Sunday, August 31, 2008

InterContinental Cry
Venezuela Moves to Support the Yukpa
Posted: 28 Aug 2008 09:38 PM CDT
Following last weeks attack on Venezuela’s Indigenous Yukpa community — and the worrisome lack of support by the government to ensure their safety — President Hugo Chavez pledged on Sunday to come to the aid of the Yukpa. “Nobody should have any doubts: Between the large estate owners and the indians, this government is with the indians,” proclaimed Chavez on his weekly television show, Ala Presidente. “Chavez [also] announced that he ‘gave instructions’ to Vice President Ramon Carrizalez, Interior and Justice Minister Rodríguez Chacín, Environment Minister Yubirí Ortega, and the military commander in Zulia, General Izquierdo Torres, to ‘demarcate the indigenous lands with the participation of the indigenous councils,’ compensate the landowners, and offer the communities the protection, credits, and equipment they need to launch sustainable agricultural projects, all of which the Law clearly obligates the government to do,” explains James Suggett of Venezuela Analysis. “However, the declarations came just days [two days] after the Venezuelan National Guard beat and detained alternative media workers and leaders of a humanitarian delegation en route to assist the Yukpa in the occupied lands, causing many to suspect regional and local authorities willingly contradict central government policies in the conflict-ridden, coal-rich zone known as the Sierra de Perijá.” It may also confirm a statement made in July by Alejandro Vargas, one of the estate owners involved in the attacks. According to Guillermina Romero, the daughter of Cacique Sabino, who’s been leading the Yukpa effort to reclaim the lands occupied by the estate owners, Vargas said that pleading to the National Guard or ...

Judge upholds land rights in Raposa-Serra do Sol

InterContinental Cry
Judge upholds land rights in Raposa-Serra do Sol
Posted: 29 Aug 2008 09:26 AM CDT
The first of eleven Supreme Court Judges cast his vote in the landmark case that will decide the future of Raposa-Serra do Sol, a legally-recognized Indigenous Territory in the Brazilian state of Roraima. “Magistrate Carlos Ayres de Britto, the first and only judge to have voted so far, used the Portuguese word ‘esbulho’ (dispossession or unlawful possession) to describe the occupation of parts of the reservation by non-indigenous landowners who want to break up the 1.7 million hectare reserve in order to hold on to the land that they farm,” writes IPS News. Here, Britto is referring to the group of vigilante rice farmers that have refused to leave the territory, despite being ordered to do so by a 2005 Presidential decree. A key judge in the case, Britto further stated that the reservation must remain intact in order for Brazil to uphold the constitutional rights of the the Makuxi, Wapixana, Ingariko, Taukepang, and Patamona peoples who share the territory. He also emphasized that the five communities are the region’s original occupants, and that “territories like Raposa-Serra do Sol which border other countries are not incompatible with national security, as the military have claimed,” notes a press release by Survival International. Following Britto’s ruling, which took about two hours to deliver, the next judge in line to vote requested an adjournment to further examine the case. A final ruling is expected to be handed down by the end of the year. Photo: c/o

Angela Davis urges release of 'Omaha Two' convicted with COINTELPRO dirty tricks in 1971 controversial trial

Angela Davis urges release of 'Omaha Two' convicted with COINTELPRO dirty tricks in 1971 controversial trial

by Michael Richardson

University of California professor and internationally acclaimed political prisoner advocate Angela Davis will make another trip to Lincoln, Nebraska to meet with Ed Poindexter and Mondo we Langa who are imprisoned in the state maximum security penitentiary.

Ed Poindexter, head of Omaha's unit of the Black Panthers called the Nebraska Committee to Combat Fascism, and Mondo we Langa (formerly David Rice) who served as the information officer of the 1970's group are serving life sentences for the bombing murder of an Omaha policeman. Both men deny their involvement in the death of patrolman Larry Minard.

Davis, now a respected college professor and lecturer, was once a fugitive in another Black Panther case and was on the Federal Bureau of Investigation "Ten Most Wanted" list. Serving 18 months behind bars before being acquitted of participation in a California police-Panther shootout, Davis is sympathetic with targets of the FBI's secret war on the Black Panthers called Operation COINTELPRO.

Davis was cleared of the charges against her in 1972, the year after the Omaha Two were convicted of the August 1970 murder of Minard. Unknown to the defense or public at the time of the Omaha trial was that critical evidence was withheld as part of the COINTELPRO conspiracy against Poindexter and Langa. Further, five Omaha police officers gave false sworn testimony about the case but the problems in their testimony did not emerge until years later.

J. Edgar Hoover, the powerful director of the FBI had secretly established a clandestine COINTELPRO directorate headed by William Sullivan to orchestrate dirty tricks to "disrupt" the Black Panthers. Sullivan would later testify to a U.S. Senate committee "no holds were barred" in the secret war on the Black Panthers. Tactics included encouraging local police to make raids and arrests of Panther leaders, anonymous mailings, unauthorized entries, withholding of evidence, planting of evidence, and abuse of informants.

The Omaha FBI office worked with Assistant Omaha Chief of Police Glenn Gates to withhold the tape recording of the emergency call that lured Minard to his death to keep the tape from the jury. Captain Murdock Platner testified, falsely, to the U.S. House Committee on Internal Security that Langa had supplied the dynamite used in the bomb. Lt. James Perry's story to justify a search warrant was rejected by U.S. District Court Judge Warren Urbom who said, "[I]t is impossible for me credit his testimony." Sgt. Jack Swanson claimed he found dynamite in Langa's basement only to be later contradicted by Sgt. Robert Pheffer who bragged he was the one who found the dynamite incredibly contradicting his own trial testimony in a 2007 hearing.

Pheffer's recently embellished version of events strongly suggests perjury. Not only has he now contradicted his own 1971 testimony but he is claiming to also have found bombmaking supplies (suitcases with wires) at two locations, Langa's house and NCCF headquarters. The only catch with Pheffer's suitcases is that they have disappeared into thin air with no other witnesses to their discovery. In fact, Pheffer's sworn allegations of finding the suitcases were never reported by him in any police report, were not entered on the inventory sheets of the searches, never submitted to the police evidence locker, and appear in no crime scene photographs.

Davis has followed the Omaha Two case since the beginning. In 1975, Davis made a trip to Lincoln to raise money for a legal defense fund and also attended a post-conviction court hearing. In 1982, Davis appeared at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and called freedom for Poindexter and Langa as a "first priority" vowing, "We are going to continue to fight until they are both free."

In a 2006 visit to the Nebraska State Penitentiary, Davis said, "They've been in prison much too long and they should be released. It makes me think about how much we are haunted by our own history."

Davis told the Lincoln Star, "It is important for people to understand the way in which two men could basically be framed up and kept in prison for 36 years even though they're innocent."

The bomb that killed Larry Minard was planted by 15 year-old Duane Peak who confessed to the crime but was only sentenced to 33 months of juvenile detention in exchange for his testimony that Poindexter and Langa put him up to the crime and assisted with assembly of the bomb. Peak, in turn, testified that the dynamite was supplied by 23 year-old Raleigh House, a suspected COINTELPRO informant, who only spent one night in jail and was never formally charged for his role in the crime.

The unknown caller who lured Minard into the lethal trap was never identified after police dropped the search for the caller under orders from Asst Chief Gates. A 2006 forensic analysis of the emergency call tape revealed that Duane Peak was not the caller as he has maintained leaving an unidentified accomplice on the loose while Poindexter and Langa sit in prison.

