Left out is also is the disaster in our relations with the American Indians with who we broke treaties with, stole their land and subjected them to live in impoverished conditions within a concentration camp without locks.
~Russell Means, Chief Facilitator, Republic of Lakotah
19 March 2010
On March 13, China’s Information Office of the State Council published a report titled, “The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2009.”
This document was clearly intended as a rebuttal to the annual US State Department Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2009, released two days earlier.
The Chinese report quite legitimately notes that the US government “releases Country Reports on Human Rights Practices year after year to accuse other countries, and takes human rights as a political instrument to interfere in other countries’ internal affairs, defame other nations’ image and seek its own strategic interests. This fully exposes its double standards on the human rights issue…”
Delivering the US government a well-deserved dose of its own medicine does not, of course, absolve the Chinese regime of its own gross violations of human rights. It rules autocratically over 1.3 billion people, most of them desperately poor peasants and super-exploited workers.
That being said, the Chinese report is an eye-opening document—factual, sober, even understated, drawn entirely from public government and media sources in the United States, with each item carefully documented. It presents a picture of 21st century America as much of the world sees it, one which is in sharp contrast to the official mythology and American media propaganda.
Not surprisingly, the report went unmentioned in the US mass media.
The 14-page report is divided into six major sections: Life, Property and Personal Security; Civil and Political Rights; Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; Racial Discrimination; Rights of Women and Children; US Violations of Human Rights Against Other Nations. The cumulative picture is one of a society in deep and worsening social crisis.
A few of the facts and figures cited on violence and police repression in the United States:
• Each year, 30,000 people die in gun-related incidents.
• There were 14,180 murders last year.
• In the first ten months of 2009, 45 people were killed by police use of tasers, bringing the total for the decade to 389.
• Last year, 315 police officers in New York City were subject to internal supervision due to “unrestrained use of violence.”
• 7.3 million Americans were under the authority of the correctional system, more than in any other country.
• An estimated 60,000 prisoners were raped while in custody last year.
On democratic rights, the report notes the pervasive government spying on citizens, authorized under the 2001 Patriot Act, extensive surveillance of the Internet by the National Security Agency, and police harassment of anti-globalization demonstrators in Pittsburgh during last year’s G-20 summit. Pointing to the hypocrisy of US government “human rights” rhetoric, the authors observe, “the same conduct in other countries would be called human rights violations, whereas in the United States it was called necessary crime control.”
The report only skims the surface on the socioeconomic crisis in the United States, noting record levels of unemployment, poverty, hunger and homelessness, as well as 46.3 million people without health insurance. It does offer a few facts rarely discussed in the US media:
• 712 bodies were cremated at public expense in the city of Los Angeles last year, because the families were too poor to pay for a burial.
• There were 5,657 workplace deaths recorded in 2007, the last year for which a tally is available, a rate of 17 deaths per day (not a single employer was criminally charged for any of these deaths).
• Some 2,266 veterans died as a consequence of lack of health insurance in 2008, 14 times the military death toll in Afghanistan that year.
The report presents evidence of pervasive racial discrimination against blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans, the most oppressed sections of the US working class, including a record number of racial discrimination claims over hiring practices, more than 32,000. It also notes the rising number of incidents of discrimination or violence against Muslims, and the detention of 300,000 “illegal” immigrants each year, with more than 30,000 immigrants in US detention facilities every day of the year.
It notes that the state of California imposed life sentences on 18 times more black defendants than white, and that in 2008, when New York City police fired their weapons, 75 percent of the targets were black, 22 percent Hispanic and only 3 percent white.
The report refers to the well-known reality of unequal pay for women, with median female income only 77 percent that of male income in 2008, down from 78 percent in 2007. According to the report, 70 percent of working-age women have no health insurance, or inadequate coverage, high medical bills or high health-related debt.
Children bear a disproportionate burden of economic hardship, with 16.7 million children not having enough food at some time during 2008, and 3.5 million children under five facing hunger or malnutrition, 17 percent of the total. Child hunger is combined with the malignant phenomenon of rampant child labor in agriculture: some 400,000 child farm workers pick America’s crops. The US also leads the world in imprisoning children and juveniles, and is the only country that does not offer parole to juvenile offenders.
US foreign policy comes in for justifiable criticism as well. A country with so many poor and hungry people accounts for 42 percent of the world’s total military spending, a colossal $607 billion, as well as the world’s largest foreign arms sales, $37.8 billion in 2008, up nearly 50 percent from the previous year.
The Chinese report notes the documented torture of prisoners in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo Bay, the worldwide US network of military bases, the US blockade of Cuba (opposed by the UN General Assembly by a vote of 187 to 3), and the systematic US spying around the world, utilizing the NSA’s “ECHELON” interception system, as well as the US monopoly control over Internet route servers.
The report also points out the deliberate US flouting of international human rights covenants. Washington has either signed but not ratified or refused to sign four major UN covenants: on economic, social and cultural rights; on the rights of women; on the rights of people with disabilities; and on the rights of indigenous peoples.
The report does not discuss the source of the malignant social conditions in the United States—nor should that be expected, since that would require an explanation of the causal connection between poverty, repression and discrimination and the operations of the capitalist profit system, something that Beijing is hardly likely to undertake.
The preceding was first published on Indybay
by Andreas Knudsen
Reprinted from Indigenous Affairs, January/February/March 1996. Published by the International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs.
Native communities, primarily in the western US, have been chronically exposed to low doses of radiation for over forty years. This exposure derives from the many nuclear activities on indigenous lands such as uranium mining and milling, uranium conversion and enrichment, and testing of nuclear weapons. More than one half of all US uranium deposits lie under reservation land. In the past, the Secretary of the Interior was authorized to lease tribal mineral resources for national defense purposes. In return for mining rights, the large energy consortiums have historically paid royalty fees and employed Indians in substandard working conditions.
