. He assigned a 1919 catalog of lynching victims, including some who were first raped or stripped of their ears and fingers, others who were pregnant or lynched with their children, and some whose charred bodies were sold off, bone fragment by bone fragment, to gawkers.

“Are there legal remedies that alleviate not just existing racism, but racism from the past?” Adam Gross, now a public interest lawyer in Chicago, wrote in his class notes in April 1994.

For all the weighty material, Mr. Obama had a disarming touch. He did not belittle students; instead he drew them out, restating and polishing halting answers, students recall. In one class on race, he imitated the way clueless white people talked. “Why are your friends at the housing projects shooting each other?” he asked in a mock-innocent voice.

A favorite theme, said Salil Mehra, now a law professor at Temple University, were the values and cultural touchstones that Americans share. Mr. Obama’s case in point: his wife, Michelle, a black woman, loved “The Brady Bunch” so much that she could identify every episode by its opening shots.

As his reputation for frank, exciting discussion spread, enrollment in his classes swelled. Most scores on his teaching evaluations were positive to superlative. Some students started referring to themselves as his groupies. (Mr. Obama, in turn, could play the star. In what even some fans saw as self-absorption, Mr. Obama’s hypothetical cases occasionally featured himself. “Take Barack Obama, there’s a good-looking guy,” he would introduce a twisty legal case.)

Challenging Assumptions

Liberals flocked to his classes, seeking refuge. After all, the professor was a progressive politician who backed child care subsidies and laws against racial profiling, and in a 1996 interview with the school newspaper sounded skeptical of President Bill Clinton’s efforts to reach across the aisle.

“On the national level, bipartisanship usually means Democrats ignore the needs of the poor and abandon the idea that government can play a role in issues of poverty, race discrimination, sex discrimination or environmental protection,” Mr. Obama said.

But the liberal students did not necessarily find reassurance. “For people who thought they were getting a doctrinal, rah-rah experience, it wasn’t that kind of class,” said D. Daniel Sokol, a former student who now teaches law at the University of Florida at Gainesville.

For one thing, Mr. Obama’s courses chronicled the failure of liberal policies and court-led efforts at social change: the Reconstruction-era amendments that were rendered meaningless by a century of resistance, the way the triumph of Brown gave way to fights over busing, the voting rights laws that crowded blacks into as few districts as possible. He was wary of noble theories, students say; instead, they call Mr. Obama a contextualist, willing to look past legal niceties to get results.

For another, Mr. Obama liked to provoke. He wanted his charges to try arguing that life was better under segregation, that black people were better athletes than white ones.

“I remember thinking, ‘You’re offending my liberal instincts,’ ” Mary Ellen Callahan, now a privacy lawyer in Washington, recalled.

In his voting rights course, Mr. Obama taught Lani Guinier’s proposals for structuring elections differently to increase minority representation. Opponents attacked those suggestions when Ms. Guinier was nominated as assistant attorney general for civil rights in 1993, costing her the post.

“I think he thought they were good and worth trying,” said David Franklin, who now teaches law at DePaul University in Chicago.

But whether out of professorial reserve or budding political caution, Mr. Obama would not say so directly. “He surfaced all the competing points of view on Guinier’s proposals with total neutrality and equanimity,” Mr. Franklin said. “He just let the class debate the merits of them back and forth.”

While students appreciated Mr. Obama’s evenhandedness, colleagues sometimes wanted him to take a stand. When two fellow faculty members asked him to support a controversial antigang measure, allowing the Chicago police to disperse and eventually arrest loiterers who had no clear reason to gather, Mr. Obama discussed the issue with unusual thoughtfulness, they say, but gave little sign of who should prevail — the American Civil Liberties Union, which opposed the measure, or the community groups that supported it out of concern about crime.

“He just observed it with a kind of interest,” said Daniel Kahan, now a professor at Yale.

Nor could his views be gleaned from scholarship; Mr. Obama has never published any. He was too busy, but also, Mr. Epstein believes, he was unwilling to put his name to anything that could haunt him politically, as Ms. Guinier’s writings had hurt her. “He figured out, you lay low,” Mr. Epstein said.

The Chicago law faculty is full of intellectually fiery friendships that burn across ideological lines. Three times a week, professors do combat over lunch at a special round table in the university’s faculty club, and they share and defend their research in workshop discussions. Mr. Obama rarely attended, even when he was in town.

“I’m not sure he was close to anyone,” Mr. Hutchinson said, except for a few liberal constitutional law professors, like Cass Sunstein, now an occasional adviser to his campaign. Mr. Obama was working two other jobs, after all, in the State Senate and at a civil rights law firm.

Several colleagues say Mr. Obama was surely influenced by the ideas swirling around the law school campus: the prevailing market-friendliness, or economic analysis of the impact of laws. But none could say how. “I’m not sure we changed him,” Mr. Baird said.