Davis will speak to the Nebraskans for Justice on September 17, 2008 at the Malone Community Center in Lincoln. An update on the legal status of the two prisoners will also be provided. Poindexter currently has an appeal pending before the Nebraska Supreme Court seeking a new trial over Pheffer's contradictory testimony and the vocal analysis that undermines the prosecution case. A decision is expected this fall.

31 Aug 2008: Native News from

It's 'Like Déjà Vu:' Houmas Wait for Gustav (LOUISIANA) -- A birthday party is scaled back. Baby gifts and nursery furniture are stored. And families are divided over who will go and who will stay.

Houmas Evacuate; Gustav Landfall Monday (LOUISIANA) -- Residents of two Louisiana parishes, home to the largest number of Houma Indians in the state, evacuated their homes and businesses Saturday as Hurricane Gustav threatened to strike the area Monday.

Native health care legislation occupies forum at the DNC (DENVER) -- A key bill assuring health care for Natives is stalled in the U.S. House of Representatives where adjournment is only a few weeks away, but legislators and tribal leaders hope for a last-minute strategy to ensure its passage.

Editorial / Long way to go yet (NEW YORK) -- The mission of Team Obama at the Democratic National Convention was threefold: to ''introduce'' the candidate and his running mate to the country; to project party unity in the aftermath of the bruising primary battle between Sen. Barak Obama and rival Sen. Hillary Clinton; and to convince moderates and independents that voting for Sen. John McCain is essentially a vote for President George W. Bush.

Cheerleaders for McCain: A View of the VP Choice (USA) -- As I watched the opening ceremony for John McCain's announcement of his Republican vice presidential running mate, I noticed that they used local cheerleaders to rev up the crowd in Dayton, Ohio.

BRENDA NORRELL: Denver Democratic National Convention, this isn't OZ (DENVER) -- If you relied on the mainstream media for coverage of this week's Democratic National Convention, you probably visualized everyone clicking their heels together and entering the land of OZ.

Top Job: Names Floated for Native Policy Adviser (DENVER) -- While it's certainly not a vice-presidential pick, speculation is heating up over Sen. Barack Obama's eventual choice for the White House-level Native policy adviser position he has promised to create if elected.

Inupiaq Woman Tells Obama Her People's Story (DENVER) -- As her college peers spent their summer guarding pools and attending classes, Holly Miowak Stebing traveled the roads of Alaska interviewing Native Alaskan elders.

More headlines...

Palin is a Disaster

After months of slamming Barack Obama for "inexperience," here's who John McCain has chosen to be one heartbeat away from the presidency: a right-wing religious conservative with no foreign policy experience, who until recently was mayor of a town of 9,000 people.


Who is Sarah Palin? Here's some basic background:

She was elected Alaska's governor a little over a year and a half ago. Her previous office was mayor of Wasilla, a small town outside Anchorage. She has no foreign policy experience.1

Palin is strongly anti-choice, opposing abortion even in the case of rape or incest.2

She supported right-wing extremist Pat Buchanan for president in 2000. 3

Palin thinks creationism should be taught in public schools.4

She's doesn't think humans are the cause of climate change.5

She's solidly in line with John McCain's "Big Oil first" energy policy. She's pushed hard for more oil drilling and says renewables won't be ready for years. She also sued the Bush administration for listing polar bears as an endangered species—she was worried it would interfere with more oil drilling in Alaska.6

How closely did John McCain vet this choice? He met Sarah Palin once at a meeting. They spoke a second time, last Sunday, when he called her about being vice-president. Then he offered her the position.7

This is information the American people need to see. Please take a moment to forward this information to your friends and family.

Governor Palin is a staunch anti-choice religious conservative. She's a global warming denier who shares John McCain's commitment to Big Oil. And she's dramatically inexperienced.

In picking Sarah Palin, John McCain has made the religious right very happy. And he's made a very dangerous decision for our country.


1. "Sarah Palin," Wikipedia, Accessed August 29, 2008
2. "McCain Selects Anti-Choice Sarah Palin as Running Mate," NARAL Pro-Choice America, August 29, 2008
3. "Sarah Palin, Buchananite," The Nation, August 29, 2008
4. "'Creation science' enters the race," Anchorage Daily News, October 27, 2006
5. "Palin buys climate denial PR spin—ignores science," Huffington Post, August 29, 2008
6. "McCain VP Pick Completes Shift to Bush Energy Policy," Sierra Club, August 29, 2008
"Choice of Palin Promises Failed Energy Policies of the Past," League of Conservation Voters, August 29, 2008
"Protecting polar bears gets in way of drilling for oil, says governor," The Times of London, May 23, 2008
7 "McCain met Palin once before yesterday," MSNBC, August 29, 2008

Wake Up America!

Here are links to two articles on the police raids in the Twin Cities--a news report published by the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and an article by Glenn Greenwald on the website:

Ramsey County authorities conducted raids across Minneapolis and St. Paul Friday and Saturday as a pre-emptive strike against disruptive protests of the Republican National Convention.

Five people were arrested and more than 100 were handcuffed, questioned and released by scores of deputies and police officers, according to police and elected officials familiar with the raids....

Full story:

Protesters here in Minneapolis have been targeted by a series of highly intimidating, sweeping police raids across the city, involving teams of 25-30 officers in riot gear, with semi-automatic weapons drawn, entering homes of those suspected of planning protests, handcuffing and forcing them to lay on the floor, while law enforcement officers searched the homes, seizing computers, journals, and political pamphlets. Last night, members of the St. Paul police department and the Ramsey County sheriff's department
handcuffed, photographed and detained dozens of people meeting at a public venue to plan a demonstration, charging them with no crime other than "fire code violations," and early this morning, the Sheriff's department sent teams of officers into at least four Minneapolis area homes where suspected protesters were staying....

Full story:

Saturday, August 30, 2008

SEIU’s Rock Concert to Take Back Labor Day at RNC

SEIU’s Rock Concert to Take Back Labor Day at RNC

*** TAKEN FROM ***

ST. PAUL, Minn., Aug. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Service Employees International Union's (SEIU) will hold their first Take Back Labor Day Festival September 1st, at the foot of the Republican National Convention. The festival will celebrate workers and promote a new vision for the 21st Century.

Events begin at noon at Harriet Island Regional Park with a family area and other activities. The concert, from 3-7 p.m., will feature The Pharcyde, Mos Def, Steve Earle, Allison Moorer, Atmosphere, Billy Bragg, and Tom Morello & friends. SEIU leaders Andy Stern and Anna Burger, progressive syndicated talk show host Thom Hartmann, and others.

There will be a 2 p.m. press conference with performers and SEIU members and leaders who will be available for interviews until 3 p.m.

Tickets are available for $10 through Ticketmaster or on site the day of the concert for $15. Go to for updated information. About the Artists: -- Allison Moorer is an Academy Award and Grammy Award nominated singer songwriter whose 2008 album, Mockingbird, was released to critical acclaim. -- Atmosphere is a Minneapolis Hip-Hop duo. Their recently released album is, When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold. -- Billy Bragg, a British rocker and Grammy-nominated folk musician set new music to unrecorded Woody Guthrie lyrics, recorded with Wilco. -- Mos Def is an actor and Grammy-nominated musician most recently seen alongside Jack Black in the film, Be Kind Rewind. With 5 rap albums, he is renowned for popularizing Hip-Hop that stresses socially conscious themes. -- Steve Earle's Washington Square Serenade in 2007 earned him his second Grammy Award. He hosts the Sirius Satellite Radio program Hardcore Troubadour Radio, and was featured in HBO's, The Wire. -- Tom Morello recently spent a day as a child care provider working with SEIU members. He appears with Bruce Springsteen on a new live EP performing "Ghost of Tom Joad." His solo album, The Fabled City, will be released this September. -- The Pharcyde is a legendary alternative rap collective from Los Angeles. This performance will feature all the original members: Imani, Slimkid3, Bootie Brown, and Fatlip.

