Issue 45, November 16, 2016

    A Letter from the Publisher


    Shekóli. Water—how we use it and not abuse it—is at the heart of so many contemporary challenges in Indian country. This week’s issue carries stories from the northwest coast of this continent, as well as from the northeast. Both are troubling. Salmon are at stake thanks to the Pacific Northwest LNG project south of Prince Rupert, British Columbia. According to the Gitwilgyoots First Nation, this tanker berth and port development would threaten Canada’s second largest salmon run around Lelu Island. To the east comes news of more degradation: An excess of rainwater caused a pipe to break and spill 10 million gallons of raw sewage into beleaguered and sacred Onondaga Lake.

    Pipes and pollution have dominated ICTMN’s headlines lately, as the Navajo continue to reel from the Gold King Mine spill and the Dakota Access pipeline continues its relentless assault on the Missouri River. On top of it all, after the recent presidential elections, it appears that Indian country will lose its best ally in the White House in at least a generation. President Obama will be replaced by president-elect Donald Trump, whose statements and positions in the past toward Natives would suggest that an uncertain policy future may lie ahead for our Nations.

    It is in moments such as these that we must reexamine our sense of personal responsibility. There was a time in the not-so-distant past when the idea of purchasing water (in plastic bottles, no less!) would have been far-fetched and laughable. Yet today, we accept it without second thought. Like the proverbial frog in a pot of water that sits while it slowly comes to a boil, humans can grow numb and indifferent to changes around us. Our adaptability, a proven asset, can also be a liability.

    Corruption of the water, and of political discourse, is a wake-up call. Thankfully, a politician can only do so much, for good or bad. On the other hand committed individuals—like those we see flocking to Standing Rock—can work collectively and ensure the greater good. Destructive elements such as flawed energy policies, bad corporate practices, the misuse of natural resources and indifferent leaders can galvanize the body politic.

    In fact, as far as Indian country is concerned, they already have.

    NΛ ki wa,

    Ray Halbritter


    The Calumny Of Calhoun

    Amid calls at Yale University to rename Calhoun College, in light of its namesake’s defense of slavery, Stanley Heller points out that Calhoun was no friend of Natives either:

    In 1818, Secretary of War John C. Calhoun wrote to Congress, saying it was time for a new policy towards Indians. One reason, he said, was a “fixed law of nature, in the intercourse between a civilized and a savage people.”

    In the 1820s white land lust in Georgia pressed against the Creek Nation, and the federal government bargained a treaty in which they surrendered 4.5 million acres. This only spurred Georgians to press for more and they turned their sights on the Cherokee. Cherokee leaders appealed to Washington, but in 1824 Calhoun told the Cherokees they could not remain in Georgia as a separate community.

    In 1825, U.S. negotiators made a treaty with a Creek leader who fraudulently represented himself as the authority for all Creeks. Millions of acres were surrendered, along with an agreement that the Creek would relocate west of the Mississippi. The U.S. Indian agent for the Creeks protested the fraud to Calhoun but he never replied. Calhoun made 41 treaties with Indian nations; all but five required Native Americans to cede land to the U.S.

    Calhoun sent a report to Monroe on January 24, 1825 calling for Indian tribes in the south to be voluntarily sent to lands lying west of Arkansas and Missouri. Three days later Monroe sent a special message to Congress calling for such measures.

    The Trail of Tears took place after Calhoun left office, but there’s no record that he shed a single tear over the thousands of dead his racist notions helped doom.

    The Natives And The Chief Executive

    For 45 weeks during the run-up to last week’s election, Alysa Landry reported the Indian policy of all of our presidents of the United States for ICTMN. What she found was striking:

    The vast majority of presidential “experts” I queried knew almost nothing about Indians. I interviewed an Andrew Johnson biographer who had never read about the Navajo Treaty of 1868. My Gerald Ford source knew nothing about the Indian Self-Determination Act. My Lyndon B. Johnson expert had never heard of the Indian Civil Rights Act.

    Having spent more than 1,000 hours on this series, reading hundreds of documents and writing more than 50,000 words, I emerge with a list of sober truths.

    First, when it comes to studies of American presidents, Indians are largely invisible. We hear all the time that history is whitewashed. That concept took on new meaning for me after I read 44 biographies and felt the cumulative effect of omissions, misrepresentations and clear Manifest Destiny agendas.

    Second, this whitewashing doesn’t necessarily come from biographers or historians but from primary sources. Calvin Coolidge signed the Indian Citizenship Act in 1924, granting all Indians the privileges of U.S. citizenship. Coolidge neglected to mention it in his autobiography. Although Jimmy Carter signed the Indian Child Welfare Act in 1978, he didn’t mention the word “Indian” in his 1982 autobiography.

    Third, American history tends to focus on “big-picture” presidents, but others actually did the most for Indians. John Quincy Adams was an early Indian advocate, calling existing policy “fraudulent and brutal.” Rutherford B. Hayes supported Indian education, Warren Harding pushed for Indian citizenship and Richard Nixon officially ended the termination era.

    I did not see Indians until I wanted to.

    Hillary And Her Native Loss

    Hillary Clinton’s failure to extend her message to Natives and other people of color, says Terese Mailhot, did her candidacy no good:

    Hillary Clinton made limp remarks about Water Protectors at Standing Rock. She didn’t pull people of color in. And Hillary supporters, you didn’t help with your various white feminist posts.

    Your joyous celebrations of white feminism were grating for people of color, because we know how excluded we were from that movement. I saw tons of Susan B. Anthony quotes and pictures of her gravestone with long reflective conclusions splattered all over my social media. But the suffragettes’ movement and women’s voting rights aren’t connected to Asian, black, Latino and Native voting rights.