Because he never fully engaged, Mr. Obama “doesn’t have the slightest sense of where folks like me are coming from,” Mr. Epstein said. “He was a successful teacher and an absentee tenant on the other issues.”

Leaving the Classroom

As Mr. Obama built his political career, his so-called groupies became an early core of supporters, handing out leaflets and hosting fund-raisers in their modest apartments.

“Maybe we charged an audacious $20?” said Jesse Ruiz, now a corporate lawyer in Chicago. Mr. Obama was sheepish asking for even that, Mr. Ruiz recalls. With no staff, Mr. Obama would come by the day after a fund-raiser to stuff the proceeds into a backpack.

Mr. Obama never mentioned his humiliating, hopeless campaign against Mr. Rush in class (he lost by a two-to-one margin), though colleagues noticed that he seemed exhausted and was smoking more than usual.

Soon after, the faculty saw an opening and made him its best offer yet: Tenure upon hiring. A handsome salary, more than the $60,000 he was making in the State Senate or the $60,000 he earned teaching part time. A job for Michelle Obama directing the legal clinic.

Your political career is dead, Daniel Fischel, then the dean, said he told Mr. Obama, gently. Mr. Obama turned the offer down. Two years later, he decided to run for the Senate. He canceled his course load and has not taught since.

Now, watching the news, it is dawning on Mr. Obama’s former students that he was mining material for his political future even as he taught them.

Byron Rodriguez, a real estate lawyer in San Francisco, recalls his professor’s admiration for the soaring but plainspoken speeches of Frederick Douglass.

“No one speaks this way anymore,” Mr. Obama told his class, wondering aloud what had happened to the art of political oratory. In particular, Mr. Obama admired Douglass’s use of a collective voice that embraced black and white concerns, one that Mr. Obama has now adopted himself.

In class, Mr. Obama sounded many of the same themes he does on the campaign trail, Ms. Callahan said, ticking them off: “self-determinism as opposed to paternalism, strength in numbers, his concept of community development.”

But as a professor, students say, Mr. Obama was in the business of complication, showing that even the best-reasoned rules have unintended consequences, that competing legal interests cannot always be resolved, that a rule that promotes justice in one case can be unfair in the next.

So even some former students who are thrilled at Mr. Obama’s success wince when they hear him speaking like the politician he has so fully become.

“When you hear him talking about issues, it’s at a level so much simpler than the one he’s capable of,” Mr. Rodriguez said. “He was a lot more fun to listen to back then.”

Source URL:

30 Days: Life on an Indian Reservation

InterContinental Cry
30 Days: Life on an Indian Reservation
Posted: 19 Jul 2008 02:41 PM CDT
It’s disturbing how little the average American and Canadian knows about indigenous people — especially in times like these, where the issues they face carry such profound urgency; whether we’re talking about poverty, discrimination, the loss of culture, development projects, the denial of rights, contamination issues, substance abuse, and so on. This lack of knowledge [...]

SF8 Update

July 18, 2008

The first of several prosecution witnesses appeared in closed sessions this week in the San Francisco 8 case. These "conditional exams" of five witnesses who are old and in poor health are taking place as they may not be available at trial. They are testifying in advance of the preliminary hearing scheduled for September 8th.

Jack Girot, a former SF Police Officer was in court for two days and was questioned about a "stolen bicycle" report filed at the Ingleside Police Station in 1971. The notes he took are lost or destroyed. The report originally prepared by Girot as "enhanced" by unknown person or persons with additional information not provided by Girot. He could not identify the people who made the report. A co-authored Erdalatz and McCoy intra-departmental memo puts an additional Black male in the police station at the time of the stolen bicycle report with no reference to the source of the information. Girot could not identify any of the defendants in the case from either their current photographs or photos from 1971.

The next exams are scheduled for August 22 & August 25-28.

Judge Moscone had Herman Bell and Jalil Muntaqim appear unshackled in court for the first time, when neither the SF County Sheriff (who runs the jail and security in the courthouse) nor the prosecutors objected.

The California State Prosecutors office has not allowed the defense to see the text of a proposed agreement to return Herman and Jalil to New York state for their parole hearings. The delays make it unlikely that they can have their legally-guaranteed hearings before the September preliminary hearing. Prosecutors are saying that until the extradition papers are signed, they remain confidential and will not be presented to Judge Moscone to sign.

Judge Philip Moscone had earlier (on May 22) signed an order allowing Herman Bell and Jalil Muntaqim to return to New York state for their parole hearings. All parties agreed that the move would be temporary; Herman and Jalil waived their rights to fight extradition back to California.