With 2 million members in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, SEIU is the fastest-growing union in the Americas. Focused on uniting workers in healthcare, public services and property services, SEIU members are winning better wages, healthcare and more secure jobs for our communities, while uniting their strength with their counterparts around the world to help ensure that workers, not just corporations and CEOs, benefit from today's global economy.

Police break down doors in night-time raid on political meeting

Police break down doors in night-time raid on political meeting
By Mary Turck, TC Daily Planet August 30, 2008

ST PAUL, MN: "I heard somebody saying, 'They're coming, they're coming!' And feet pounding on the back stairs, pounding on the door saying they had a search warrant. They busted through the door. They've got their guns cocked at people." Sammy Schutz held tightly to five-year-old Gabe, who had been watching a video with his mother and father and about 20 other people when the police stormed into 827 Smith Avenue in St. Paul, ordering everyone down on the floor.

"All I could feel was Mama Bear-do whatever you want to do to me, but I need to get my son out safe. He was watching his dad get handcuffed. And he's saying, 'Mommy, mommy, why did they crash through the door?'"

Gabe's question remained unanswered. Ramsey County sheriff's deputies said they were executing a search warrant, but would not show a copy of the warrant to lawyers or reporters. More than a dozen police vehicles , almost all unmarked, and more than 20 sheriff's deputies and St. Paul police arrived at the building about 9:45 Friday night and were still there at 1 a.m., when I left.

After handcuffing the people in the building (occupants said there were about two dozen on the second floor and "about 40 or 50" on the first floor), police processed them one by one. Each person was asked for identification, name and address, and then photographed.

People who had been inside the building told similar stories of police entering with guns drawn. They said police rushed past the security desk on the first floor, and used a battering ram to crash through the second floor back door.

"They said if you don't show us ID and get your picture taken, we will arrest you and take you away," said Michelle Gross, president of Communities United Against Police Brutality, who had arrived five or ten minutes before the raid began, planning to attend a meeting. "They never said what the basis for arrests would be. We were waiting for a meeting, for God's sake! I cannot tell you how much like a police state that felt to me."

After each person was released after being photographed, exiting the building and crossing between police cars to a crowd of cheering friends on the sidewalk across from the building. No one was arrested, but sheriff's deputies remained inside the building.

Eventually, a city contractor arrived to board up the building, allegedly for unspecified code violations.

St. Paul City Council member Dave Thune said he was trying to find out who ordered the building locked up and on what grounds. "This isn't the way we do things in St. Paul," Thune said. "I don't want the city to get sucked into something that the sheriff's office is concocting."

Thune said that someone had called in the city contractor and ordered him to secure the building, but this was not done according ot St. Paul city procedures.

"Normally," said Thune, "we only board up buildings that are vacant and ramshackle. The fire inspector has no idea what's going on. He hadn't been called. The person who is on 24/7 call was not called. I talked to him trying to fid out who did issue that order and why."

The building at 827 Smith Avenue had been rented by the RNC Welcoming Committee as a "convergence space," open to activists for meetings, eating, and just hanging out. Earlier in the week, a large downstairs room in the former theater held tables of literature and about a dozen computers, set up for free wi-fi access for visitors. Large maps showed downtown St. Paul streets. The kitchen was spotless, with stainless steel refrigerators and a gas range, looking like a commercial kitchen in a church basement. The second floor room, where Sammy and her family were watching a video on consumerism Friday night, had comfortable theater seats and space for meetings.

McGowan Update

As we recently reported, Daniel was moved last Friday to his designated facility in Marion, Illinois. He has been placed in the Communications Management Unit and will be serving the rest of his time here. We have not been given any official information on why Daniel has been moved here but we do know that this unit was created to heavily monitor communications of the prisoners it holds. We truly hope that his time passes as quickly as possible here.

If you would like to write some funny, uplifting, silly things to Daniel, please write him at his new address:

DANIEL McGOWAN #63794-053
P.O. BOX 1000
MARION, IL 62959

Please be mindful of what you write. All mail is assumed to be read and copied. Do not use any initials or anything that can be construed as code.

Also, if you'd like to send pictures, he is allowed to receive up to 25 photos per envelope - no polaroids.

If you are interested in sending Daniel a book, please contact us and we'll be able to give you a book title from his wish list. He can receive books from publisher and large online stores like Barnes & Noble and Amazon.

As mentioned by a prison official, any materials sent to Daniel, whether books, photos or letters, should not promote violence of any kind in any way.

Thanks so much for your continued support,

Family & Friends of Daniel McGowan

American Indian Vote Will Be a Factor in Several Swing States

American Indian Vote Will Be a Factor in Several Swing States
By Michael Drudge

Across the center of the United States, from the Great Plains to the Rocky Mountains, efforts are under way to register and educate American Indian voters for the November general election.

The indigenous peoples of the United States number about 3 million, or 1 percent of the U.S. population. But in some states they represent a significant voting bloc. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Indians make up 4.5 percent of the vote in Arizona, 4.8 percent in North Dakota, 6.4 percent in Montana, 7.7 percent in Oklahoma, 8.5 percent in South Dakota and almost 10 percent in New Mexico.

In this decade, American Indians have made the difference in electing two Democrats to the U.S. Senate. In South Dakota in 2002, Senator Tim Johnson won by 524 votes over Republican challenger John Thune, and the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation provided Johnson's victory margin. In 2006, Democratic challenger Jon Tester got most of the American Indian vote in Montana and defeated Republican incumbent Senator Conrad Burns.

The electoral clout of American Indians is a relatively new phenomenon in U.S. history.

From the earliest days of the republic, the Indian tribes were considered distinct nations, and ineligible for the rights and privileges bestowed on U.S. citizens under the Constitution. As such, they also were exempt from paying taxes.

In an 1823 ruling, Chancellor James Kent of the New York Court of Errors wrote: "Though born within our territorial limits, the Indians are considered as born under the jurisdiction of their tribes. They belong, by birth, to their own tribes, and these tribes are placed under our protection and dependent upon us; but we still recognize them as national communities."

This concept came to be known as "nations within a nation," and it generally regulated relations between Indian tribes and the American government into the 20th century.

After World War I, Congress passed legislation offering citizenship to Indian military veterans who had an honorable discharge. In 1924, Congress passed the Indian Citizenship Act granting citizenship to all Indians born within U.S. territorial boundaries. The law also provided that Indians would retain their tribal property rights.

Despite this federal law, states controlled voting rights, and several states continued to deny those rights to American Indians. Complicating matters, several tribes considered the proffered U.S. citizenship a trap that would lead to taxation of their property and loss of tribal lands.

Following World War II, several decades of court rulings and legal changes eventually guaranteed American Indians full civil liberties, including the right to vote.


Heading the Indian voter registration drive in 2008 is the Washington-based National Congress of American Indians (NCAI).

"We have to ramp up our voter participation initiative in 2008," said Joe A. Garcia, president of the nonpartisan NCAI. "Increasing civic participation among American Indian and Alaska Native communities is imperative to protecting sovereignty and ensuring Native issues are addressed on every level of government."