Although native communities bear a disproportionate burden of risk from those activities compared to the general public, they are in many ways the least equipped communities to respond appropriately. Information on exposures and their health effects is often inadequate, incomplete, inaccessible and incomprehensible. The environmental consequences of uranium mining, atomic bomb testing and production, and radioactive waste disposal on or near reservation lands have often been disastrous. Estimates conclude that over 22,000,000 tons of mine tailings or waste by-products have been left at 24 locations in nine western states since the 1950s and that 220 acres of tailings have contaminated the Four Corners region alone. This article looks at the cases of two nations–the Western Shoshone and the Pauite-Shoshone of Ft. McDermitt.
The Western Shoshone Nation
Because of the long-term use of the Nevada Test Site (NTS), which is located on traditional Shoshone land, the Western Shoshone nation has become known as the most bombed nation on earth. The 928 American and 19 British nuclear explosions in Newe Sogobia have been classified by the Western Shoshone National Council (WSNC) as bombs rather than “tests.” The purpose of a bomb is to destroy while the idea of a test is to introduce something new. About 1,350 square miles of their total territory of about 43,000 square miles has been destroyed by hundreds of craters and tunnels, which are uncontrolled underground nuclear waste dumps, by nuclear bombs since 1951 when the bombing began. But no treaty, agreement, vote or sale exists that give the US permission to explode nuclear bombs on or under the Western Shoshone Nation. The Treaty of Ruby Valley of 1863, signed by representatives of the US and the Western Shoshone and ratified by the US Senate in 1866 and confirmed by President Grant in 1869, recognized Shoshone territorial sovereignty. The treaty did not transfer ownership rights and is till in effect. But through a variety of ethically and legally dubious methods, land was taken from the reservation. US authorities in the form of the Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service, Park Service, Fish and Wildlife, Atomic Energy Commission, Department of Defense, Department of Transportation, etc., control now approximately 90 per cent of the Shoshone land.
Environmental monitoring reports for the NTS from the 1950s until 1991 document substantial low level releases of radioactive iodine, strontium, cesium, plutonium and noble gases that have contaminated lands in Nevada and Utah. The Western Shoshone reservations, Duckwater and Ely are within a fifty-mile radius of the NTS and were more heavily contaminated. Residents reported unusual animal deaths, hair loss and gardens turning black. The health of the population still remains at high risk from cancers and birth defects. Despite these facts, the US government has now designated an area of the Western Shoshone Nation, known as Yucca Mountain, to become the final repository for the high level nuclear waste from the US nuclear industry. The Department of Energy (DOE) estimates that its scientific investigation of the site will be concluded by 2001, at a cost of $6.3 billion (year-of-expenditure dollars) and a repository could be opened by 2010. The DOE is no longer looking for another site. Although the tribe is very concerned about observed health and environmental effects, there are no official health studies under way, no offers to remedy environmental pollution, no programs for early detection of disease or disease surveillance in place.
In order to collect data on the effects of nuclear fallout from the NTS, WSNC started its own project in 1994. The main goal of the Western Shoshone Health Project is to provide data on the state of the land, soil, water, plants as well as the health of the people. This project is part of the Native American Health Network. Various organizations such as the Childhood Cancer Research Institute (CCRI) and Native Americans for a Clean Environment (NACE) work together in that network. They targeted the Western Shoshone and Paiute communities in the Great Basin among their highest priorities.
The overarching goal of the project is to begin proactive steps to correct the imbalance of risk by fostering a better understanding of radiation health issues among members of Native American communities to meet growing concerns about past and ongoing exposures. The communities will be empowered to obtain appropriate health protection and community controls for the future. A part of the project is the Training of Trainers program. This is a comprehensive, integrated program of training and technical assistance for the purpose of empowering native people to protect their communities and nations by arming them with an understanding of critical social and technical radiation issues directly affecting their health and environment. The program will create a unique partnership between researchers, health care providers and native communities by promoting a combination of indigenous thinking coupled with technical skills. The community trainers will take technical information, processes and techniques and translate them into a cost effective approach for the communities by developing education modules. The modules will be utilized by the community trainers for educating community members on the issues. Beyond this, the general research goal will be to use existing data resources to compile important information on off-site exposures for the communities, including those exposures to and from specific environmental or food chain pathways. Health scientists from the Center for Technology, Environment and Development (CENTED) at Clark University, Worcester, MA, are maintaining a dialogue with the community as their research is carried out so that they may benefit from local knowledge and experiences. For example, the Western Shoshones have indicated that mule deer, sheep, rabbits and pine nuts are main sources of subsistence for their people. As such, research on the up-take of radionuclides to these animals and roots are of much interest to them. They also mentioned several nuclear tests that they were particularly concerned about. Such community input will guide the scientists’ research, help to prioritize data collection and lead them to investigate other related issues of concern.
The Issue of the Ft. McDermitt Pauite-Shoshone—Background
The Quinn River Band of the northern Pauite originally inhabited the lands of the current Fort McDermitt Indian Reservation. As a result of the Indian Reorganization Act (IRA) of 1934, the members of the tribe adopted a Constitution and Federal Corporate Charter, and became the federally recognized Fort McDermitt Paiute-Shoshone Tribe. As for many other tribes, the adopting of an IRA Constitution and Corporate Charter was to terminate the Tribe’s traditional form of government and dispute resolution. It also established a republican form of government and court system. The IRA also imposed tribal laws codified in the Tribe’s constitution and federal Corporate Charter which tribal and federal officials neither take into consideration in their deliberations nor abide by. Furthermore, the IRA allowed the federal government more authority in intra- and intertribal affairs.
The tribe originally comprised a much larger land base, but a large part was taken away by dubious methods. Eventually, a Land Claims Commission was established to dictate monetary settlements, which many tribal members accepted. However, as many as two or three dozen of the more traditional families would not accept any monetary compensation, believing that by doing so they would be relinquishing their inherent rights as indigenous peoples. But because they did not accept the money, they did not become enrolled tribal members. At the reservation there are now approximately 400 enrolled members and about 300 unenrolled.