    I celebrated your white pantsuits and enthusiasm for Hillary to a degree, but it mostly was a reminder of how long Indigenous People have had to wait. We are constantly waiting or resisting. Whether we resist or wait our turn, we usually end up hurt and disenfranchised.

    I was raised to think that feminism is inclusive and that anything less is not feminism at all. It’s disappointing that the onus to protect the land and humanity typically rests on people of color. We always have to do the work, but it seemed like this election taught me that white mobility on the left was ineffective.

    Hillary didn’t reach out to me, and I’m hoping that come the next election, we have someone who wants to take up our burden and do work for the people. Right now I’m dealing with a lot of white tears. I don’t have the time or energy to console them. Maybe when they’re done mourning, they’ll mobilize and become stronger allies.

    ICT News

    Pipeline Construction On Hold Pending Review And Tribal Consultation

    Citing historical injustices, environmental uncertainties and other factors, the Army Corps of Engineers is holding off on easements under the Missouri River for the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL) and halting construction pending further review.

    “The Army has determined that additional discussion and analysis are warranted in light of the history of the Great Sioux Nation’s dispossessions of lands, the importance of Lake Oahe to the Tribe, our government-to-government relationship, and the statute governing easements through government property,” the Departments of the Army and Interior announced jointly on November 14. “While these discussions are ongoing, construction on or under Corps land bordering Lake Oahe cannot occur because the Army has not made a final decision on whether to grant an easement. The Army will work with the Tribe on a timeline that allows for robust discussion and analysis to be completed expeditiously.”

    “We are encouraged and know that the peaceful prayer and demonstration at Standing Rock have powerfully brought to light the unjust narrative suffered by tribal nations and Native Americans across the country,” said Standing Rock Sioux Chairman David Archambault II.

    Energy Transfer Partners, the builders of the pipeline, has been pushing ahead on construction, using heavily armed North Dakota state authorities and private security to keep hundreds of protesters at bay and make its self-imposed January 1, 2017, deadline for operation. It has excavated and laid pipeline almost to the edge of Lake Oahe, the dammed-off portion of the Missouri River that was flooded more than half a century ago for the construction. The company has also built a drill pad in anticipation of receiving the easements to complete the $3.8 billion, 1,172-mile-long pipeline from the Bakken oil fields to central Iowa.

    Chaco Cultural Park Area Oil And Gas Leases Are Under Review


    To address concerns about oil and gas leasing near Chaco Culture National Historic Park, two federal agencies have expanded the current review of the mineral management plan near the ancestral site in Northwest New Mexico.

    The Bureau of Land Management (BLM)’s Farmington Field Office and the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ (BIA) Navajo Regional Office are seeking public comment on a resource management plan that includes federal and tribal lands; the initiative marks the first collaboration between the two agencies. The public comment period ends December 20.

    Deputy Secretary of the Interior Michael Connor, who made the announcement on October 20, said the move was an important step in discussions about mineral development surrounding the prehistoric ruins, which have been named a UNESCO World Heritage site.

    “I heard these concerns firsthand when I visited Chaco last summer to participate in a public listening session with Senator [Tom] Udall (D-New Mexico),” Connor said. “BIA’s decision to join BLM’s planning effort as a co-lead reflects the complex land tenure around the park and demonstrates the department’s commitment to ensuring that the region’s rich cultural and archaeological resources are protected.”

    In March 2015 various environmental groups, including the Navajo organization Diné CARE, filed suit against the agencies in an attempt to keep horizontal drilling technology and hydraulic fracturing or fracking from harming the ancient astronomical area. The Western Environmental Law Center, one of the plaintiffs, feels an update to the agency’s management plan is urgently needed because the BLM has not analyzed new drilling technology.

    Cocopah Tribe Will Build $50 Million Veterans Health Center


    The Cocopah Indian Tribe of Arizona has announced plans to build a $50 million state-of-the-art research and care facility for military veterans. The Veterans Neurological Research Center (VNRC) will focus on traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), post-traumatic stress disorder, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and treatment for victims of military sexual trauma. Construction is slated to begin in January and will take an estimated 14 months to complete.

    The complex, to be housed in a defunct but expanded 200,000-square-foot K-Mart building, will offer 300 beds for dementia patients and more than 200 extended stay units for families. The VNRC is expected to employ over 400 doctors, nurses, therapists, researchers, lab technicians, and IT and support personnel. It is also anticipated that patients will be part of ongoing research that will study neurological functions, bodily chemical modifications, and changes in brain mass and genetics.

    In a unique innovation, the VNRC will incorporate what has been described as a “self-contained dementia village.” The complex will be laid out as a four-acre indoor village incorporating layouts, patterns and physical items that will be familiar to elderly veterans. The design includes a ceiling motif that simulates the sky at sunset, when Alzheimer’s and dementia patients frequently have trouble relating to their environment.

    “The uniqueness of the concept is getting a lot of attention,” said Richard Neault, manager of the Yuma Medical Management Group, with whom the Cocopah have partnered on the project, “but our main focus remains on young vets with TBIs.” An opening is anticipated for the spring of 2018.

    ICT News

    Broken Pipe Dumps 10 Million Gallons of Sewage Into Onondaga Lake


    Up to 10 million gallons of raw sewage spilled into Onondaga Lake in upstate New York after a 50-year-old pipe burst during 21 hours of straight rain in Syracuse on October 21. The 42-inch diameter pipe broke south of the Inner Harbor along the Onondaga Lake shoreline.

    For more than 24 hours, 5,000 gallons of raw sewage flowed into the sacred lake per minute, according to a report that Onondaga County filed with the New York State Department of Conservation. A bypass system was installed so that repairs could be made; a disinfectant drip was also introduced. “No health or environmental impacts have been identified,” Onondaga County said in an official statement.

