(These are national news stories that I have found and clipped
to post here for your information. Follow the "next" image thru
the archives to 11 June 1999)
U.S.-Rights: Sacred Native American Sites
Inter Press Service
LAGUNA, New Mexico, (Jun. 15) IPS - Many areas of the United
States considered holy by Native Americans -- from sacred valleys to traditional
burial grounds -- are under threat by proposed mining projects and nuclear
dumps. Federal laws, aimed at protecting sites of religious or historic
significance, often are being overlooked if the place exists on mineral-rich
land, say participants at the Indigenous Environmental Network Conference held
here last week.
"The mining laws of the United States are stronger than the laws
that protect Native American religious rights," says Roland Manakaja, director
of the Havasupai Natural Resource Department Native American groups have been
meeting annually at these conferences for the past 10 years to discuss
environmental and land rights issues.
On the Havasupai reservation in Arizona located near the famous
Grand Canyon, tribal leaders say plans to mine for uranium near threatens their
sacred site of a sunset colored land formation known as Red Butte. "The mining
threatens not only our sacred land but also tourism as well," says Manakaja.
After nearly a decade of legal battles between the of Forest
Service, the US Supreme Court and tribal leader, the federal government
eventually approved the uranium mine. Luckily for the Havasupai, even with
government approval, the company, Energy Fuels Nuclear Incorporated, says it
currently has no plans to begin operations since the demand for uranium is
declining. But proposals to mine for radioactive uranium on Mount Taylor, where
the conference was held, would desecrate the peak considered holy by several
Native American groups in the southwestern United States, says John Redhouse of
the Navajo Dine indigenous group.
"Mount Taylor is considered sacred to four tribes: the Acoma,
Laguna, Navajo, Zuni," he says. "It is one of the four holy mountains of the
At the conference -- attended by 1,000 indigenous people from
around the world -- a series of about 20 signs displayed the names of different
U.S. sites that Native American groups consider "endangered."
In another part of New Mexico, Indian tribes such as the Hopi,
Havasupai and Navajo -- are fighting plans to expand a pumice mine in the
Coconino National Forest, located in the northern Arizona. The pumice is used to
make fashionable "stone-washed" blue jeans and lightweight concrete.
While groups consider the mountains -- known as the San Francisco
Peaks -- sacred, the land falls under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Forest
Service which has approved expansion of the local small mining company Tufflite
Inc. "It really comes down to which is more important to the Forest Service: the
health of the land or the manufacture of soft faded blue jeans," declares
Vincent Randall, chairman of the Yavapai-Apache Nation. "It is our hope that our
grandchildren will not have more faded blue jeans than green forests," he says
in a letter to the state's forest service.
In 1994, the Network's conference was held in the northern state
of Wisconsin on Mole Lake, a body of water considered holy by the Chippewa
tribe. The site is downstream from a proposed zinc-copper mine to be operated by
the Canadian mining company Rio Algom. "The mine is upstream from the nearby
wild rice beds of the Mole Lake and the sacred Wolf River that flows through the
Menominee nation, another Native American tribe," says Zoltan Grossman with the
Midwest Treaty Network, which works to support the land rights of Native
In the gold-rich state of Nevada, mining on territories claimed by
the Western Shoshone tribe has made permanent changes to the landscape, leaving
open pits where mountains once stood and artificial mountains where there were
Corbin Harney, a member of the Western Shoshone which call
themselves "Newe", says historical and cultural sites, including burial areas,
have been excavated or destroyed without the group's permission if mineral
riches lay beneath the soil.
"One of our responsibilities is to protect our ancestors, protect
their graves," says Harney. "We can't just go out there and dig them out and
move them someplace else -- this makes a lot of our elders back home angry
because things like this are happening all over no matter where you go," he
There have been some success stories in the fight to protect
sacred sites. On the Mojave Indian Reservation located at the crux between the
three states of California, Nevada and Arizona, plans to place a low-level
radioactive storage facility in the sacred area, known as Ward Valley, have been
A coalition of tribal leaders and environmentalists have been
occupying Ward Valley since February to prevent the waste from nuclear reactors
from being stored on the site. "This has been a sacred area for us for
centuries," says Wally Antone, the Ward Valley Coordinator of the Mojave Indian
Tribe. "Our ancestors were cremated here.""