The Indigenous Democratic Network of Tulsa, Oklahoma, is recruiting candidates for the Democratic Party and running voter education seminars. Kalyn Free, president of the network, says Democrats and Republicans cannot afford to ignore Indian voters.

"I believe the Indian vote will be decisive in this presidential election," Free said.

"When you look at the new West, all eyes are on New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and Nevada. Those are states that have significant Indian populations and when the difference between winning and losing comes down to a few votes, 1 or 2 percent can be the difference. And so I firmly believe that the next president of the United States will be there with the power of the Indian vote. It's a vote that clearly should not be taken for granted by either party."

In the 2008 presidential race, Indian issues are getting the attention of the major parties' candidates.

Republican John McCain has decades of experience with Indian concerns as a senator from Arizona, which is home to 15 Indian reservations. He serves on the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.

In a position paper on Native American policy, McCain promises to protect "tribal sovereignty and the unique government-to-government relationship with Indian tribes." He emphasizes stronger law enforcement, economic development and expanded health care benefits on Indian reservations.

Democrat Barack Obama also promises respect for tribal sovereignty, and would allocate more money for Indian health care. Also, he says he would appoint a policy adviser on American Indian affairs to his senior White House staff.

During a campaign appearance in Wyoming, Obama said: "Native Americans are at the bottom of every social indicator: life expectancy, infant mortality, substance abuse, unemployment, suicide. It is heartbreaking. It is rooted in our tragic past, and that's why we have a special obligation to deal with it now."

As American Indians mobilize to vote, they will remember the candidates' promises; after the election, they will hold the victors accountable.

Source: U.S. Department of State

Source URL:

This Week from Indian Country Today

By the Native numbers
DENVER - Top party officials say this year's Democratic National Convention is the most diverse in party history and American Indians are playing a central role in many key positions.
more >>

Featured Stories

Briggs: New tack for Indian health care
Tallbear: 'Exceptionalism' narrative doesn't jive
Newcomb: Above all: Kumeyaay water rights affirmed
Caucus leaves attack on GOP lobbying to states
By the Native numbers
Native nonprofit to focus on green-collar careers
Metlakatla withdraws Class II gaming application, ending precedent threat

Lead Editorial

Long way to go yet
Posted: August 29, 2008
Editors Report / Indian Country Today
The mission of Team Obama at the Democratic National Convention was threefold: to ''introduce'' the candidate and his running mate to the country; to project party unity in the aftermath of the bruising primary battle between Sen. Barak Obama and rival Sen. Hillary Clinton; and to convince moderates and independents that voting for Sen. John McCain is essentially a vote for President George W. Bush.
more >>

Special Focus

Authorities uncertain when to reopen Supai village
Posted: August 22, 2008
The Associated Press /
By Chris Kahn -- Associated Press PHOENIX (AP) - It's uncertain when American Indians living at the bottom of the Grand Canyon will be able to return home as thunderstorms continued to soak a region where flooding forced the evacuation of scores of people, authorities said Aug. 18. more >>

News from Indianz.Com

29 Aug 2008: Native News from

CDC: Twelve Percent Of Native American Deaths Alcohol Related (WASHINGTON, DC) -- Almost 12 percent of deaths among American Indians are alcohol-related, more than three times the rate in the general U.S. population, a federal survey has found.

Native American Battle Plan with Alcoholism (NORTH DAKOTA) -- Alcohol kills thousands of people every year, through things like car crashes and liver disease. A new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds Native Americans are four times more likely than the rest of the population to suffer an alcohol-related death.

Alcohol's deadly toll on Indians in U.S. and Oklahoma (OKLAHOMA) -- To Caron Yellowfish, it's no surprise that nearly 12 percent of all deaths among American Indians are alcohol-related, which is what figures contained in a new study from the Centers for Disease Control show.

Wealth of tribes factor in U.S. presidential politics (USA) -- Wealth means political influence in the United States, and the new wealth coming in from the gaming industry is making some tribes wealthy.

Caucus leaves attack on GOP lobbying to states (DENVER) -- Members of the Democratic National Committee's Native American caucus have backed off plans to directly call for condemnation of the Republican Party and Sen. John McCain over issues related to lobbying. The fight, instead, will be left to state party officials.

American Indian Vote Will Be a Factor in Several Swing States (USA) -- Across the center of the United States, from the Great Plains to the Rocky Mountains, efforts are under way to register and educate American Indian voters for the November general election.

Kickin' it in the blogosphere (DENVER) -- When I took a job with the Navajo Times four years ago, I figured I'd spend most of my time bumping around dirt roads in my pickup truck.

Honoring the Code (DENVER) -- The Democratic National Convention is historic because for the first time, an African American candidate received a major party nomination to run for president of the United States.

Tallbear: 'Exceptionalism' narrative doesn't jive (CALIFORNIA) -- On May 19 at Crow Agency, Mont., Barack Obama received a Crow name that translates as ''One who helps people throughout the land'' [Indian Country Today, Vol. 27, Iss. 51]. He then committed, if president, to fulfill tribal treaty obligations: a fitting promise for a candidate who has the ''audacity of hope.''

Indians hold special hopes for Obama (DENVER) -- On the day when Sen. Barack Obama would formally accept his party's nomination, many tribal members said their pride was overflowing - and not just because the senator from Illinois is the first person of color who's managed to become a serious contender for the world's top position.

More headlines...

29 Aug 2008: Today's Democracy Now!

In Front of Record Convention Crowd, Obama Accepts Democratic Nomination
Senator Barack Obama accepted the Democratic Party’s nomination last night before a record convention crowd of over 84,000 at Invesco Field in Denver, becoming the first major party African American presidential nominee in US history. Obama’s nomination speech came on the forty-fifth anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech at the March on Washington. We play an excerpt of his address. [includes rush transcript]

Rep. John Lewis, Rosey Grier, Wendell Pierce and Many More React to Obama Nomination from Stadium Floor
Democracy Now! goes to the Mile High Stadium, where Barack Obama addressed more than 84,000 people in the largest crowd at a Democratic convention in US history, surpassing John F. Kennedy’s acceptance in 1960 at the L.A. Coliseum. An estimated 25 million people watched Obama on TV. We get reactions from the endless lines outside to the stands of spectators to the delegates on the stadium floor. [includes rush transcript]

Michael Eric Dyson Puts Obama's Address in Historical Context
We discuss the significance of Barack Obama’s historic presidential nomination acceptance speech at the Democratic convention with Michael Eric Dyson, a professor at Georgetown University, where he teaches theology, English and African American studies. He is also an ordained Baptist minister and the author of sixteen books, including April 4, 1968: Martin Luther King Jr.’s Death and How It Changed America and Come Hell or High Water: Hurricane Katrina and the Color of Disaster. [includes rush transcript]

Obama Launches Sharp Assault on McCain, Bush in Acceptance Speech
In his historic acceptance speech, Sen. Barack Obama launched a sharp assault on Republican presidential rival John McCain and President Bush. Obama accepted the Democratic Party’s nomination before a record crowd of over 84,000 at Invesco Field in Denver. [includes rush transcript]

Reactions to Obama Speech from the Stands of Spectators to Delegates on the Stadium Floor
Part II of our interviews with spectators and delegates inside Mile High Stadium in Denver, where Barack Obama addressed more than 84,000 people in the largest crowd at a Democratic convention in US history. [includes rush transcript]