The MRS Localization Process
Because of the desperate economic situation at Ft. McDermitt reservation, the Tribal Council was willing to participate. Participation in that process means access to $100,000 in the first phase and $200,000 in the Phase II-A for feasibility studies and education.
Research for a Monitored Retrievable Storage (MRS) for nuclear fuel has a very high priority for the DOE. The 23,681 MT (metric tons) of nuclear fuel in 1992 and its growth is a pressing problem. The Nuclear Waste Negotiator (NWN), a federal agency working closely with the DOE, but accountable only to the President and Congress, has to find one or even more sites where the radioactive material can be deposited for the next 30 or 40 years before final storage, possibly at Yucca Mountain Repository.
NWN’s first attempt to establish an MRS in Tennessee failed because of the opposition of the State, the Governor and inhabitants. That is why NWN is now looking for sovereign volunteers. In May of 1991, the NWN sent a letter of introduction to all state and territorial governors, Tribal and Business Council governors, Tribal and Business Council chairpersons, and presidents of Pueblos and Native American Nations (both federally recognized and unrecognized). In June, feasibility assessment grants from the NWN Fund were authorized through the DOE. The size of the grants are determined by tribal conditions. Phase II-A offers an additional $200,000 for continued education and feasibility studies. All nine of the Phase II-A applications were held by Native American Nations, therefore, if a MRS is to be sited, it will be on an Indian reservation. Phase II-B offers up to $2.8 million to continue feasibility studies and education outreach, to enter into formal negotiations, identify potential sites and commence an environmental assessment. One has to remember that a volunteer participant can drop out of the MRS process at any time and without any explanation. At the time of writing, the Mescalero Apache and the Tonkawa Tribe of Oklahoma have voted down the plans of their Tribe Councils. But with the carrot or the stick tactics, the Apache’s Tribe Council persuaded the tribe to a new and, for the Council successful vote. In this way, the pressure on the Ft. McDermitt Pauite-Shoshone will increase too. The tribal supporters of MRS expect $60,000-$70,000 per capita payments per year. But in spite of their poverty, most tribal members are unwilling to trade their land for money under the MRS arrangement. Tribal member Dennis Smartt said: “If I sell my land, I break my connection with my heritage and I can never get that back.” Many tribal members have complained about a lack of credible information concerning the MRS project, including outright fabrications put forth by DOE promoters. The result of a mail-in-survey which was organized by Citizen Alert shows that 77 per cent of tribal members are opposed to the project. Tribal members ousted four pro-MRS incumbents in the November 1993 election but the Tribal Council is still in favour of the MRS.
Grace Thorpe, who is the Sac and Fox Tribal Health Commissioner and daughter of the legendary athlete Jim Thorpe, stated to the National Congress of American Indians, “The nuclear waste issue is causing mental and possibly genocidal decisions regarding the future of our people. It is wrong to say that it is natural that we, as Native Americans, should accept radioactive waste on our lands, as the US Department of Energy has said. It is a perversion of our beliefs and an insult to our intelligence to say that we are natural stewards of these wastes.”
For further information, please contact:
Western Shoshone National Council (WSNC)
P.O. Box 210
Indian Springs, NV 89018-0210
Western Shoshone Health Project
Citizen Alert Native American Program (CANAP)
Attn. Virginia Sanchez
P.O. Box 5339
Reno, NV 89513
The author thanks Ms. Renate Domnick for her support with this article. Sources: Monitored Retrieval Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel in Indian Country: Liability, Sovereignty and Socioeconomics by Jon D. Erichson, Duane Chapman and Ronald F. Johnny (Working Papers on Agricultural Economics, August 1992).
Andreas Knudsen is a member of the IWGIA Danish National Group.
“The International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA) is an independent, international organization which supports indigenous peoples in their struggle against oppression.” IWGIA publishes Indigenous Affairs four times a year. Subscriptions in 1996 are US $30 for individuals and US $50 for institutions. Contact: International Secretariat, IWGIA, Fiolstraede 10, DK-1171, Copenhagen K, Denmark. E-mail IWGIA@login.dkuug.dk.
This is a short history of colonization of the Lakotah to explain why our people do not make efforts at self-sufficiency.
1. The United States outlawed our religion, our spirituality. Outlawed it. Out people were sent to prison if they caught practicing our ways.
2. They rounded up our children, all of our children, for over 80 years and forced them into government and religious boarding schools. These utilized corporal punishment and mental and physical torture. They worked to erradicate our language and our songs. To forcefully teach us that our parents and grandparents were nothing more than stupid, savage pagans. That education goes on today.
3. The Constitution of the United States of America does not apply to any American Indian living on an federally recognized American Indian Reservation in the united states. Therefore we haven’t any Constitutional protections against anyone or anything. We are not permitted on the reservation to econmically develop. Hence, our over 80% unemployment. We cannot test our water officially for uranium poisoning or arsenic poisoning or any other type of minerals or heavy metals. We can test for E Coli & harmful bacteria. We are ‘allowed’ 4 tests for those items.
4. We suffer under the agriculture’s department’s starchy food program which is dispersed to us on a monthly basis. The alledged 10s of 100s of millions of dollars spent on the Lakotah is actually not spent on us. We are allowed to touch it, as it flies through the reservation to the white man that surrounds us. We are permitted to own gas stations and convenience stores, where most people shop. We have one grocery store on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, which is directly across the street from where the Bureau of Indian Affairs and nearby where Indian Health Service Hosptial employees work.
5. We have one Catholic High School, one Bureau of Indian Affairs High School, and two Tribally Controlled/BIA/No Child Left Behind High Schools. over 95% of the High School students have expressed the desire and the intention to leave the reservation as soon as possible. We have the Oglala Lakotah College, whose curriculum is designed to encourage graduates to leave the reservation. After over 80 years of these policies they have successfully destroyed our families, and our communities. Our entire culture is on the brink of extinction. The vast majority who remain on the reservation have crushingly low self esteem and no will to better themselves. The Christian Churches are vultures feeding off the carcases of our poverty. And they are very rich.