The valley is also critical habitat for the endangered desert
tortoise, which is also considered sacred by the Mojave people and appears in
many of the tribes myths and legends, according to Bradley Angel, director of
California-based Greenaction, an environmental organization.
"From an environmental point of view, the waste should not be
stored here," says Angel. "The dump would be right above the aquifer that
filters into the Colorado River which is a drinking and agricultural water
source for more than 20 million people," he says.
The new governor of California, Gray Davis, is reportedly against
the proposed dump, yet Angel warns that even though the construction of the
facility has been halted, total victory has not been achieved.
Tribes Seek to Put Big Tobacco on Hot Seat
AP - 16-JUN-99 (Albuquerque, New Mexico-AP) -- More American
Indian tribes are going after Big Tobacco.
Thirty-four tribes, mostly from the West and Midwest, are expected
to file suit today in New Mexico. They accuse the industry of deliberately
The move comes less than two weeks after 20 tribes filed a (b)
billion-dollar federal suit in San Francisco. They charge they were left out of
the 200 (b) billion-dollar settlement reached between states and the industry
last year. The new lawsuit seeks an end to tobacco ads geared toward attracting
Indian teens. Attorneys say damages could reach into the billions of dollars.
Copyright 1999& The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
Indian Tribes Expected to File Tobacco Lawsuit
AP - 16-JUN-99
The 34 American Indian tribes that were to file a lawsuit today
against 14 tobacco companies, by state, tribe and location:
Robinson Rancheria, Nice
Grand Traverse Reservation, Sutton Bay
Little Traverse Bay Bands Reservation, Petoskey
Sault Ste. Marie Reservation, Sault Ste. Marie
Red Lake Band Reservation, Red Lake
Eastern Shawnee Reservation, Seneca
Fort Peck Reservation, Poplar
Santee Sioux Nation, Niobrara
Duckwater Reservation, Duckwater
Fallon Colony & Reservation, Fallon
Lovelock County, Lovelock
Yerinton Colony & Reservation, Yerington
Acoma Pueblo, Acomita
Isleta Pueblo, Isleta
Laguna Pueblo, Laguna
Picuris Pueblo, Penasco
Zia Pueblo, Zia Pueblo
Zuni Pueblo, Zuni
Turtle Mountain Reservation, Belcourt
Trenton Indian Service Area, Trenton
Chickasaw Nation, Ada
Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, Durant
Iowa Reservation, Perkins
Pawnee Tribe, Pawnee
Seminole Tribe of Oklahoma, Wewoka
Klamath Reservation, Chiloquin
Confederate Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation, Pendleton
Ogalala Sioux Nation, Pine Ridge
Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation, Eagle Butte
Rosebud Reservation, Rosebud
Confederate Tribes of the Goshute Reservation, Ibapah
Quileute Indian Reservation, La Push
Bad River Reservation, Odanah
St. Croix Chippewa Reservation, Hertel
Copyright 1999& The Associated Press.
The Latest South Dakota News from
Tuesday, June 15, 1999
Double-Murder Investigation Continues
(PINE RIDGE) -- F-B-I officials continue to investigate a double
murder on the Pine Ridge reservation. F-B-I agents were called in last Tuesday
after the discovery of two bodies more than a milesouth of Pine Ridge. Police
have identified the two men as Wilson Black Elk and Ronald Hard Heart. Agents
say evidence of foul play was found atthe scene.
Ground Broken For Visitor Center
(DEADWOOD) -- The Crazy Horse Memorial in Deadwood has broken
ground on a new, more than 40-Million- dollar visitor center.The mountain
carving near Custer attracts Millions of visitors each year. Original plans
called for a smaller visitor center, but officials decided only last week that a
larger center was both necessary and more cost effective. The new center will be
the first stop for visitors to the mountain and will contain two theaters,
displays, a Native-American museum, meeting rooms, and other facilities.
Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited.
Disaster Relief Office Opens
Senator Tom Daschle will be opening an office in Pine Ridge today
to help the area recover from the devastating tornadoes.His temporary office
will be located in the Lands Committee office in Pine Ridge and his staff will
be available to answer questions about federal disaster assistance relief.
President Clinton declared the region a disaster area last Wednesday, opening
the way for much-needed federal assistance to help with immediate and long-term
recovery efforts. The aid will include assistance for displaced families in
Oglala and other areas that need temporary housing and help with immediate
expenses. It will also help communities repair damaged buildings and
infrastructure and assist in long-term economic recovery efforts.
Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited.All rights reserved.
Michael Apted Named Recipient of Ida Career Achievement
LOS ANGELES, June 14 /PRNewswire/ --
Michael Apted will receive the 1999 International Documentary
Association (IDA)Career Achievement Award here during the IDA Distinguished
Documentary Achievement Awards gala on October 29th.
"Michael Apted has earned the respect of his peers for his
willingness to tackle controversial and challenging subjects, and he does it
with integrity and flair," says IDA President David Haugland. "His work has made
a deep and lastingimpression."
Apted joins the ranks of such former IDA Career Achievement
recipients as Walter Cronkite, Jacques Yves Cousteau, Fred Friendly, Henry
Hampton, John Hendricks, Albert Maysles, Bill Moyers, Sheila Nevins, Ted Turner
and David Wolper. His documentary credits include such landmark films as "Moving
the Mountain," "Incident at Oglala," "The Long Way Home," "Bring on the Night"
Apted is a multi-dimensional filmmaker with a diverse body of
work. In "Inspirations" Apted visits with seven great artists who reveal what
inspired them, which he followed up withanother film in the same vein about
seven scientists. "Incident at 0glala" focuses on Native American activist
Leonard Peltier whohas been imprisoned on a murder charge since the 1970s.
"Moving the Mountain" chronicles the events leading up to the 1989 massacre on
Tianamen Square and its aftermath. The centerpiece of his documentary work is a
series of films Apted began shooting in 1963 tracking the lives of 14 British
school children at seven-year intervals. The films, "7 Up," "14 Up," "28 Up" and
"35 Up," earned the English equivalent of Oscars(R) from the British Academy of
Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), an international Emmy(R) and an IDA
Distinguished Documentary Achievement Award. The series continued when "42 Up"
was aired by BBC last July.
Apted has also compiled an impressive list of creditsas a
narrative film director, including "Coal Miner's Daughter," "Continental
Divide," "Gorky Park," "Gorillas in the Mist," "Class Action," "Thunderheart,"
"Blink," "Nell," and "Extreme Measures," and he is currently working on "The
World Is Not Enough," the 19th in a series of James Bond movies. IDA Executive
Director Betsy A. McLane observes that Apted is a great role model for young
filmmakers because he has proven you can be a successful narrative director and
still make important contributions to the documentary form.
"I'm touched and thrilled by this acknowledgement," Apted says.
"I've tried to make adifference with the documentaries, but maybe that's asking
too much of a film. Sometimes we are only able to create ripples, but that
doesn't mean it wasn't worth making those films."
The IDA Distinguished Documentary Achievement Awards were
inaugurated in 1985 and have been sponsored by Kodak since their inception.
"Documentary filmmakers are the eyes, ears and conscience of the
world," says Michael Zakula, Kodak's liaisonwith IDA. "They show us who we are
and what we stand for, and create enduring records of our times, captured on
film for posterity. We are proud to play a role in encouraging and recognizing
the pursuit of excellence. Michael Apted is proof that one dedicated and
talented person can make a difference."