    The pipe broke near railroad tracks owned by CSX Corp., thereby requiring coordination with CSX to ensure a safe and effective fix. The spill raised the specter of more pipe breaks, given the aging infrastructure. However, beyond mending the leak, there is no plan for a cleanup of the lake. County officials have warned people not to fish in the tainted area or have any contact with its water.

    Onondaga Lake is already a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Superfund site, under a partial cleanup for years after decades of industrial pollution. Honeywell Corp. is heading up the cleanup efforts but the Onondaga Nation said that its plans are inadequate.

    “This brings up our concerns with pipelines because they do break,” said Tadodaho Sidney Hill of the Onondaga Nation. “It brings up all the issues about water with the pipelines and all the stuff going on in North Dakota.”

    Choctaw Nation Cuts Ribbon to Wellness Center

    The Choctaw Nation unveiled its newest wellness center on November 3 in Stigler, Oklahoma in an enthusiastic ribbon-cutting ceremony.

    The 9,700-square-foot structure offers many amenities, among them a half-court basketball gym, an indoor walking track, and 2,500 square feet of space to house top-of-the-line cardio and strength-training machines. Various fitness classes will have 2,000 square feet of dedicated space. Additional features include showers and day-use lockers for men and women. Trained staff at the center will assist members with free personal training, nutrition programs and fitness assessments.

    “Thank you so much for coming out today,” said Chief Gary Batton. “We set a vision quite some time ago of achieving healthy, successful and productive lifestyles for a proud nation of Choctaws.” He was interrupted by applause when he noted that this was the 13th wellness center the Choctaw Nation has built in southeast Oklahoma. “I can remember when we built the first one,” he said.

    At the ceremony, members of the Choctaw Tribal Council were recognized, along with other civic and political leaders. And the Chicago Cubs’ victory in the World Series the night before prompted District 5 Councilman Ronald Perry to remark, “It reminds me of a movie I once saw, an old baseball movie. They said, ‘If you build it, they will come.’ They built it for us … all we gotta do is come use it.”

    The Choctaw Nation has more than 40 other major building projects currently approved, in development or under construction across southeast Oklahoma.

    Judge Rules Seminoles Can Keep House-Banked Table Games

    A federal judge has ruled that the Seminole Tribe of Florida may keep its blackjack tables through 2030. In a 36-page decision issued on November 9, U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle ruled that Florida violated the terms of the 20-year tribal-state gaming compact by allowing pari-mutuel establishments throughout the state to offer “designated-player games,” i.e. electronic versions of their house-banked games.

    Hinkle’s ruling will allow the Seminoles to continue to offer banked games for the duration of their original 20-year compact.

    The initial agreement with former Gov. Charlie Crist, signed in 2010, provided the tribe five years of exclusivity over house-banked card games like blackjack and baccarat. The state received $1.7 billion in revenue sharing from Seminole-owned casinos. After that compact expired on July 31, 2015, Gov. Rick Scott and the tribe agreed upon a new gaming compact. However, the compact was rejected in the 2016 legislative session.

    In the interim, the tribe accused the state of not negotiating in “good faith,” as mandated by the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA). The state then filed a lawsuit demanding the tribe stop offering its house-banked games. But the Seminoles persisted, arguing that the state violated the tribe’s exclusivity rights through the pari-mutuels.

    “The Seminole Tribe is very pleased with Judge Hinkle’s ruling and is carefully reviewing it,” tribal spokesman Gary Bitner said. “The Tribe believes the ruling provides for its future stability and ensures 3,600 Seminole gaming employees will keep their jobs.”

    State regulators are issuing warnings to card rooms throughout Florida to change their electronic games so that they do not mimic the tribe’s house-banked games. The Seminole Tribe runs table games at five of its seven casinos.

    My Son Cuts His Braid

    ‘Will those police be mean to me when we get out there?’


    Bottom Line: An ICTMN correspondent who has reported regularly from the front lines of the water protectors movement now offers a more personal account.

    Prior to the water protector action, Maangozit had his phone number written on his arm in case legal assistance was needed.

    Mary Annette Pember

    We pointed our rental war pony west and rode hard into the sun, stopping only for cheeseburgers. Thus began my 2,200-mile, weeklong journey with my 12-year-old son, Maangozit, to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation to meet with folks at the water protector camps opposing the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL). This was a far more relevant history lesson than Maangozit would ever learn in his sixth-grade class, so I agreed to take him. He was delighted.

    During a stopover, I caught him talking to his buddy Lucas on Facetime. He held his open mouth close to the screen, tongue out. “Ha, ha, haaaa, no school, dude!” he gloated.

    “They have school at the water protector camps,” I told him.

    He was quiet for much of the next day’s drive. It is during such drives, with those long silences, that we have our best conversations. The drone of the road and passing scenery give him time to process his thoughts into words.

    “Will those police be mean to me when we get out there?” he asked.

    The National Guardsmen manning the stop wore combat gear and carried automatic weapons. Maangozit was visibly shaken, although we were told we were “clear to go.” It was unclear how that determination had been made.

    “What would have happened?” he wanted to know, if we hadn’t been cleared. I couldn’t answer for sure.

    My years of carrying heavy equipment as a newspaper photographer compressed several discs in my back, so I can no longer carry two camera bodies with heavy lenses, which is what I’d brought. Maangozit made a deal that he would function as my right arm, carrying one camera body with my beloved 80-200mm f 2.8 lens, my big glass. He drove a hard bargain: $5 per day and $2.50 for travel days.