This is a vindictive and mean-spirited procedural delay. Strong arguments were made to guarantee Herman and Jalil's right to "pursue their liberty interests" and have parole hearings. Both have served over 30 years in prison as model prisoners. Both were targeted originally by COINTELPRO as members of the Black Panther Party.

Tohono O’odham Demand Halt to Construction of Border Wall

InterContinental Cry
Tohono O’odham Demand Halt to Construction of Border Wall
Posted: 18 Jul 2008 10:02 AM CDT
On Thursday, July 10, the O’odham Solidarity Project issued the following call to mobilize against the proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall, which will cut through the heart of the Tohono O’odham’s traditional territory. With the April 1st announcement by the Department of Homeland Security to suspend thirty six federal laws (list of laws found here) to finish [...]

Oglala Commemoration Update

The 08' recap can now be seen at

The video will becoming soon.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

News from Indianz.Com

Cherokee officials open to lawsuit from Freedmen (7/29)

Sen. Ted Stevens indicted on corruption charges (7/29)

Business meeting added to Indian Affairs hearing (7/29)

Job Opportunity: Indian Child Welfare Advisor (7/29)

BIA report cites $8.4B backlog in detention centers (7/29)

8th Circuit dismisses suit against BIA jail officer (7/29)

Gangs blamed for death of 16-year-old Native boy (7/29)

Senate candidate stumped by Navajo player question (7/29)

Tribal Canoe Journey reaches final destination (7/29)

Jury sides with trooper in Narragansett raid case (7/29)

Self-described medicine man seeks return of peyote (7/29)

Kickapoo Tribe declares health care emergency (7/29)

Cherokee Nation has big plans for IHS takeover (7/29)

Indian county sheriff removed in North Dakota (7/29)

Republic of Lakotah plans one-year investigation (7/29)

Soboba Band water bill still waiting on Bush (7/29)

Alaska lawmakers to probe firing of Native top cop (7/29)

Native shareholders' personal data exposed (7/29)

Treaty process costs British Columbia over $1B (7/29)

Republicans back Sen. Coburn and his 35 holds (7/29)

Habematolel Pomo make plans for first casino (7/29)

Pokagon Band nears one-year anniversary of casino (7/29)

Navajo Nation Council passes gaming revenue plan (7/29)

Pauma Band reaches casino agreement with county (7/29)

Town backs Little River off-reservation casino (7/29)

More headlines...

Obama addresses UNITY meet

Obama addresses UNITY meet
Presumptive Democratic nominee for president says he will consult with tribes about an official apology.
Obama at UNITY

Native advocate targeted at DOJ

Native advocate targeted at DOJ
Top political appointee broke the law by hindering a well-respected Native advocate, according to internal investigation.
DOJ Report

Today's Democracy Now!

Newspapers Suffer Spate of Layoffs, Decline in Circulation, Ad Revenue, Stock Price: A Roundtable Discussion on the State of the Industry
We take an in-depth look at the state of the newspaper industry. In recent months, more than 6,000 print journalists have lost their jobs, newspaper circulation is down, and so is advertising revenue, page counts and stock prices. We host a roundtable discussion with Bernard Lunzer, president of the Newspaper Guild; former New York Times correspondent, Chris Hedges, now at the Nation Institute; and Linda Jue, director of New Voices in Independent Journalism. [includes rush transcript]

The Big Squeeze: Steven Greenhouse on Tough Times for the American Worker
A new book by New York Times labor reporter Steven Greenhouse examines how much of the American workforce is working more but earning less. Wages have stagnated, health and pension benefits have grown stingier, and job security has shriveled. Greenhouse joins us to talk about The Big Squeeze: Tough Times for the American Worker. [includes rush transcript]

Native News from

Russell Means: Lakotah grand jury will not indict (SOUTH DAKOTA) -- Grand juries convened by the Republic of Lakotah on seven reservations in South Dakota will spend several months gathering evidence of alleged abuses against the Lakota people, according to organizer Russell Means.

The Fives: Land of Lakotah not the first to look for a split from the U.S. (SOUTH DAKOTA) -- Talk of secession can be serious business, just ask Russell Means. The recent development with the proclaimed Republic of Lakotah seeking further separation from the Union seems like an unusual step to address some real problems.

Republic of Lakotah investigating tribal corruption (SOUTH DAKOTA) -- The Republic of Lakotah is forming an all-Lakota grand jury to investigate government corruption on South Dakota reservations, according to organizer Russell Means.

B.C. native treaty process has cost $1 billion with little success: report (VANCOUVER) -- More than $1 billion has been poured into negotiating modern-day treaties with B.C. First Nations with little success, says a report released Monday by the Fraser Institute.

Sealaska offers credit protection to shareholders (ALASKA) -- Sealaska Corp. arranged credit protection service for its shareholders after company data was stolen from one of its employees.