Apted was born in England in 1941. He studied law and history at
Cambridge University. Apted began his career as a researcher at Granada
Television, where he became an investigative reporter and director for the
newsmagazine World in Action. He subsequently received BAFTA awards for "The
Lovers," a comedy series, "Folly Foot," a children's episodic program and
another for best director for "Kisses at 50." Apted has compiled more than
"Every time I direct a documentary, I learn things which help me
with my fiction film," says Apted. "There are also times when I use narrative
techniques in documentaries. There is nothing wrong with that as long as you
tell the truth. Truth hasnothing to do with the techniques you use. Every cut,
camera angle and lens choice is an interpretation of reality. Truth is about the
honor of the filmmaker." Apted says he will use the IDA Career Achievement Award
as a platform for encouraging young filmmakers to persist in following their
dreams. He notes that it is very difficult getting support to produce
documentaries that are seen by the public. "I am committed to keeping this
struggle alive," he says. "Fortunately, there is a deep pool of talented people
who have the will to persist. When student filmmakers ask me what it takes to
succeed, my answer is don't wait for something to happen. Make it happen. You
can find ways to make meaningful documentaries with limited resources."
IDA was founded in 1982 as a not-for-profit membership
organization. It has some 2,000 members in 25 countries. The organization
provides a global forum for the exchange of ideas, and it acts as an advocate
for the rights of documentary filmmakers.
For more information about the IDA Distinguished Documentary
Achievement Awards, contact the IDA at 1551 S. Robertson, #201, Los Angeles,
Calif. 90035-4257, or call 310/284-8422 ext. 26, or fax 310/785-9334 or e-mail:
email@example.com . An entry form can also be found on the Internet at the IDA
website located atwww.documentary.org.
(c) 1999 Cable News Network, Inc. A Time WarnerCompany
HHS Approves Child Welfare Demonstration for New
WASHINGTON, June 14 /U.S. Newswire/ --
HHS Secretary Donna E. Shalala today approved a child welfare
demonstration project for New Mexico that will for the first time delegate
authority to Native American tribes to operate their own child welfare programs.
"This is a truly historic project for a state and its tribes to help children
most at-risk of harm," said Secretary Shalala. "The Adoption and Safe Families
Act signed by President Clintontwo years ago provided this opportunity for New
Mexico to create a new relationship among the state, tribes, and the federal
government in administering child welfare programs to ensure the safety,
well-being and permanency for vulnerable children."
Under the demonstration, New Mexico will delegate full authority
and responsibility for administration of child welfare Title IV-B and foster
care and adoption Title IV-E programs to as many asfive tribes. The Navajo
Nation is expected to be one of the five. The foster care funds can also be used
to subsidize guardianships as permanent placement options for children in state
or tribal custody for whom reunification and adoption are not options. Under the
Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997, HHS is authorized to approve up to 10
demonstration projects each year through 2002. HHS has encouraged states to
develop innovative child welfare projects aimed at increasing adoptions of
special needs children, promoting community- based services to prevent child
abuse and neglect, improving access to needed health and mental health services,
and addressing the unique needs of American Indian children. This is the 19th
waiver approved under this authority.
"This demonstration offers a unique opportunity for tribes to
build an innovative partnership with a state in the child welfare program," said
Olivia A. Golden, HHS assistant secretary for children and families. "We are
very excited to support this important project and look forward to sharing its
lessons with the rest of the country." The tribes will be accountable for child
outcomes and fiscal responsibilities inherent in operating a child welfare
program. New Mexico will monitor the programs and provide quality control
New Mexico's project is for five years, will be cost-neutral, and
include a rigorous evaluation.