    * * *

    Once at the water protector camps, I went into reporter mode and sometimes forgot about my new right arm. We met with people working humbly to meet the everyday needs of the camp—dishwashers, woodchoppers and a man who rode his bike around the Oceti Sakowin camp all day long just picking up trash.

    Some people grabbed us, desperate to tell their stories of how they came to be at the camps. A young Native man from the Meskwaki Nation begged us to meet with a Shango chief from Trinidad. The chief and his colleague had traveled to the Meskwaki Nation’s home in Iowa, insisting that he and other leaders in his Shango religion had visions and dreams of the great Comanche Chief Ten Bears directing them to make their way to the water protector camps. The Meskwaki tribe had aided their travel, and they sat before me with great dignity in folding chairs, wearing white dress shoes even though they were camped on the dusty prairie.

    An elder wandered near the main Oceti Sakowin fire as he lovingly cradled his tiny pet poodle, which was dressed in a sweet little pink sweater. Over his thinning gray hair he wore a hat identifying himself as a Vietnam veteran. He walked carefully along the uneven ground as he searched for something or someone. We saw him again several hours later. This time the poodle wore a different sweater, but the vet was still searching. He asked if we knew where the veterans were. We apologized that we didn’t.

    My new right arm stood by quietly, taking it all in, his forehead often furrowed in thought. There was an unsettling yet thrilling energy in the air.

    * * *

    The long line of tribal flags flapping alongside both sides of the main road into camp created a magnificent grand entry spot. Men and women from the Havasupai tribe, the people of the blue-green water, prepared to enter wearing regalia the likes of which we’d never seen before. The men wore enormous ram’s horns and shouted a call to the crowd that alerted the camp to their entrance. The women’s faces were painted with red ochre. After their entrance, they danced and feasted by the camp’s sacred fire.

    “We called for the spirits to be here with us,” said Jahmisa Manakaja, one of 20 people from the Havasupai Reservation, located on the bottom of the Grand Canyon. “That’s why our men are wearing the ram’s horns. We heard the cries of families here and have come to stand beside them in their struggle.” She became agitated as she spoke of her tribe’s fight with uranium mining and the struggle to protect their water.

    “What’s wrong with these people who want to treat the earth like this? I’m starting to think they aren’t human anymore.”

    We later joined a group of protectors heading out to an action on the frontlines of the pipeline construction. We saw angry young men thrusting their fists in the air. People hollered at us for taking pictures. A shirtless young man shouted obscenities at a low-flying crop duster that dropped an unidentified liquid over a nearby field. Later during a water protector action against the pipeline, we saw him wrestled to the ground by police, his face contorted in anger.

    * * *

    When scores of heavily armed police and armored vehicles appeared at the crest of the hill blocking the road, it seemed possible we might be arrested. It was scary and unsettling. Maangozit’s eyes widened. He couldn’t understand. “Other than hollering, what did the people do wrong?” he asked.

    Eventually the police let us leave the area. Later that night, he asked to snuggle with me. “Mom, can we find my birth mother?”

    I was surprised. Although I know she is often on his mind, he seldom speaks of her; his abandonment is too frightening and shameful to discuss. I told him we could but that he would have to be prepared, that it might be painful.

    “I know,” he said, “but I’m afraid she’ll be dead before I’m grown up.”

    My husband and I worry terribly over Maangozit’s cognitive abilities, which have been affected by what we know about his birth mother’s lifestyle. We agonize over his performance on reading and intelligence tests. But I see now that his wisdom and courage go far deeper than what can be measured by I.Q. and reading tests.

    He understands “the heart way,” the most sacred of our Ojibwe ceremonies in which he participated this past summer. That wisdom eludes even most educated and successful non-Native business executives, who seem unable to understand why short-term profits can never buy off our human need for a healthy planet and clean water.

    “Yes, my son. I’ll help you find her.”

    “I love you mom, more than Swudge [the puppy], even.”

    “I love you too, son.”

    * * *

    Before we drifted off to sleep he asked if he could cut off his braid. I had begged him to keep his long hair until after the ceremony but have felt saddened that teasing at school has pressured him to cut it. He explained that his hair is thick and snarly and that he has grown tired of its constant presence in his eyes—and the daily fight of combing and braiding.

    “Let’s leave my braid here at the camp,” he said sleepily.

    “Okay,” I said.

    The next day we asked our Lakota friend Marla Bull Bear about Maagnozit’s wish, if it would be appropriate here on Lakota land.

    “You know that for us, our hair holds more than our DNA,” she told us. “It carries our life stories, it keeps us strong.” She agreed, however, that if Maangozit felt strongly about it, it would be okay to leave his braid here.

    We sat on the ground at Oceti Sakowin camp and, using the tiny scissors that are part of my utility knife, I slowly cut through his thick hair. The braid, cut free from his head, was heavier than I’d imagined. It was a thrilling, sensuous delight to hold it in my hand. But it was simply hair, after all.

    We made a small fire and burned the braid, as is our way. Its ashes were grabbed quickly by the hungry prairie wind. Preparing to leave, we pointed our rental pony east towards home. The remains of the braid, Maangozit’s DNA, remained behind mixed with the earth and water at Standing Rock, part of a land and story he was just beginning to understand.

    Salmon At Stake

    ‘We are forced to ask courts to do what our politicians seem unable to do’


    Bottom Line: Lelu Island and its critical salmon habitat are under threat of development, but First Nations and activists are rising to the challenge.

    Legal showdowns are looming over Canada’s second largest salmon run.

    Pacific NorthWest LNG

    First Nations and environmental groups have recently launched legal challenges to the recent federal approval of the $11.4 billion Pacific Northwest LNG (PNW LNG) project, just south of Prince Rupert, British Columbia.