This list is a microcosm of the colonial and genocidal tactics fostered and developed by the government of the United States of America. For the above reasons and more is why we are asking for investment into our children, and investment in our self-determination. We welcome all opportunities for individuals to assist and lend their efforts to counter these effects and improve the conditions our people are struggling against.
Russell Means discusses how the lens through which America views its Indigenous people, shows how America views the world. From English-only laws and Christian righteousness to the perpetual state of war since its creation, the United States citizens continue to show a lack of respect for their relatives visions. Russell Means offers advice to the people of America in this edition of Weekend Update.
July 7, 2009
On April 2, 2009, after hearing evidence for a month, a Denver jury unanimously found that Ward Churchill had been fired from the University of Colorado *not* because of research misconduct but in retaliation for speech protected by the First Amendment.
After more than four years of political attacks on Ward Churchill, a clear statement had been made: the University of Colorado had violated the U.S. Constitution when it fired Churchill, a tenured full professor of American Indian Studies.
The normal remedy in such cases? Reinstatement.
Today, July 7, 2009, Judge Larry Naves of the Denver District Court threw out the jury’s verdict, adopting the University’s argument that the Regents have “quasi-judicial” immunity from such lawsuits. In essence, this means that the Regents and University administrators are free to continue to violating the Constitution.
In a 42-page opinion lifted wholesale from the University’s pleadings, Judge Naves went on to explain why Ward Churchill should not be given front pay, back pay, or be reinstated.
All of these are irrelevant, of course, if the jury’s verdict is not upheld. But the fact that the judge went to such pains to adopt the University’s arguments – which often directly contravened the factual record in this case – speaks volumes.
This ruling simply confirms what we have observed so often. When given access to the facts, regular people on the street can make clear, reasoned decisions that uphold constitutional values. It is rare, however, to find persons in positions of power who will not bow to political pressure.
Attorney David Lane will, of course, appeal this decision. Ward Churchill’s reaction? “I can’t think of any way to improve upon Steve Earle’s line from *The Hard Way*: ‘There are some who break and bend. I’m the other kind.’”
July 7, 2009
If you’re an American Indian in the United States of America, whether you are a Lakotah or a Navajo, a tenured professor or a Nobel Peace Prize winner, or an elected president of another country, you will not receive justice in any form from the white people of America.
They attacked Vine Deloria, Jr. (on the day of his funeral), Rigoberta Menchu and Evo Morales. An Indian on a reservation can’t get justice. And a tenured professor can get unconstitutionally thrown out, vindicated by a jury of his peers in a court of law, and it doesn’t matter.
Everyone I’ve named cannot fight back. Evo Morales has to worry about being the president of a country; Rigoberta Menchu has to continue working for her people. Vine Deloria is dead. Indian people on reservations have no power of any kind.
Only Ward has the ability to fight back and win, and it’s still not good enough. They still quash him.
The American Indian has been living at Guantánamo Bay since the founding of the United States of America.
T.R.E.A.T.Y. Update #4
Dear Friends and Freedom Lovers,
As the last of the snows melts back and the turkeys finish up ruffling their feathers, the T.R.E.A.T.Y. School Summer Build has begun.
We wanted to let you know some of the progress to date and what we are looking forward to in the coming months at the T.R.E.A.T.Y. School & Ranch.
Completed tasks to date:
-T.R.E.A.T.Y. Dorm site finalized.
-Project Leads for Earthen Brick Dorm Construction & Completion of T.R.E.A.T.Y. School Tipi finalized.
-1/2 acre Garden site cleared of weeds as part of the spring burn-off. Returned ashes and coffee grounds to the earth. Removed fencing enabling us to TRIPLE! the size of the garden.
-Garden half plowed, with remainder of plowing & field tilling to follow this week (Thanks to Bo, Brady & Dwayne who brought over the Tom Cook’s Tractors!)
-Volunteers scheduled with specialties ranging from Plumbing, Construction and Electrical work to Permaculture and Mold Remediation experts.
-Cleared fence-line of fallen trees after recent blizzards.
–Schedule for the Summer Build–
May 15th – May 30th: Spring Planting & Pre-Build
We will be planting corn, beans and a variety of veggies including tomatoes, eggplant, melons & cucumbers, as well as sweet and hot peppers. We are looking to get three to six individuals to join us for 1 to 2 week periods. We will be planting according to prevailing winds and weather patterns. Individuals who arrive will be asked to bring a tent, with meals provided. If interested, please contact David immediately at the following email: build )at( treatyschool (dot) org. During this time we will also be cutting wood for community elder’s wood stoves as well as restoring fenceposts & fencelines.
-We will also be having our Pre-Build Meeting for the Earthen Brick Dorm & Tipi Completion. In addition to our current team, we are seeking an additional architect and/or engineer for our Earthen Brick Dorm Project who will be able to come out to the ranch for one weekend in Late May to meet with our planning team. During this weekend, they will collaborate on the design of the Earthen Brick Dorm & participate in soil sampling. Afterwards they will work with our team to assist with the layout and planning of the structure. Internships are being sponsored for these positions.
July 1st – August 31st: Dorm, Tipi & Energy
T.R.E.A.T.Y. School Dorm:
-The seven-room building will be constructed out of Compressed Earthen Bricks, a low carbon, low cost design. It will use concentrated solar thermal heating within the floor and be partly constructed from salvaged and recycled metals. The build for the Earthen Brick Dorm will commence on July 1st and continue through the end of August.
30 Second Flyover Rendering
A 3-D, 360 Degree Rendering of the Completed Earthen Brick Dorm on the T.R.E.A.T.Y. School Grounds.