Hundreds of Denver Residents in Historic African American Five Points Neighborhood Gather to Watch Obama Speech
While Barack Obama spoke before over 84,000 people at Invesco Field, many residents of Denver gathered elsewhere in the city to watch his speech. Democracy Now! goes to the historic African American neighborhood of Five Points to get reaction from residents who converged to watch a live telecast in a tent set up by the organizers of the Denver Jazz and Blues Festival. [includes rush transcript]

Friday, August 29, 2008

Barack Obama Accepts Nomination at the 2008 DNC

Barack Obama spoke to an audience of 84,000 at Mile High Stadium, on August 28, 2008 in Denver, CO.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

An Historic Day at the DNC: Schedule for Thursday, 28 Aug 2008

Time Shown as local – Denver, Colorado MST

3:00 PM – 5:00 PM (LOCAL)

Live Performances (before gavel)
Yonder Mountain String Band Performance
Jeff Austin, Adam Aijala, Ben Kaufmann, Dave Johnston

Voter Registration Presentation

The Honorable Luis Gutierrez
Member of the US House of Representatives, Illinois

David Plouffe
Obama Campaign Manager

Ray Rivera
Obama State Director, Colorado

Call to Order
The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Permanent Chair, Democratic National Convention
Member and Speaker of the US House of Representatives, California

Rabbi David Saperstein
Director, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism – Washington, DC

Presentation of Colors
Disabled American Veterans

Pledge of Allegiance
Shawn Johnson
US Olympic Gymnast

National Anthem
Jennifer Hudson
Academy award-winning singer and Broadway performer

Elbra Wedgeworth
President/Chair, Denver Host Committee

Presentation of Resolutions
Democratic National Committee Vice-Chairs
Mark Brewer
The Honorable Linda Chavez-Thompson
The Honorable Mike Honda
The Honorable Lottie Shackelford
Susan Turnbull

Honorable Bill Ritter, Jr.
Governor of Colorado

The Honorable Ed Perlmutter
Member of the US House of Representatives, Colorado

The Honorable John Salazar
Member of the US House of Representatives, Colorado

The Honorable Diana DeGette
Member of the US House of Representatives, Colorado

5:00 PM – 6:00 PM (LOCAL)

Video & Remarks
The Honorable Howard Dean
Former Governor of Vermont
Chair of the Democratic Party

Video & Remarks: Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King
The Honorable John Lewis
Member of the US House of Representatives, Georgia
Rev. Bernice King
Daughter of the late Dr. King
Martin Luther King III
Oldest son of the late Dr. King

The Honorable Bill Richardson
Governor, New Mexico

Live Performances
Accompanied by John Legend (piano), Agape Choir, and band

Sheryl Crow

Ray Rivera
Obama State Director, Colorado

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM (LOCAL)

The Honorable Jan Schakowsky
Member of the US House of Representatives, Illinois

The Honorable Mark Udall
Member of the US House of Representatives, Colorado

The Honorable Tim Kaine
Governor of Virginia

Live Performance
Stevie Wonder

The Honorable Al Gore
Former Vice President of the United States

7:00 PM - 8:00 PM (LOCAL)

John Kuniholm
Wounded Iraq veteran

Live Performance
Michael McDonald

Susan Eisenhower
Granddaughter of President Dwight D. Eisenhower

Retired Generals Tribute
Air Force Maj. Gen. J. Scott Gration (Ret)
Accompanied by additional generals

American Voices Program
Roy Gross
Monica Early
Wes Moore
Janet Lynn Monacco
Nate Fick
Teresa Asenap
Pamela Cash-Roper
Barney Smith

The Honorable Dick Durbin
US Senator, Illinois

8:00 PM – 9:00 PM (LOCAL)


Pastor Joel Hunter
Senior Pastor of Northland in Central Florida

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Permanent Chair, Democratic National Convention

28 Aug 2008: Native News from

Obama Wins Nomination; Biden and Bill Clinton Rally Party (DENVER) -- Barack Hussein Obama, a freshman senator who defeated the first family of Democratic Party politics with a call for a fundamentally new course in politics, was nominated by his party today to be the 44th president of the United States.

In Historic Vote, Obama Officially Claims Democratic Nomination (DENVER) -- Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) was formally nominated as the Democratic Party's presidential candidate today, making him the first African American to be placed one step from the White House.

Former President Makes the Case for Obama (DENVER) -- At first, it seemed, it might be all about Bill and yesteryear. The former president strode onto the stage Wednesday night to his old campaign theme song " Don't Stop (thinking about tomorrow)" and bathing in the glow of a standing ovation that went on so long and loud that he had to finally confess "I love this."

Energy issues fuel Schweitzer's convention speech (DENVER) -- John McCain's record on solving the energy crisis is harming America's move to energy independence and probably will cost the country more than 100,000 jobs, Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer told Democratic National Convention delegates Tuesday.

South Dakota singer to perform at Democratic Convention today (SOUTH DAKOTA) -- Robert Moore, South Dakota singer and elected council member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, sings the National Anthem at 4 p.m. Central Standard Time today during the Democratic National Convention at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colo.

United Tribes College president speaks (NORTH DAKOTA) -- The president of United Tribes Technical College told delegates to the Democratic National Convention that American Indians are not just another special interest group.

Indians in Denver (DENVER) -- Funny I never noticed this when I was growing up here, but there are Indians all over the place in Denver. Most of them are painted on walls.

Democratic convention plans Native Hawaiian recognition (DENVER) -- It is only one paragraph in the draft of the Democratic Party platform, at the end of a statement about tribal sovereignty and before a section about the United States territories, but it could be meaningful for Native Hawaiians.

More headlines...

News from Indianz.Com

Judge to hold first hearing after Cobell decision (8/28)

Blog: Still no discipline for top officials at OST (8/28)

White Earth chair works on Indian policy at DNC (8/28)

Arapaho man denied time to deliver votes at DNC (8/28)

Blog: Rosebud Sioux leader delivers proud moment (8/28)

Opinion: No one pays attention to Indians at DNC (8/28)

Shakopee Tribe among biggest donors in Minnesota (8/28)

Law enforcement an issue on Pine Ridge Reservation (8/28)

Pueblo leader denies wrongdoing on tobacco (8/28)

Border agent sues Ford over reservation accident (8/28)

Surgeon General promotes health to Navajo youth (8/28)

Leech Lake Band declares health care crisis (8/28)

Sentencing for ex-Oglala Sioux leader delayed (8/28)

Schaghticoke recognition appeal considered (8/28)

Spiritual leader of Oregon tribe resigns abruptly (8/28)

Editorial: Celebrate Native art at Totah Festival (8/28)

Highest court in Brazil weighs Indian rights case (8/28)

DOJ seeks reduction in sentence for Abramoff (8/28)

Sen. McCain to announce vice presidential pick (8/28)

Seneca Nation halts construction on casinos (8/28)

Artvoice: The soap opera over Seneca Nation casino (8/28)

California bill bans electronic bingo machines (8/28)

Union seeks to negotiate with Mashantucket Tribe (8/28) checks out California casinos (8/28)

Soo Tribe's commercial casino debuts expansion (8/28)

More headlines...