    The challenges follow repeated attempts by the Allied Tsimshian Tribes of Lax Kw’alaams to relocate the project site. The tribes are concerned that the facility and tanker berth would destroy Lelu Island and its critical salmon habitat—Canada’s second largest salmon run—in the estuary of the Skeena River.

    “Once again, we are forced to ask courts to do what our politicians seem unable to do—honor Canada’s obligations to its indigenous communities, and to protect our environment from catastrophic harm,” said Chief Yahaan (Donnie Wesley) of the Gitwilgyoots Tribe.

    The Gitwilgyoots, Gitanyow First Nation and the SkeenaWild Conservation Trust all launched separate judicial review challenges of the Petronas-backed project, which still has not received a final investment decision. The groups emphasized their commitment to their litigation efforts in a letter to Petronas chairman Tan Sri Mohd Sidek just days before legal documents were filed. (Petronas did not respond to ICTMN’s requests for a comment.)

    The Gitanyow constitute an upstream community 124 miles from the project site; the territory of the Gitwilgyoots encompasses Lelu Island and Flora Bank. They feel that meaningful consultation is a fiduciary obligation of the federal cabinet but that it never took place.

    In addition, the conservation group SkeenaWild argues that the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA)—as well as decision makers in Ottawa—ignored crucial science regarding the impacts that PNW LNG would have on already struggling salmon stocks in the area.

    The CEAA said that Ottawa is standing behind its decision to approve PNW LNG.

    “This project underwent a three-year rigorous and thorough science-based process that evaluated and incorporated mitigation measures that will minimize the environmental impacts,” the CEAA said. “The government’s decision shows that the environment and the economy go hand in hand with over 190 conditions to protect the environment including the first ever cap on emissions for a project.”

    Many First Nations, however, viewed the approval as an affront after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s repeated pledges to rebuild nation-to-nation relationships with Canada’s aboriginal peoples.

    “We’re beginning to recognize and acknowledge the fact that the Trudeau government is not the least bit committed to following through with promises and commitments made in the last federal election campaign,” said Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs. “Consistently there has been an absolute betrayal of those commitments.”

    Chief Phillip said the decisions made by the Trudeau administration to forge ahead with industrial projects like PNW LNG and the Site C dam have forced many groups to resort to direct action protests, asserting their hereditary rights by building occupation camps in strategic areas to protect their traditional territories and the environment.

    “As time moves forward we’re going to see more and more First Nations filing legal challenges,” Phillip said. “I think we’re going to have a far more contentious relationship with the Trudeau government than with the Harper government.”

    Earlier this year the Federal Court of Appeal ruled that the government did not adequately consult with First Nations during Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline review and overturned the government’s approval of that project. The lawyer for the Gitwilgyoots, Richard Overstall, is hoping for the same outcome.

    “Essentially [the challenge] will be similar to the arguments that aboriginal applicants made against Enbridge,” Overstall said. “Saying that the federal government at all levels failed to adequately consult the Gitwilgyoots. The application is to quash the EA report, quash the ministers’ decision and quash the federal Cabinet decision. And hopefully the court will issue a similar order as in the Northern Gateway decision.”

    For more than a year, Chief Yahaan and several others have been building a resistance camp on Lelu Island. Although it will be several months until they see their day in court, he remains committed to protecting the island and the Skeena Estuary.

    “We have never been opposed to development,” Chief Yahaan said. “But we have always opposed industrial development on top of the most important salmon habitat we have on our coast.”

    The Path To The Gridiron

    ‘I do it for the Native community’


    Bottom Line: Antonio Rosales (Tohono O’odham) holds forth about college football, what pumps him up and where he stands on the Dakota Access pipeline.

    Antonio Rosales (Tohono O’odham) is a rising starting right guard at San Diego State University.

    Courtesy Ernie Anderson, SDSU Media Relations

    Three seasons ago, Antonio Rosales was his high school’s star athlete. He was 6-foot-4 and weighed 240 pounds. Some schools saw the potential in the Tohono O’odham tribal member; San Diego State was one of them. Upon joining the team, Rosales had to gain weight so he could compete with defensive linemen 40 to 50 pounds heavier than he was.

    But did he have to cut out foods like frybread?

    “Oh no,” Rosales says. “I actually had frybread last night, as a matter of fact. They just say, ‘Eat whatever I want.’”

    So he unleashed his inner beast on the practice field and at the dinner table. With a loose diet he added 50 pounds over the next two seasons. He is now the starting right guard on a team that began the season 6-1 and is in the running for the Mountain West Conference championship.

    * * *

    What does it mean for you to be able to represent Indian country at college football’s highest level?

    Things like this . . . it doesn’t happen often. So to be someone who’s able to do it and let other kids in the community know that we can do it just feels real good.

    What kind of goals do you have for this season?

    Just be the best player I can be. Help my team out the best I can. Help us win the Mountain West Championship.

    What’s the San Xavier Indian reservation like?

    It’s quiet. Peaceful place. It’s not really that far from the city, but once you cross that reservation line you can definitely tell you’re on the reservation. People are just very together out there.

    Have you or your family endured any hardships?

    We didn’t always live on the reservation. We lived in the city. My mother was a police officer for the tribe. She ended up getting hurt at work. She had to get medically released. Unfortunately, they didn’t pay her what they were supposed to pay her. It put us really in a hole. It made us have to move from the city back to the rez, just because we couldn’t pay for our house.

    You helped turn things around at Tucson Magnet High School as far as football goes. How’d that happen?

    Before I showed up there the program hadn’t won very many games. They’re not known for sending guys out to Division I schools. The last guy was in 1998 and before that it was a long time.

    How do you get pumped up for a game?