Completion of Tipi Interior:
-Completion of the electrical, plumbing and finishing work within the T.R.E.A.T.Y. School Structure in July. Completion of second floor loft and easement in basement to allow for multiple exit points. Between the Earthen Brick Dorm and the Tipi Completion, we are looking for a total of 25 volunteers to work 2 to 4 week assignments throughout July & August. Experienced Carpenters, Plumbers and Electricians are preferred, but what we will most need are motivated, reliable and responsible persons who are willing to get their hands dirty and help get the project completed.
-Assistance with materials. We will need your assistance with procurement of electrical, plumbing and construction materials. We are currently seeking gift cards and donations for Home Depot & Lowe’s. By June 1st, we will have a complete inventory of needed materials and will distribute at that time.
Solar & Wind:
-Our goal here at T.R.E.A.T.Y. School is to become electrically self-sufficient by the end of the summer. Initially, we will be working with a small scale wind design with 55 gallon barrels. In addition to this capacity, we are seeking individuals immediately with Small to Medium Scale Wind & Solar experience to help with grant-writing, procurements and installations. Our goal is to also install Solar & Wind installations here on the T.R.E.A.T.Y. School Grounds as well as at the local Head-Start complex and the Senior Center here in Porcupine by September 1st, 2009. Once completed, this will be the first step in a movement to both create local power for the residents of the Lakotah Nation as well as generate much needed revenue and job creation for the local economies.
If you are able to assist with any of these efforts, please contact us so we can schedule your spot as soon as possible.
David Grefrath – build )at( treatyschool (dot) org – (605) 867-1111
We hope to see you soon and wish you a very happy summer.
If you can’t make it out, but would like to contribute to the build via Paypal a link is below:
Also, Don’t forget to sign up for, and use, your OneCause Account. By logging on to this account before you buy on-line, The T.R.E.A.T.Y. School will get a donation from of every purchase you make at stores like Amazon.
OneCause Home Page:
T.R.E.A.T.Y. School One-World Site:
As Russell Means often says “May the Great Mystery continue to guide and protect the paths of you and your loved ones!”
On April 2nd, 2009, A jury returned a decision stating that Ward Churchill had been wrongfully fired from his position as a tenured professor at Colorado University. The cause stemmed from the publication of his now infamous essay ‘The Ghosts of 9-1-1: Reflections on History, Justice and Roosting Chickens’. After its initial publication, three years passed until a section of the essay entitled ‘Some People Push Back’ was brought to light by a college newspaper reporter that the essay came under public criticism and caused the circumstances under which Churchill was subsequently fired.
In the full text, Churchill contends that the events of September 11th, 2001 were made inevitable by a foreign policy that puts the rights of corporations inexorably in front of the rights of people, histories or environments, and that the systemic amnesia engendered and perpetuated within the system is its own form of culpability.
Citing the failures of popular movements to cease the sanctions in Iraq during the 1990s, abolish the WTO or its colluding powers at the IMF/World Bank, he charges the left with acquiescing to state powers in deference to that which is comfortable and secure. The phrase, ‘Little Eichmans’ is largely credited for having drawn attention to the essay, a curious objection as the phrase itself was borrowed from a John Zerzan article, published in 1997.
The jury found for Churchill’s suit and held CU liable for the costs of his legal team and an additional one dollar.
The proceedings come at a time of increased scrutinity of college professors. From Norman Finkelstein’s being denied tenure, to Dr. Cornell West’s somewhat fiery departure from Harvard for Princeton, the high halls of academia have held witness to more power struggles than usual of late. The common thread underlying them all though would seem to be a charge of anti-zionism leveled at all the actors involved here. Finkelstein wrote ‘Beyond Ghutspa: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History’ and West chose to leave Harvard after a public row with Larry Summers, a man who equates Anti-Zionism, the refusal of the State of Israel to exist, and Anti-Semitism, the racist bigotry towards a Jewish person. All three, Churchill, Finkelstein and West are all outspoken critics of US Foreign policy, vis-a-vis Palestine. All three have faced massive scrutiny that others in their fields are hardly ever subject to.
The case in point, Churchill was a tenured professor, but was abruptly demonized at the hint of equivalency of complicity of those who oversaw speculative investing and those who who punched tickets for Auschwitz victims. To be sure, there is a very real difference between the two, but what of those who ran the books for the SS? What of those who currently oversee the World Bank funding of dams that have flooded out perhaps 60 million people in India. Tens of thousands of these were farmers who have now committed suicide. What of the one million farmers displaced by US agribusiness in Mexico in the last 8 years who have no choice but to leave their villages and either enter a sweatshop or take the uncertain road north? The US does not send any of these people to be incinerated, but what level of collusion is acceptably equivalent? At what point will the American or even the progressive voices in America cease being voices and become actions in solidarity against such practices? Until Americans, and in particular those Americans who know something is wrong, answer this question, there will continue to be rhetoric, but no response, and the chickens are still out in the field, waiting to come home.
For Churchill, he has been proved triumphant against the school system that fired him. Unrelenting, he is now seeking the school to either reinstate him or award him one million dollars in damages. A Denver District Court Judge will decide within 30 days of the ruling whether additional damages will be awarded.
The (Former) Governor
Takes the Stand
by J. Robert Brown
Former Governor Bill Owens was on the stand for a couple of hours. Not long after the 9/11 essay surfaced, the Governor called on CU to fire Churchill.
David Lane’s main point was to show that the Governor, with line item veto authority over the University of Colorado, applied pressure to get the University to fire Ward Churchill.
The jury heard the former president of CU, Betsy Hoffman, describe a conversation with the Governor where she said he told her to fire Ward Churchill “tomorrow,” that his tone was “threatening,” and that if she didn’t he would “unleash his plan.”
Governor Owens did not specifically recall the conversation but doubted that it was not “in that tenor” and that he did not have a “plan.”
Later, when a partial transcript of an interview on the O’Reilly Factor was put up on the screen, Lane pointed to an exchange where Owens denied he had the authority to fire Churchill but then admitted: “I do have some budget authority over the budget.” Owens declined to admit that this was a threat, noting that its a true statement and repeated over and over that he had actually raised the CU budget during his administration.