28 Aug 2008: Today's Democracy Now!

In Historic Move, Democrats Nominate Obama as Presidential Nominee
The formal nomination makes Barack Obama the first African American major party candidate in US history. The historic moment came after Senator Hillary Clinton walked onto the floor of the convention hall and asked Democratic delegates to suspend their count and approve Obama’s nomination by acclamation. [includes rush transcript]

Actor, Activist Danny Glover on Challenges for Popular Movements in an Historic Election Year
Actor, filmmaker and a well-known political activist Danny Glover talks about the challenges ahead for activists, regardless of who wins the White House this November. And on the eve of the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Glover talks about “Trouble the Water”, a new documentary he executive-produced.

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin Walks Out of Screening of Katrina Documentary "Trouble the Water"
Five minutes into a screening of the new documentary “Trouble the Water”, New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin walked out of the theater. Democracy Now! producer Anjali Kamat reports.

EXCLUSIVE: House Oversight Chair Henry Waxman Calls for Cancellation of Blackwater's Contract in Iraq
In an exclusive interview with Democracy Now! correspondent Jeremy Scahill, Congressman Henry Waxman, chair of the powerful House Oversight and Government Reform Committee calls on Sen. Barack Obama to cancel the private military firm Blackwater’s Iraq contract if Obama is elected president. Serious questions remain about what Obama will do with this massive private, shadow army in Iraq.

Biden Accepts Democratic VP Nomination
Sen. Joseph Biden headlined the third night at the convention as he accepted the vice-presidential nomination. Biden accepted the nomination with a speech that linked Republican John McCain to the foreign policies of President Bush. We play highlights of his address. [includes rush transcript]

Ralph Nader on the Democrats' Corporate Ties, the Silencing of Third Parties, and Why Biden is the "MasterCard Senator"
While Sen. Barack Obama made a surprise appearance at the Democratic National Convention in Denver last night, he was not the only presidential contender in town. Independent candidate Ralph Nader held a rally Wednesday at the University of Denver calling for an end to the corporate control over the presidential debates. When Obama selected Joe Biden to be his running mate, Nader dubbed Biden the “MasterCard Senator” because of his close ties to the credit card industry. [includes rush transcript–partial]

Iraq Veterans Against the War Lead Thousands in Protest March to Democratic Convention
Protests against the Democratic National Convention continued Wednesday as members of Iraq Veterans Against the War led an unpermitted march to the Pepsi Center to call on Barack Obama to back an immediate U.S. withdrawal from Iraq. The march began at a concert by the rock band Rage Against the Machine sponsored by IVAW and the Alliance for Real Democracy. Rick Rowley of Big Noise Films files a report from the streets.

Melissa Harris-Lacewell Urges Obama to Draw on Political Rhetoric of African-American Women Like Hamer, Chisolm & Jordan
The Democratic Party is preparing to pay tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King today ahead of Barack Obama’s nomination speech. While Obama is expected to reference King’s speech tonight, one of his longtime supporters is urging him to also draw on the political rhetoric of African-American women including Fannie Lou Hamer, Ella Baker, Barbara Jordan and Shirley Chisholm. We speak with Melissa Harris-Lacewell.

Poverty Is the Real Scandal

Poverty Is the Real Scandal
Posted on Aug 27, 2008
By Amy Goodman

DENVER—Former Sen. John Edwards was supposed to speak in Denver at the Democratic National Convention. His wife, Elizabeth Edwards, was to speak also. Poverty was their focus. But they are not here because John Edwards had an affair. Will the Democrats now forget about poverty?

Chris Chafe is a former senior adviser to the Edwards campaign. He is now the executive director of the Change to Win coalition, the group of unions well known for their early endorsement of Obama. They split from the AFL-CIO in 2005. I asked Chafe about the absence of Edwards and his message at the convention:

“We miss him being here. He is an important voice in our party. ... It is certainly a loss. ... We have to look within ourselves in a moment of crisis when we have somebody of symbolic and strong value and leadership who takes a fall ... we have to continue moving forward with all of the values, strengths, priorities and leadership that he brought to the race, we have to carry that forward ... far beyond this election season.”

Change to Win supports the unionization of workers at Wal-Mart. Last month, The Wall Street Journal revealed that Wal-Mart has been warning managers that a Barack Obama victory would lead to unionization. In recent weeks, thousands of Wal-Mart store managers and department heads have been summoned to mandatory meetings discussing the downside of unionization and told that a vote for Obama is tantamount to inviting unions in. Chafe said: “The company had been holding what we would consider captive-audience meetings where they are on company time, they are paid but they are required to go to meetings. ... This is going beyond the normal routine of intimidation. Now they are trying to deny workers rights at the ballot box, and that is something we felt we could not allow to take place and had to let the world know this is happening in the country’s largest employer. ... You are not allowed to tell your employees how they are supposed to vote. It is the most sacred right in our democracy.” Change to Win and others have filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission, challenging Wal-Mart’s actions.

During the primaries in the blue-collar battleground states, Obama effectively pointed out that Hillary Clinton served on the Wal-Mart board for six years, implying an anti-worker, anti-union association. Shortly after she dropped out of the race, however, the Obama campaign appointed Jason Furman as a senior economics adviser. Furman has rankled labor activists, writing that the benefits of Wal-Mart’s low prices outweigh its low wages. On that appointment, Chafe said, “We’ve met privately with [Obama] about it, and we’ve met privately with Jason. The senator brought Jason on to manage the day-to-day war-room operations of their message to illustrate contrast with [John] McCain. ... We made it clear, as did the senator, that there were certainly differences of viewpoint between he and Jason on a series of issues. We believe that Barack Obama has stood firm and clear on our agenda and the [Wal-Mart] workers’ agenda.”

On low prices trumping low wages, Chafe chafed: “Absolute hogwash ... Wal-Mart gets a pass because they pass along savings, they are passing along poverty. Poverty to workers across the world who are producing their goods. Poverty to the people that are working in their stores representing them who are trying to make a living, many of whom probably have multiple jobs to afford to raise their families. ... You name it, they find every way to cut corners and cut their workers out of their success.”

The U.S. Census Bureau released a poverty report on Aug. 26. More than 37 million people are in poverty in the U.S. With Edwards iced out of the discussion, and free-trade economists advising the Obama campaign, the question remains: What of poverty?

Obama’s nomination acceptance speech comes on the 45th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” address. King related poverty and justice: “We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check—a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. ... Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy.”

Denis Moynihan contributed to this column.

Amy Goodman is the host of “Democracy Now!,” a daily international TV/radio news hour airing on more than 700 stations in North America.

Barack Obama Nominated by Acclamation

Native American Health Care Plan Hits a Snag

Native American Health Care Plan Hits a Snag
Wed, 08/27/2008 - 14:02
Length: 4:25 minutes (4.05 MB)
Format: Mono 44kHz 128Kbps (CBR)

For sixteen years now, Native American tribal leaders have fought for long-term federal funding for Indian healthcare programs. They celebrated a major breakthrough early this year when the Senate passed such a proposal. Since then, however, it's been stuck in the House. As Yanmei Xie reports, the monkey wrench in the machine is an abortion ban.

David Gipp addresses the DNC

August 26, 2008

David Gipp:

I’m a Hunkpapa Lakota from the Standing Rock Lakota and Dakota nation. I’m president of United Tribes Technical College in Bismarck, North Dakota. And I’m one of thousands of tribal citizens who support Senator Barack Obama for accepting tribal nations and their citizens into the future he sees for America.

We’re not another special interest group trying to claim a share of the American pie. We are, after all, the first Americans. We have claimed our place with land and blood. Our status as tribal sovereign nations is specifically recognized in the U.S. Constitution. Our rights as tribal nations to determine our destiny within our great United States should be protected and honored by our government. Our treaties with the U.S. are the supreme law of the land.