    In the hotel before the games I just kind of keep to myself, keep my headphones in. Just do a lot of Northern Cree. Lot of Black Lodge Singers. Pretty much powwow music. Warrior music. Also watch a lot of Native movies. I’ll watch Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, get some anger in my system. I’ll look at history, Manifest Destiny; it really gets me going for games.

    What are your thoughts on #NoDAPL?

    I have a lot of family on the front lines over in the Dakotas. I don’t want [the Dakota Access Pipeline] to happen. Water is life. Gotta stop breaking all these treaties. Just stop. That’s basically it. Thank you for everyone that’s down there. If I wasn’t here, I would definitely be there.

    Anything you want to say to those following your career?

    Just that I do it for them; I do it for the Native community. They’re my biggest motivation. Being able to have kids know that it’s possible. That anything’s possible, no matter if it’s playing sports, becoming an artist, owning a business. Anything they want to do they’re able to make it happen no matter how much society tells us we can’t. We’re able to do it.

    [Playing professional football] was my dream since second grade. I always told myself this is what I wanted to do. What really got me going the most was when people found out my ethnicity and tell me I probably won’t be able to do it because not many, not any of us end up being able to do what I do today.

    I want to change that and be able to let kids know that all that’s said about us not being able to do anything is bullshit and we’re actually going to do something.


    Cheyenne-Eagle Butte School
    P.O. Box 672
    Eagle Butte, SD  57625
    Phone: 605-964-8777
    Fax: 605-964-8776

     The Cheyenne-Eagle Butte School is advertising the following position as Open Until Filled:

     Position Title: Education Specialist (Special Education Director)

     Announcement number: 17-01-CEB

     Salary Range: Level 05/01 – $28.29 per hour thru Level 05/21 – $36.90 per hour

     For more information, go to or call 605-964-8777.

    RFP-Needs Assessment & Plan Design Evaluator needed.

    South Puget Intertribal Planning Agency’s Healthy Families Program is seeking proposals for a Needs Assessment Contractor. Please see the full Scope of Work & Deliverables on the SPIPA website

    You can send your Proposal to Sandy Brown, 3104 SE Old Olympic Hwy,  Shelton, WA  98584 or

    If you have questions feel free to email or call Sandy at 360-462- 3204. DEADLINE for submissions is November 21 st , 2016.

    Omaha Tribe of Nebraska is hiring for the following position:

    Vocational Rehab Director

    Open until filled

    Please send your resume, three references, and a complete application to:

    The Omaha Tribe of Nebraska
    Attn:  Human Resources
    P.O. Box 368
    Macy, NE 68039

    Barry Walker, HR Director
    Phone: 402-837-5391 Fax 402-837-4526


    Beginning October 25,2016 until November 18, 2016 we will re-open our waiting list and accept applications for 94 units of senior housing at 294 Wilson Avenue in Bushwick, Brooklyn, New York. 297 Wilson Avenue consists of 26 studio units and 68 one bedroom units of which 21 units are handicap accessible. You may pick up an application at 297 Wilson Avenue on Tuesday and Wednesday 9:00 AM-5:00 PM or request it by mail at Plaza De Los Ancianos De Wilson.

    Apllicants should be 62 years of age orolder to be eligible. Qualifications will be based on Section 8 Federal guidelines for the elderly with limited income. Only one application should be submitted per household per building.



    297 Wilson Avenue
    Brooklyn, New York 11237
    (or request an application by mail to the addresses above)



    The Week in Photos

    Democrat Paulette Jordan (Coeur d’Alene) won reelection to the Idaho House of Representatives.

    Courtesy Vimeo/Dr0ne2bewild Shiyé Bidziil

    Construction on the Dakota Access pipeline has reached the lip of Lake Oahe.

    Courtesy Lois Ellen Frank

    White corn bread with a New Mexico red chile honey was among the Southwestern Native foods presented at a reception at the Consul General’s residence in St. Petersburg, Russia.

    Courtesy AFI

    Imajyn Cardinal (Cree) stars in The Saver, which was featured at the 41st American Indian Film Institute at San Francisco this month.


    Chief Operating Officer

    The Association of Village Council Presidents, a non profit organization in Bethel, AK is currently recruiting for a Chief Operating Officer.

    Competitive Salary

    Excellent Benefits

    12 Paid Holidays  and 18 days personal leave in the first year

    Employer paid Health Care for you

    Retirement Plan with employer contribution after 90 days of service

    Summary: The Chief Operating Officer (COO) establishes and administers the ongoing business operations of the organization in functional areas, such as, program delivery, finance, human resources and compliance in accordance with policy and the strategic direction set by the Chief Executive Officer (CFO) and the Executive Board.

    Contact AVCP’s Human Resources Department at 800-478-3521 for an application, to submit your resume or more information.  Review our job description at

    Per Public Law 93-638 (Indian Self Determination & Education Assistance Act) qualified Alaskan Natives/ American Indians are given preference but candidates from all backgrounds are welcome to apply.


    Chief Financial Officer

    The Association of Village Council Presidents, a non profit organization in Bethel, AK is currently recruiting for a Chief Financial Officer.

    Competitive Salary

    Excellent Benefits

    12 Paid Holidays  and 18 days personal leave in the first year

    Employer paid Health Care for you

    Retirement Plan with employer contribution after 90 days of service

    Summary: The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is responsible for the organization’s overall financial plans and policies as well as its financial and accounting practices and compliance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and Governmental Accounting Standards.

    Contact AVCP’s Human Resources Department at 800-478-3521 for an application, to submit your resume or more information.  Review our job description at

    Per Public Law 93-638 (Indian Self Determination & Education Assistance Act) qualified Alaskan Natives/ American Indians are given preference but candidates from all backgrounds are welcome to apply.