On recross, Lane asked whether in fact Governor Owens had a “strategy” for CU if Churchill wasn’t fired. He answered in the negative. Lane then pointed to this exchange on the O’Reilly transcript:
- O’REILLY: One more question for you. You have basically a strategy, and I want to get this right. You’re not going to pay him off, so he’s not going to get the big bucks. You’re going to go through the lengthy process to prove that he did something that you can legitimately fire him [for], and then he goes — “See you.”
- OWENS: That’s exactly right. That’s exactly right. That process is starting. I think it will ultimately result in him being fired.
The quick denial followed by the reference in the O’Reilly Factor caused a slight stir in the courtroom. Governor Owens then repeated that he didn’t have a strategy and that he was merely acknowledging that based on the evidence that he knew, there was sufficient basis to fire Churchill.
Governor Owens did acknowledge in his testimony that he was glad the University had not heeded his advice and fired Churchill immediately after the 9/11 essay surface.
Right Wing Attempting to Bankrupt Ward Churchill
Protect your First Amendment Rights! CLICK TO DONATE TODAY!
Professor Churchill was fired after a 30 month long “investigation” by the University of Colorado where they dug into all 4,000 pages of his published works and combed through his over 12,000 footnotes! In the end, the investigation finds 7 alleged errors and/or plagiarism.
Since his firing, Ward has mounted a full-scale lawsuit against the Board of Regents of the University of Colorado and now his coffers are nearly empty. PROTECT YOUR FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS!
Detailed Chronology of Events:
Sept. 12, 2001 Prof. Churchill writes an op-ed piece published online by Dark Night Field Notes, giving a “gut reaction” to possible causes of the Sept. 11 attacks. This is later expanded and published as On the Justice of Roosting Chickens: Reflections on the Consequences of U.S. Imperial Arrogance and Criminality (AK Press, 2003). Neither receives much public attention.
January 26, 2005 A Syracuse, NY newspaper discusses Prof. Churchill’s scheduled lecture at Hamilton College sponsored by the Kirkland Project for the Study of Gender, Society and Culture. The Kirkland Project had already been targeted by various rightwing organizations, including Lynne Cheney’s American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) and David Horowitz’ Center for the Study of Popular Culture and its spin-off, Students for Academic Freedom. A well-coordinated campaign at Hamilton had recently succeeded in forcing cancellation of a class which was to have been taught by former political prisoner Susan Rosenberg (who was to speak on a panel with Prof. Churchill).
Within a few days the story, which focused on two words (“little Eichmanns”) taken out of context from the 2001 op-ed piece, had been picked up by AP, newspapers around the country, and highlighted by Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, who urged viewers to contact Hamilton College. Both Ward Churchill and Hamilton College soon received thousands of calls, letters and e-mails, including threats of violence and death.
Despite initial vows to protect freedom of speech, Hamilton College President Joan Hinde Stewart cancels the program on January 31. She attributes it to security concerns, but it later becomes clear that threats from alumni to withdraw financial support play a major role in the decision. The director of the Kirkland Project is soon removed and the Project threatened with de-funding.
January 27, 2005 With total disregard for the CU’s written policies on academic freedom, Interim Chancellor Philip DiStefano immediately denounces Prof. Churchill’s statements as “abhorrent” and “repugnant.” Two days later Colorado Congressman Bob Beauprez demands Prof. Churchill’s resignation. Beauprez later boasts on the radio that he has discussed the Churchill case with President Bush on Air Force One. Within the week Gov. Bill Owens demands that Prof. Churchill be fired, and both chambers of the Colorado legislature pass resolutions condemning Prof. Churchill and threatening to withhold funds from CU.
February 3, 2005 The CU Board of Regents convenes an emergency meeting. Although billed as a “public meeting,” an undergraduate is immediately arrested for attempting to read a brief statement on behalf of the students. His charges were eventually dropped, but community activist Shareef Aleem faces a sixteen-year prison term for allegedly assaulting officers who attempted to forcibly eject him when he asked why the students were not being allowed to speak.
The Regents issue a blanket “apology” to the entire country for Prof. Churchill’s statements, and accept Chancellor DiStefano’s proposal that he, CU Law dean David Getches, and Arts & Sciences dean Todd Gleeson convene an “ad hoc” committee to determine within 30 days whether any of Prof. Churchill’s public writing or speeches “crossed” some undefined boundary of protected speech. The Regents’ own rules on academic freedom and CU’s internal faculty procedures – to say nothing of the First Amendment – are completely disregarded. CU posts DiStefano’s statements prominently on its website.
February 8, 2005 CU-Boulder students sponsor a speech by Ward Churchill on campus. Interim Chancellor DiStefano attempts to cancel it at the last minute, citing “security” concerns, but the possibility of a federal court injunction persuades him otherwise. More than 1500 people attend; they are orderly and extremely supportive of Prof. Churchill.
Despite on-going efforts by Bill O’Reilly, David Horowitz and his “Students for Academic Freedom,” and even personal communiqués from Governor Bill Owens to College Republican around the country to have his speeches cancelled, during the spring Ward Churchill speaks to large and overwhelmingly supportive audiences at the University of Hawai’i, the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, the University of California-Berkeley, Reed College, Pitzer College, the University of California-Monterey Bay, and at numerous public events in Denver and the San Francisco Bay area. President Jordan of Eastern Washington University, then vying for a job in Denver, cancels a talk; he is unanimously rebuked by his faculty and his students bring Ward Churchill to speak anyway. Ironically, only the very “liberal” Antioch College and Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics at the University of Oregon actually cancel scheduled appearances.
February 25, 2005 Nearly 200 tenured faculty members at UC-Boulder take out an ad “demanding that school officials halt their investigation of Ward Churchill’s work. On March 22 this is followed by a full-page open letter endorsed by hundreds of scholars across the country, demanding that the Regents’ and administration’s “utterly gratuitous and inappropriate action[s]” be reversed. During this period thousands of individuals sign petitions supporting Prof. Churchill and hundreds write letters of protest to CU officials.