Every step you take across this great nation, every vista you admire, every city you call by its tribal name was once Indian Country. The places many of our tribal nations occupy unfortunately have had long histories of pockets of poverty, where the words “liberty and justice for all” have become empty words on a piece of paper. Our healthcare is a disaster. Our public schools need repair. Our law enforcement officers lack the resources to guarantee safety.

People in the Green Zone in Baghdad may be, indeed, safer than citizens in Indian Country. Yet we have never turned our back on America. Our tribal veterans have served in every one of this nation’s wars and conflicts in greater numbers per capita than any other ethnic group. We recently honored the late Woodrow Keeble of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Objawe, a hero of the Korean War who received the Medal of Honor. We never forget the sacrifices of our veterans and our elders.

We can only renew America’s promise when the first Americans are legitimate participants in framing the future of this country.

I urge you to look at the nation’s 37 tribal colleges and universities to help lead the way in renewing that promise for American Indians. These institutions provide tribal citizens with the skills they need to be vital contributors to society and to our culture. Tribal colleges are key to the renaissance in American Indian life. As we save our languages and rebuild over 550 tribal nations, American Indians are still here and we’re seeking justice for our people. We offer the strength of our spirituality and our connection with Mother Earth in renewing America’s promise for all. Let us remember the words of the great Lakota patriarch, Sitting Bull: Let us put our minds together and see what life we can make for our children.

Thank you. We are all related in every race, creed, and color. We are indeed all related.

MNN Kahnawake Mohawk Women Title Holders file Objection over Highway 30

Also posted on under "Kahnawake" category.

19.08.2008 15:54:21

MNN. Aug. 17, 2008. Someone is trying to plow under the Mohawks and our history. The three clans each had their villages around a river that bore the name of their clan. Bear River is Mount Royal which is now Montreal; Wolf River is Chateauguay to the west of Kahnawake; and Turtle River is St. Constant-Laprairie-Candiac to the east of Kahnawake. The fields contain dozens of Mohawk village and burial sites.

Quebec is building a mega highway through the territory of the Iroquois Confederacy known as the protectors of the "Eastern Door" of Turtle Island. The territory has never been surrendered. Yet the Quebec government is handing out permits to companies to build on our land without our consent. These companies use our land as collateral to raise money from the public, which is criminal fraud.

To stop a further invasion and breakdown of our community, the Women Title Holders of the Rotino'shonni:onwe [the voice of the people] served a "Notice of Objection" on Canada, Quebec, the colonially established Mohawk Council of Kahnawake and their agents.

The colonial band council headed by Mike Delisle [] has supported the super highway through the middle of Kahnawake in exchange for some land and "other undisclosed considerations" citing he had made a "gentlemen's agreement". Nothing is in writing. It looks like a business partnership between him and Quebec. The people erected a large sign on the proposed route stating "Mohawk Territory - No Trespassing". The Quebec Police have torn it down. Our people have gone out to the site to put it back up. The farmers of St-Constant have shown strong support for our cause.

"Farmers oppose Hwy. 30 expansion" by Stefan Christoff

For more info visit: Autoroute 30 au Nord

More news to come. Read the following "Notice of Objection". MNN Mohawk Nation News

NOTICE OF OBJECTION - August 17, 2008

Burial sites being desecrated and natural waterways being diverted

FROM: The Kanion'ke:haka/Mohawk Nation of the of the Rotino'shonni:onwe [Iroquois].

OBJECTION: To the development of Highway 30 through the territory of the northern protectors of the Iroquois Confederacy, the Kanion'ke:haka [Mohawk], who are the "Keepers of the Eastern Door". The entity known as " Quebec " is attempting to illegally build Highway 30 through the ancient community of Kahnawake. Old villages, burial sites and waterways are being destroyed or diverted. This development violates the Two Row Wampum, the Kaianereh'ko:wa [the Rotino'shonni:onwe constitution] and international law as it does not have the fully informed consent of the Kanion'ke:haka. The construction permits issued by the government of Quebec are illegal. Our land cannot be alienated. Quebec is encroaching on unsurrendered Kanion'ke:haka territory and using it as collateral to raise money to fund their businesses. This constitutes fraud. It will encourage a further invasion and breakdown of our solitary community for the benefit of a few.

TO: The colonial entities that are carrying on illegal activities, known as:
- "Canada";
- "Quebec government";
- Chenail Construction Brinco Quarry and others;
- "Mohawk Council of Kahnawake"; and
- Any and all their agents are all squatting on our territory.

The Mohawk Council of Kahnawake who gave permission to Quebec is a "band council", a colonial entity that is set up by the colonial entity known as "Canada". Its members have become Canadian citizens of "Indian" ancestry". They have no legal right to make any decisions on our unceded territory. Mike Delisle Jr., the band council chief, cannot make a "personal decision" or "gentleman's agreement" [!] to make secret deals or override the voice of the people. These foreign corporate franchises can never have title to or interest in our land;

RE: The attempt to illegally develop Highway 30 through the Kanion'ke:haka territory on the portion known as "Kahnawake" and surrounding settlements known as "St. Constant", "Delson" and "Candiac". This usurpation of our territory does not have the fully informed consent of the Kanion'ke:haka, violating international law.


According to Wampum 44 of the Kaianereh'ko:wa, the Great Law of Peace, we, the Kohtihon'tia:kwenio - Women Title Holders - are the caretakers of the land, water and air of "Onowaregeh" [Turtle Island]; and as trustees, our obligation is to preserve and protect the land for the future generations.

a)WHEREAS the foreign invaders cannot determine our identity. We are Haudenosaunee, Six Nations of Onowaregeh. According to the Two Row Wampum Agreement, it is illegal for colonial institutions like Canada, Quebec, the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake and their agents to violate internationally recognized principles of fundamental justice;

b)WHEREAS the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People has been adopted by a majority of 144 states; international law has affirmed that colonialism is dead, that all Indigenous peoples are to be treated as equals to all other peoples; and we accordingly claim our right to the full enjoyment as collectives and as individuals to all the human rights and fundamental freedoms that have been recognized in the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international law, including the right to self-determination and self-government without being subjected to forced assimilation or destruction of ourselves and our culture.

c)WHEREAS respect for our rights is entrenched in the constitution of Canada, the British North America Act, Sections 109 and 132;

d)WHEREAS the Charter of the United Nations has been signed by its members to resolve differences peacefully without using force. According to the July 7th 2008 decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal, the indigenous people have a right to freedom of speech and to demonstrate to protect our lands without hindrance;

e)WHEREAS Canada has ascribed to the internationally recognized standards for respecting political rights of the People as set out in the international Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Convention on the Prevention of Genocide, United Nations Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and other international legal instruments;

f)WHEREAS General Assembly Resolution 1541 (XV) requires the informed consent of the people before they are included in another state; and the international Court of Justice affirmed this Resolution in the Western Sahara case; and the Indigenous people never consented to be part of Canada;

g)WHEREAS Canada must abide by the international law principles that there can be no arbitrary encroachment on Indigenous peoples; ignoring the true Indigenous people is illegal; independent Indigenous peoples' rights must be respected and heeded; and our perspectives on the issues must not be ignored. Canada cannot legally deal with its band council system or other colonial entities on behalf of the true Indigenous People. We are independent sovereign people who must be dealt with as a nation.

h)WHEREAS the Kanion'ke:haka have a constitution. We cannot be governed by foreign laws that we have always resisted and we will continue to resist the usurpation of our territory and resources;

i)WHEREAS states must provide redress for violations of our rights through effective mechanisms; we hereby notify Canada, Quebec, the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake and all their agents that their attempt to build Highway 30 on the said part of our territory is unlawful and will be resisted. They must deal with the Women Title Holders who are the lawful owners of the territory through diplomatic relations.