    Resource Center Administrator

    The Association of Village Council Presidents, a non profit organization in Bethel, AK is currently recruiting for a Resource Center Administrator.

    Competitive Salary

    Excellent Benefits

    12 Paid Holidays  and 18 days personal leave in the first year

    Employer paid Health Care for you

    Retirement Plan with employer contribution after 90 days of service

    Summary: The Resource Center Administrator (RC Administrator) is responsible for the planning, design, management and direction of the Resource Service Center (RC).  The Resource Center will house several departments for AVCP.  Under the direction of the Chief Operating Officer, the RC Administrator designs, plans, manages, and directs the administrative and operational activities of the Resource Center.

    Contact AVCP’s Human Resources Department at 800-478-3521 for an application, to submit your resume or more information.  Review our job description at

    Per Public Law 93-638 (Indian Self Determination & Education Assistance Act) qualified Alaskan Natives/ American Indians are given preference but candidates from all backgrounds are welcome to apply.


    Human Resources Director

    The Association of Village Council Presidents, a non profit organization in Bethel, AK is currently recruiting for a
    HR Director.

    Competitive Salary

    Excellent Benefits

    12 Paid Holidays  and 18 days personal leave in the first year

    Employer paid Health Care for you

    Retirement Plan with employer contribution after 90 days of service

    Summary:  To manage and administer a comprehensive human resources department and ensure compliance with applicable state and federal laws and other mandatory requirements. Develops policy and directs and coordinates human resources activities, such as employment compensation, labor relations, benefits, training, and employee services by performing the following duties personally.

     Contact AVCP’s Human Resources Department at 800-478-3521 for an application, to submit your resume or more information.  Review our job description at

    Per Public Law 93-638 (Indian Self Determination & Education Assistance Act) qualified Alaskan Natives/ American Indians are given preference but candidates from all backgrounds are welcome to apply.

    Headlines from the Web

    Upcoming Events


    November 18: Inuit: From Dog Teams to the Internet
    The conference offers a comprehensive training course designed to bridge cultural differences and facilitate awareness and a deeper understanding about Inuit in Canada, geared toward policy and program delivery personnel, researchers, organizations and companies. Attendees will receive guidance in appreciating Inuit perspectives, analyzing relevant statistics, and considering the impact and implications of such information. Pre-contact and contact history, political structures, demographics, health, housing, harvesting, communication and climate change will be among the themes. Conducted by Indigenous Corporate Training, Inc.
    Location: Ottawa, Canada

    November 18-20: Indigenous Comic Con
    This first Indigenous Comic Con will bring together creators, illustrators, writers, designers, actors and producers from the worlds of comic books, games, science fiction, fantasy, television, film and graphic novels. Panels and talks will include “More Than a Word: Mascots and Culture Representation,” “Bringing Native Characters to Life,” “We’re Everywhere: Indigenous Representations in Popular Culture,” “The Hero Creating Native Characters,” “Indigenous Women in Comics,” “Kickstarting Your Way to Freedom” and “Filmmaking in the Heart of Indian Country.”
    Location: National Hispanic Cultural Center, Albuquerque, New Mexico

     November 21: Tribal Input on Federal Infrastructure Decisions
    The federal government established this series of meetings on September 9 in response to the Dakota Access pipeline situation and seeks to establish formal, government-to-government relations concerning the decision-making process behind federal infrastructure projects. The consultations will address two major issues: 1) Within the existing statutory framework, what the federal government should do to better ensure meaningful tribal input into infrastructure-related reviews and decisions and the protection of tribal lands, resources and water rights; and 2) Whether new legislation should be proposed to Congress to alter that statutory framework and promote those goals. This final meeting of the series is a tribal consultation by teleconference.
    Contact Information:

     November 27: Alaska Native Education Program Listening Session
    The primary purpose of this session is for the Department of Education to accept public input regarding the implementation of the Alaska Native Education Program, under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), Title VI, Part C. The session will be conducted by Dr. Sylvia Lyles, program director of the Office of Academic Improvement, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, who will also identify changes in legislation for the program.
    Location: Lyndon Baines Johnson Building, Washington, D.C.

    Letters to the Editor

    Re the ongoing controversy over the Dakota Access pipeline:

    Each Indian reservation is historic and so should be preserved and maintained by the federal government. This should never go away and the freedoms of all Indians on their reservations should be maintained and protected.

    Rev. Marvin E. Purser
    Hollywood, Florida


    I will only make this statement once regarding the Dakota Access Pipeline project: How would the Army Corps of Engineers and the rest of the United States feel if the pipeline went through Arlington National Cemetery?

    —Ronni Redhawk
    Springerville, Arizona


    Re your special bonus issue devoted to the Dakota Access pipeline protests (“The NoDAPL Movement: Water Is Life,” October 19):

    To the very brave and beloved Indigenous People, the Native Americans, I say that I am very happy that your legitimate rights are being heard, materialized and realized.

    —Aniouschka Giraud
    Paris, France


    It was so good to see your special “The NoDAPL Movement” issue. Thank you so much for your great work.

    —Barbara Nill



    Top News Alerts

    Christina L. Wallace has been named a Conservation Guest Scholar with the Getty Conservation Institute in Los Angeles for her work on an examination of the architecture of the Coastal Salish Tribes of the Pacific Northwest. “As an enrolled member of the Coastal Salish Snohomish Tribe of Indians, the topic holds personal as well as professional interest,” Wallace said. “While there are tremendous cultural implications of the forced assimilation of this group, I’ll be focusing on the built form of their dwellings.”

    The sole casino license on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus has been granted to a consortium that includes Hard Rock International Inc., via Seminole HR Holdings LLC. The tribal enterprise partnered with Melco International Development Ltd. and local conglomerate Cyprus Phasouri (Zakaki) Ltd. on its bid for the rights to the 30-year license, which includes 15 years of gaming exclusivity. Construction on the new project is expected to start in the first quarter of 2017.