Jury rules for RI state trooper in smoke shop suit (RHODE ISLAND) -- A federal jury has rejected a lawsuit accusing a state trooper of using excessive force during a 2003 state police raid on a Narragansett Indian smoke shop.

LNG cuts off flow of money to Maine tribe (MAINE) -- A company that hopes to build a liquefied natural gas terminal on Passamaquoddy tribal land is suspending quarterly payments to the tribe.

Quoddy Bay LNG suspends payments to tribe (MAINE) -- Quoddy Bay LNG, the company that hopes to build a liquefied natural gas terminal on Passamaquoddy tribal land off Route 190, has announced it will suspend temporarily the quarterly payments it has been making to the tribe.

The serene champion of native women's rights (TORONTO) -- Beverley Jacobs has heard all the talk, she's ready for action. The 46-year-old president of the Native Women's Association of Canada – an affiliation of more than a dozen women's groups representing 600,000 native women in this country – kicks off a three-day conference in Yellowknife today with the question, "What are you going to do now?"

Police commission rejects appeal of fired officers in Neil Stonechild case (SASKATCHEWAN) -- The Saskatchewan Police Commission has dismissed the appeals of two Saskatoon officers fired after the freezing death of aboriginal teen Neil Stonechild.

More headlines...

Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned Into a War on American Ideals

Bill Moyers Journal goes inside last week's hearings on torture in Congress and gets perspective from journalist Jane Mayer on the debate over whether the U.S. sanctioned torture to prosecute the war on terror. Mayer's recent book, THE DARK SIDE: THE INSIDE STORY OF HOW THE WAR ON TERROR TURNED INTO A WAR ON AMERICAN IDEALS, documents the war on terror and the struggle over whether the president should have limitless power to wage it.

View Video

International Indian Treaty Council Issues Resolutions

UCTP Taino News - The International Indian Treaty Council held its 34th annual conference in Chimaltenago, Guatemala from June 19 – 22, 2008. The 275 registered delegates at this conference, representing Indigenous Peoples from North, Central, South America, the Caribbean and the Pacific, adopted by consensus a series of resolutions to guide their work defending the Rights of Indigenous Peoples at the local, national, and international levels.

Among those in attendance, representatives of the United Confederation of Taino People (UCTP) participated in the plenary sessions and working groups as well as during spiritual ceremonies led by the local Mayan traditional spiritual authorities. Naniki Reyes Ocasio of the Caney Quinto Mundo, UCTP Liaison Mildred Karaira Gandia, and youth representative Justin Ziegelasch contributed directly to the drafting of the final conference resolutions via specific working groups. As a result of their participation the Taino People are specifically mentioned in the resolutions on “Land, Territories and Natural Resources, Treaties and the Implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples” and the “Sacred Sites”.

The IITC reaffirmed for example the “land rights and self determination of Indigenous Peoples including the Taino, Cree, Dakota, Yaqui and Mayan peoples that are divided by colonial borders”. The IITC also calls upon the “United States Government and the Island of Boriken (Puerto Rico) to recognize the Taino People of Boriken as the original inhabitants and Indigenous Peoples with full rights as recognized by the UN Declaration, including the right to self-determination.

“This much appreciated support from our indigenous sisters and brothers is extremely important for all our Taino People” stated Mildred Karaira Gandia. “It shows that the Taino are indeed part of the larger hemispheric movement defending the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.” Karaira added “Making these connections today as our ancestors did long ago not only unifies us across borders but it strengthens us on a spiritual level.”

Other resolutions adopted at the conference focused on the position of the CANZUS group and the UN Indigenous Rights Declaration, Lakota and Dakota Treaties, The Right to Food Sovereignty, The Rights of Women and Children, and Economic Justice and Migration.

The final resolutions will be posted at the websites of the International Indian Treaty Council and the United Confederation of Taino People in English and Spanish.

Source URL:

Obama should be sweating

Obama should be sweating: Palast
12:15 7/28/2008, Headlines
In swing-state Colorado, the Republican Secretary of State conducted the biggest purge of voters in history, dumping a fifth of all registrations. Guess their color. In swing-state Florida, the state is refusing to accept about 85,000 new registrations from voter drives – overwhelming Black voters. In swing state New Mexico, HALF of the Democrats of Mora, a dirt poor and overwhelmingly Hispanic county, found their registrations disappeared this year, courtesy of a Republican voting contractor. In swing states Ohio and Nevada, new federal law is knocking out tens of thousands of voters who lost their homes to foreclosure. My investigations partner spoke directly to Barack Obama about it. (When your partner is Robert F. Kennedy Jr., candidates take your phone call.) The cool, cool Senator Obama told Kennedy he was "concerned" about the integrity of the vote in the Southwest in particular. He's concerned. I'm sweating...