--- Note: HHS press releases are available on the World Wide Web
(c)1999 Cable News Network, Inc. A Time WarnerCompany
South Dakota Morning News - 12-JUN-99 (PINE RIDGE)
TRIBAL POLICE AND THE FBI ARE INVESTIGATING THE DEATHS OF TWO MEN
ON THE PINE RIDGE RESERVATION. THE BODIES OF WILSON BLACK ELK JR. AND RONALD
HARD HEART WERE FOUND IN A CULVERT ABOUT A MILE AND A HALF SOUTH OF PINE RIDGE
ON TUESDAY. THE TWO MEN WERE LAST SEEN ALIVE ON SUNDAY. NO ARRESTS HAVE BEEN
MADE AND FEW DETAILS ABOUT THE DEATHS ARE AVAILABLE, BUT AUTHORITIES ARE SAYING
THAT THERE IS EVIDENCE OF FOUL PLAY AND THE HOMICIDE INVESTIGATION
(c)1999 Cable News Network, Inc. ATime Warner Company
American Indian Relief Council and Co-Defendants to Pay
PRNewswire-- Attorney General Mike Fisher today announced
that a South Dakota charity and its co-defendants will pay $395,000 to resolve
allegations that they intentionally exploited the plight of Native Americans to
obtain donations and then used the contributions to primarily benefit certain
officers and directors of the charity. "We contend that this organization's
intent was to deceive potential donors and play on every human emotion
imaginable to extract dollars from caring Pennsylvanians," Fisher said.
"Consumers were told that Native Americans, on several South Dakota
reservations, were suffering from widespread famine and other life threatening
conditions that we determined either never existed or were greatly exaggerated."
HARRISBURG, Pa., June 11
Fisher said his Charitable Trusts and Organizations Section
entered into a consent agreement with the American Indian Relief Council (AIRC),
also known as National Relief Charities, located in Virginia and Rapid City,
South Dakota; AIRC president Brian J. Brown, Oregon; AIRC
formervice president Corrin Bare, San Jose, Calif.; AIRC former
secretary/treasurer Camellia Van Exel, Hempstead, N.Y.; Great Plains
Economic Development Corp., Rapid City, and its principals David G. and Bernice
J. Myers, also of Rapid City. The agreement ends a lawsuit filed against the
defendants in Commonwealth Court. According to the lawsuit, AIRC from July 1991
to December 1993 used direct mail solicitations to raise money for Native
Americans living on reservations in South Dakota. The investigation revealed
that the residents who received the solicitation were falsely told that:
-- Thousands of Native Americans on reservations in South Dakota
are suffering from widespread food shortages and lack of heat and
-- The reservations were hit with catastrophic natural disasters
and that funds were needed to prevent famine and death.
-- AIRC was significantly alleviating unemployment for Native
Americans in the Rapid City area through a jobs training program.
-- AIRC was feeding thousands of starving and desperately poor
Native Americans eachmonth.
-- AIRC provided significant quantities of medical supplies,
heating fuel, gardening tools and supplies to Native Americans.
-- AIRC does not employ professional fund raising organizations
or individuals and was therefore more efficient than other
"Due to the egregious nature of these allegations, my office was
intent on returning the money this charity solicited from Pennsylvanians under
false pretenses," Fisher said. "We succeeded in that, and now we're making sure
that the restitution collected will be distributed to Native Americans in need."
The consent agreement requires the defendants to pay $350,000 in restitution
that will be distributed to independent relief programs located on the Pine
Ridge, Rosebud and Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe reservations in South Dakota. The
independent relief programs are not operated by AIRC.
"Our legal action has stopped this charity from using half-truths
and outright lies to obtain donations and has resulted in increased funding for
Native Americans living on three reservations in South Dakota," Fisher said.
Under the terms of the consent agreement, the defendants admit no wrongdoing and
are required to:
-- pay $350,000 in restitution, $15,000 in civil penalties and
$30,000 for the costsof investigation.
-- maintain an autonomous board of directors.
-- maintain AIRC's existing level of program services
benefitting Native Americans in South Dakota, in addition to the restitution
The case was handled by Mark A. Pacella Senior Deputy Attorney
Generalof Fisher's Charitable Trusts and Organizations Section in Pittsburgh.
Fisher thanked his former Senior Financial Investigator Steven C. Arter for his
work in the case.
(c) 1999 Cable News Network, Inc. ATime Warner Company