    The Rocky Mountain Indian Chamber of Commerce has named the American Indian College Fund as its American Indian nonprofit organization of the year. The College Fund received a stole and a $500 honorarium at the chamber’s American Indian Achievement Awards Gala on November 5 in Denver, Colorado. “We are delighted and honored,” said College Fund President and CEO Dr. Cheryl Crazy Bull, “to be recognized for the work we do.”

    The Cherokee Nation has purchased Sequoyah’s Cabin—the historic home of the legendary Cherokee statesman and inventor of his nation’s syllabary—from the state of Oklahoma, which could no longer afford to operate and maintain it. The homestead, built by Sequoyah in 1829 and comprising a one-room cabin and nearly 200 acres, welcomes more than 12,000 visitors annually and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1966. The purchase was formalized in a signing ceremony on November 9.

    The office of Washington State’s Secretary of State has honored the activist Hank Adams (Assiniboine-Sioux) as part of its educational project “Who Are We?” The centerpiece of the effort is the online in-depth profile “An Uncommon Life.” Adams was part of the Trail of Broken Treaties when a group of Native activists seized the Bureau of Indian Affairs in 1972 and declared it the Native Indian Embassy. In connection with the protest, Adams wrote the noted “20 Points” proposal that was presented to the Nixon administration.

    How Did I Miss That?

    Dead men on the ballot, koalas in backpacks and
    the troubles of Toblerone


    Photo courtesy Steve Russell Steve Russell

    The West Texas Hummingbird Cam captured the first amethyst-throated hummingbird ever sighted in the U.S. The rare rascal is native to Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. The bird posed for the camera twice and then moved on, leaving video evidence.

    “There is no truth to the rumor,” my cousin Ray Sixkiller said, “that this video has caused President Trump to redesign that wall Mexico is going to pay for.”

    * * *

    Police in Brisbane, Australia were arresting a 50-year-old woman when they found in her backpack a baby koala, estimated to be not more than six months old. Phascolarctos cinereus is sometimes called a “koala bear,” but these cute little buggers are in fact marsupials. They are considered “vulnerable” and so are no longer being hunted for their fur. The main threat to koalas is habitat destruction.

    “Unless,” Cousin Ray interjected, “you count humans carting babies off in backpacks.”

    * * *

    WREG reported that Peggy Rose, 74, died of injuries sustained in a Wal-Mart parking lot when she ran over herself with her own car. She was backing up at high speed with the driver side door open when she hit a pedestrian. The collision caused her to fall out of the open door, and she was run over. The pedestrian was hospitalized but is expected to recover.

     * * *

    The tasty Graham cracker, Great Big Story has reminded us, was originally created by a minister, Sylvester Graham, for the purpose of slowing down the sex drive of lascivious Americans. It’s ironic that the quest for a bland flavor thought not to stir the libido uncovered a principal ingredient in S’mores.

    * * *

    I broke my usual self-imposed rule of not giving investment advice to suggest that people ought not to sell into the market panic that was sure to attend election of The Donald. I expected that failure to sell a reasonably balanced portfolio would, at worst, result in a couple of years of dead money. It turned out I was right for a different reason. The market came back more quickly than is normal. I predict the market will remain skittish until Trump proves he’s not as crazy as he sounded during the campaign.

    * * *

    Voters in Oceanside, California, reelected City Treasurer Gary Ernst by six points over his challenger in spite of the fact that Ernst has been dead since September. Cousin Ray wanted to know if a dead treasurer would be responsible for keeping track of dead money.

    * * *

    The Yakima Herald reported that Rhonda Crawford has been elected as an Illinois trial court judge. The hitch is that she is currently banned from assuming the robe because of because a prior conviction for (wait for it) impersonating a judge.

    * * *

    The Daily Beast notes that the Trump team is having a hard time recruiting his national security team, having put off the Republican establishment with his best imitation of a loose cannon during the campaign. The Beast quoted one of the people trolling for candidates as saying that it is “going to be very difficult to fill positions in that space because everybody that had any experience was a never-Trumper.”

    * * *

    Britons should lay in a supply of Hershey bars; Brexit has destroyed Toblerone. The iconic Swiss chocolate bar has gotten a physical makeover effective only within the United Kingdom. A Toblerone is a series of triangular pieces. The British version now has a lot more air between the pieces, reducing the amount of chocolate in the 14-ounce bar to 12.6 ounces and the 6-ounce bar to 5.3 ounces. Don’t blame the Swiss or even the Brits, since Toblerone is now the property of Mondelēz International, a U.S. corporation formerly known as Kraft.

    “So,” Cousin Ray wanted to know, “who owns Hershey bars?”

    * * *

    Another code talker has walked on. George James, Sr., aged 92, enlisted in the Marines at age 17 and fought though some of the bloodiest battles of the Pacific theater: Iwo Jima, Saipan, and Okinawa. There are reported to be only 14 surviving code talkers. R.I.P.

    Upcoming Pow Wows


    Louisiana Indian Heritage Association 50th Annual Pow Wow

    Lamar-Dixon Expo Center
    9039 Street Landry Road
    Gonzales, LA

    National Native American Heritage Day Pow Wow

    34 Park Avenue
    Bridgewater, MA

    45th Anniversary Poarch Creek Indians Thanksgiving Pow Wow

    5811 Jack Springs Road
    Atmore, AL

    The Big Picture

    A bronze statue depicting five Cherokee veterans was unveiled in Tahlequah, Oklahoma on November 10.JAMI MURPHY/CHEROKEE PHOENIX