Canada, Quebec, the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake and other colonial agents must cease and desist their attempts to violate our authority by building Highway 30; that they must deal with us as a nation as required under both our law and international law; that any individual or foreign entity wishing to discuss any issues between us must provide full information through the proper diplomatic channel, which is the Governor General of Canada, who has a duty to inform us.

We, the Kohtihon'tia:kwenio, brought this matter to the attention of Canada in an action in the Supreme Court of Canada - Kanion'ke:haka Kaianereh'ko:wa Kanon'sesneh v. Attorney General of Canada and her Majesty the Queen in Right of Ontario, Court File: 05-CV-030785. This case in effect acknowledged that Canada has no authority over us and our territory. We remain independent and sovereign.


1)The Women Title Holders will not tolerate the violations of our constitution, ancient customs, traditions, inherent rights and agreements by Canada, Quebec, the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake and its agents who are attempting to encroach on our territory. The colonists are breaking their own laws by openly desecrating our historic rivers and village sites and burial grounds. At least 8 sites have been found on the proposed route. Natural waterways are being diverted. No valid environmental studies have been carried out.

2)We invite Canada, Quebec, the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake and their agents to resolve our differences in a mature and peaceful way, by rediscovering and brightening the spirit of the Two Row Wampum and the Covenant Chain that began our international relationship centuries ago.

3)Should Canada, Quebec, the Mohawk Council of Kahnwake and their agents continue to breach our rights, we shall take the necessary measures available to us in the international arena to correct the injustices that have been committed against us.

4)It is unacceptable to abuse people on the basis of race, religion, nationality, belief or membership in a particular social group. We invite all members of the colonizing societies to become partners with us to end this cycle of abuse, stop enforcing illegal jurisdiction over us and our territory, halt the illegal construction of Highway 30 and extend dignity, equality and a voice to all peoples.


Karakwine /s/ ________________ Turtle Clan

Contact:; phone 514-458-4976; address - Box 2208, Kahnawake [Quebec Canada] J0L 1B0. Sent to: All media; Canada, Quebec; Queen Elizabeth II; United Nations, Six Nations Confederacy: Kanion'ke:haka [Mohawks] of Wahta, Six Nations, Tyendinaga, Akwesasne, Kahnawake, Kanehsatake, Ganienkeh and Kanatiohareke; stock exchanges;Ethnoscop; Chateauguay and St. Constant Historical Societies; Cities of Montreal, Chateauguay, St. Constant, Laprairie, Delson, St. Catherine; Governor General of Canada; Minister of Indian Affairs.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Native voices were heard in alternative venues at the DNC

Photos by Carol Berry -- Native issues were at the forefront outside the high-security Democratic National Convention as activists gathered to raise their voices and their multicolored banners against losses of land and freedom. The alternative events began Aug. 24 outside Colorado's gold-domed capitol with an ''End the Occupation'' antiwar march to the central convention site at the Pepsi Center and continued Aug. 25 with a ''Free Political Prisoners'' march from Civic Center Park in downtown Denver to the federal courthouse.

Denver to the federal courthouse.Native voices were heard in alternative venues at the DNC
Indian Country Today
August 26, 2008
Carol Berry

DENVER - Native issues were at the forefront outside the high-security Democratic National Convention as activists gathered to raise their voices and their multicolored banners against losses of land and freedom.

But American Indian groups were set apart from others on at least one basic point.

''Right here it's still occupied Indian land - they're profiting off the misery of Indian people,'' said a member of Savage Family, a Native hip hop resistance group that travels nationwide. ''Even these protesters have no idea they are protesting on stolen land - and they don't care.''

The alternative events began Aug. 24 outside Colorado's gold-domed capitol with an ''End the Occupation'' antiwar march to the central convention site at the Pepsi Center and continued Aug. 25 with a ''Free Political Prisoners'' march from Civic Center Park in downtown Denver to the federal courthouse.

Riot-clad police lined the routes and mounted police were at several locations, where both horses and riders wore protective face-gear. Although only minor scuffles occurred during the day Aug. 25, a major confrontation took place in the evening at Civic Center Park between police and predominantly non-Native anarchists.

''There wouldn't be a corporate America'' if it had not been for the use of resources extracted from Native nations' lands, said Ward Churchill, a scholar and former ethnic studies professor at the University of Colorado, who addressed the initial rally.

Churchill has long been an outspoken proponent of the Native point of view in U.S. history and is a member of the American Indian Movement. His remarks about 9/11 as blowback from U.S. foreign policy drew the ire of CU, which later fired him for alleged research misconduct.

Describing an ''ongoing war against the indigenous population'' of this country, he drew parallels between the massacre of Native people and the killing of civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan. The occupation of Native North America is ''here in Denver - not half a world away,'' he said.

The next day, Savage Family's lyrics fueled a 10-block march from Civic Center Park to the federal courthouse and a rally for Native issues and political prisoners.

''We want to give youth a voice and be a voice for them in the meantime,'' said a Savage Family member. ''Our children right now are dying. They're saying, 'I don't want to live' and they may kill themselves. But our future is through them.''

Suicide, over-medication, substance abuse and other problems plague youth on reservations and the reasons are many; but in part, it is because in some reservation communities ''youth are despised'' and there is no one to listen to them, the member said.

''We want to represent the voice of people held hostage in our homeland,'' he said, noting ''Savage Family'' is a code of conduct and an acronym for ''Standing against a Violent Adversary in Genocidal Environments/Forever Always Movement.''

Others who participated in the rally included Ann-Erika White Bird, Sicangu Lakota, who gave a spoken word presentation, and Josh Dillabaugh, Lakota, Cheyenne River, S.D.

''All Indian people are prisoners within the imperialistic United States,'' Dillabaugh said. ''We need to stand up in an effort to ask people to assure justice for Indian people.''

Shannon Francis, Hopi-Dine, of Colorado AIM, said she has worked many years in Denver's Indian community and is ''spread pretty thin,'' but is concerned for Native children, and said of her own, ''I'm not going to teach them the fairytales they teach them in school.''

She said her children know about Leonard Peltier, who has ''become a legend.''

''If something happens to Leonard Peltier in prison, it's probably going to take that for our people to take action,'' she said.

Peltier was convicted in 1977 in the murder of two FBI agents on Pine Ridge Reservation, S.D., and sentenced to two consecutive life sentences. Now 63, he has spent nearly 33 years in prison.

The moderator for the second-day rally, Natsu Saito, an activist and law professor, said she often uses the case of Peltier in her classes to show the inadequacy of credible evidence in his trial.

Ben Carnes, Choctaw, read a statement from Peltier, Anishinabe/Lakota/Dakota, who is in a federal penitentiary in Lewisburg, Pa., that said in part:

''When I think of the things that I hear and see in the media, about how many different special interest groups speak of various subjects, like the right to live - or pro-life - I can't help but think of the children around the world, who never get a chance to live because of the exploitation of their resources of their country and their people.

''All of the destruction that is taking place here and abroad is a direct result of people, special interest groups, whose interest is primarily wealth and taking more than they need.''

Other speakers on both days were from a variety of antiwar, protest and environmental groups.