March 3, 2005 CU President Elizabeth Hoffman warns an emergency session of the Boulder Faculty Assembly of a “new McCarthyism,” pointing out that there is “no question that there’s a real danger that the group of people [who] went after Churchill now feel empowered.” Within 5 days she announces her resignation.
Mid-March 2005 Having bought time with its “ad hoc” investigation of his every word, the University negotiates with Prof. Churchill. He is willing to take early retirement for nominal compensation, but only on the condition that the Regents formally and publicly affirm the University’s processes of academic review and their own rules on academic freedom. They refuse.
March 24, 2005 Interim Chancellor DiStefano, who has never consulted Ward Churchill or even officially informed him of the investigation, publicly announces the findings of the “ad hoc” committee. The Interim Chancellor has discovered, apparently to his surprise, that all of Prof. Churchill’s writings and speeches are protected by the First Amendment. But in the meantime, he states, other allegations have surfaced which require further investigation.
Spring 2005 Beginning in late January the “Churchill controversy” is highlighted by O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Joe Scarborough, and other neoconservative media personalities; a Denver Clear Channel radio station (closely aligned with Fox News) begins devoting 6-8 hours a day to disparaging Ward Churchill, and The O’Reilly Factor highlights Professor Churchill in over 40 segments. The two major Denver newspapers as well as the two Boulder dailies (three of the four now owned by Scripps-Howard) engage in uniformly negative coverage, running 400 stories in the next two months.
This “news” coverage rapidly turns into an all-out attempt at character assassination. The opinions of an ex-wife, former in-laws, and long-term political adversaries are highlighted. Ward Churchill’s driving record, credit history, employment and military record, high school football team, and even baby pictures are scrutinized. One week the theme is vague accounts of heretofore unreported “intimidation” supposedly occurring a decade or two earlier; then supposed misrepresentations of his academic credentials; then claims that he attempted to incite violence. As each set of claims was proven false, reporters simply moved on to another.
The Interim Chancellor now decides to invoke existing faculty procedures and refers numerous allegations culled from this media barrage to CU’s Standing Committee on Research Misconduct (SCRM). One set of allegations concerns Prof. Churchill’s interpretation of the U.S. Army’s participation in the spreading of smallpox to Indians and about the implementation of “blood quantum” requirements pursuant to the 1887 General Allotment Act and the Indian Arts and Crafts Act. A second set is widely characterized as “plagiarism,” although it is primarily devolves from a claim that Prof. Churchill wrote material published under someone else’s name. In addition, Chancellor DiStefano instructs SCRM to investigate Prof. Churchill’s American Indian identity. Disregarding the University’s own rules on confidentiality, the allegations are released to the press even before Prof. Churchill receives them.
Prof. Churchill protests the investigation as pretextual punishment of protected speech and contests the convening of a racial purity board, but provides SCRM with evidence countering each allegation, including evidence that he meets three standard federal definitions of “American Indian.”
April 25, 2005 Predictably the media feeding frenzy (as well as organized rightwing writing campaigns) has resulted in a barrage of e-mails, telephone calls and letters to Prof. Churchill and the Department of Ethnic Studies. For several weeks the Department cannot otherwise function. While many express support, Prof. Churchill and the Department each receive several thousand hostile and usually virulently racist e-mails. Students of color on the Boulder campus experience a heightened level of racist hostility. Prof. Churchill receives a steady stream of death threats and his home is vandalized. The University ignores all of this; the racist attacks are not condemned and the Department receives no additional support or security. The Ethnic Studies faculty finally sends an Open Letter to the Regents and all of the relevant University administrators, requesting support and attaching excerpts of e-mails which are racist, homophobic and threaten violence. Interim Chancellor DiStefano apparently finds these neither “abhorrent” nor “repugnant.” The Department never receives acknowledgment of its Open Letter from any University official.
May 17-19, 2005 The office of the Keetowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Tahlequah, Oklahoma is overwhelmed by media inquiries concerning Prof. Churchill’s status. On May 17 Prof. Churchill learns that, in the face of this pressure, the Band has issued a statement falsely asserting that he was never on the band rolls. Prof. Churchill issues a response documenting his May 1994 enrollment as an Associate Member; on May 19 the Band confirms this fact.
Summer 2005 Having taught an overload during the spring semester, Prof. Churchill also teaches a Maymester course. He wins a 2005 teaching award, voted on by students, but its sponsor (the CU alumni association) withholds the award “pending the outcome of the investigation,” despite the fact that the allegations have nothing to do with teaching.
Early June 2005 The Rocky Mountain News, having put at least 5 reporters on “special assignment” for several weeks, runs a 5-part, multi-page series with its conclusions on each allegation being investigated by the SCRM in its purportedly “confidential” process. The University spokesperson says that only allegations from individual complainants, not news reports, can be investigated. Immediately thereafter, Interim Chancellor DiStefano, as complainant, sends 59 pages of stories downloaded off the Rocky Mountain News website to the SCRM, which forwards the entire package to Prof. Churchill with instructions to answer “any new allegations.”
Late June 2005 Prof. Churchill files a formal grievance with the faculty Privilege and Tenure (P&T) Committee concerning the pretextual nature of the investigations against him and the University’s violations of his academic freedom, First Amendment, and due process rights. He subsequently files additional grievances concerning the University’s persistent violations of confidentiality and its refusal to grant him a sabbatical. He is eventually informed that the P&T Committee will only consider the grievances about the investigative process after the process has been completed.
August 19, 2005 The SCRM completes its “inquiry” phase. It drops or disregards numerous allegations, including the charge of “ethnic fraud,” but forwards seven allegations for “investigation.” These involve matters of historical interpretation (Prof. Churchill’s attribution of intentionality with respect to two smallpox epidemics and his characterization of the blood quantum requirements of the 1887 General Allotment Act and the 1990 Indian Arts and Crafts Act) and questions of attribution of authorship regarding three articles (one he never claimed authorship of; another a pamphlet which a long-defunct political organization had asked him to use; the third a piece which he readily acknowledged to have ghostwritten).
Late August, 2005 Denver newspapers report that Prof. Churchill is scheduled for a sabbatical in the spring semester of 2006. Interim Provost Susan Avery immediately announces that although Prof. Churchill’s sabbatical had been approved by Dean Todd Gleeson almost a year earlier, she had never forwarded it to the Regents for approval. Prof. Churchill files a grievance and, pending its outcome, announces his intent to “un-bank” two of the six overload courses which he had already taught and for which he was owed the equivalent of “comp time.” In October Dean Gleeson refuses to allow Prof. Churchill to un-bank more than one course in the spring. He states that this is because Prof. Churchill needs to be present on campus, but then contradicts himself by suggesting that Prof. Churchill take an unpaid leave. After Prof. Churchill notifies University officials that he will file suit, they concede that he can un-bank courses in the spring and fall of 2006.
Fall-Winter 2005 The SCRM appoints the investigative committee. Because of the poisoned atmosphere within the University, Prof. Churchill requests an entirely external committee including experts in his field of American Indian Studies. Given the prior actions of law dean David Getches, Prof. Churchill specifically objects to the inclusion of CU law faculty. SCRM chair Joseph Rosse appoints a committee dominated by 3 CU insiders and chaired by a CU law professor. The two outside members include an American Indian Studies expert and a native professor of federal Indian law. Local media pundits immediately begin bashing the two outsiders for having previously made general statements acknowledging the importance of Prof. Churchill’s work. Within 48 hours the two outside members resign, leaving the committee without an expert in the field and without any persons of color. Two additional members are eventually appointed, a white federal Indian law scholar and a Chicano anthropologist. The committee proceeds without any American Indian scholars or experts in American Indian studies.
Winter-Spring 2006 Prof. Churchill submits voluminous responses to and meets with the investigative committee. Because of the committee’s lack of knowledge of the field, much of his time is devoted to basic questions of history and methodology. Four American Indian scholars appear as witnesses to confirm his interpretation of historical matters, as well as the methodology and standards employed in American Indian Studies and in native oral traditions. The committee refuses Prof. Churchill’s repeated requests for extensions of time to submit responses, and only allows him to question witnesses – even his own – by typing questions and e-mailing them.
May 16, 2006 The investigative committee issues an obtuse 124-page report which, despite its many concessions to the flaws in the process, concludes that Prof. Churchill did engage in research misconduct on the seven allegations. Contradicting the evidence presented by all of the American Indian witnesses, the entirely non-Indian committee accuses Prof. Churchill of “disrespecting” American Indian oral traditions. The committee concludes that these are offenses for which a tenured faculty member can be fired, and the members recommend that Prof. Churchill be terminated or suspended for several years. The severity of recommended sanctions appears to be a result of what the report describes as Prof. Churchill’s “bad attitude.” The report was immediately criticized on many grounds, substantive and procedural. (Click here for problems with the report.)
June 16, 2006 Interim Chancellor DiStefano, who has thus far publicly condemned Prof. Churchill, convened an inquiry into “every word” he has published or publicly uttered, solicited allegations and then forwarded them to the SCRM as “complainant,” now serves as sentencing judge, sanctioning the investigative committee’s report and recommending that Prof. Churchill be fired. DiStefano, too, cites Prof. Churchill’s “attitude.”
Prof. Churchill files an internal appeal with the Privilege & Tenure Committee.
April 11, 2007 A review panel convened by CU’s Privilege & Tenure (P&T) Committee concludes that but for the “controversy” over Ward Churchill’s statements regarding 9/11 the investigation would not have occurred. It also finds that the SCRM Investigative Committee “exceeded its charge” in a number of cases, and that the University failed to meet its burden of proof on others, including the claims about misrepresenting the blood quantum requirements of the General Allotment Act of 1887 and the 1990 Indian Arts and Craft Act.
Nonetheless, the P&T Panel concludes that Prof. Churchill engaged in research misconduct on some specifics concerning the 1837 smallpox epidemic, and failed to comply with (unspecified) standards concerning author attribution. The majority of the Panel recommends a 1-year suspension.
May 10, 2007 Research misconduct complaint against the SCRM Investigative Committee filed by 11 professors, including 2 experts in American Indian Studies alleging deliberate falsification and fabrication in their Report. (Never investigated by CU.)
May 28, 2007 Another set of research misconduct allegations filed against the SCRM Committee by 5 professors and 2 attorneys. (Never investigated by CU.)
June 7, 2007 CU President Hank Brown refuses to recuse himself from Ward Churchill case despite his longstanding ties to ACTA. He then overrides the P&T Panel to recommend to the Regents that they fire Ward Churchill.
July 10, 2007 A P&T review panel belatedly addresses a grievance filed by Ward Churchill in September 2005 regarding the University’s violations of its own rules on confidentiality. The panel concludes that “the actions by the University regarding the SCRM process and press releases/conferences violated Churchill’s confidentiality. In addition, the panel finds that further harm to Churchill’s reputation was done by the delay in hearing his grievance by the Privilege and Tenure Committee.”
July 10, 2007 Churchill fired by Board of Regents
This finding, of course, comes too late to redress any of the harm caused by these breaches of University rules.
July 12, 18, and 19, 2007 Still more research misconduct complaints are filed against the SCRM Investigative Committee. (Never investigated.)
July 24, 2007 The Regents of the University of Colorado vote 8-1 to fire Ward Churchill. Only Regent Cindy Carlisle votes to accept the P&T Panel’s findings.
July 25, 2007 David Lane immediately files suit to vindicate Ward Churchill’s rights under the First Amendment.
March 9-27, 2009: Churchill v. University of Colorado scheduled for trial in Denver State Court.
Date: 03/02/2009 Length: 00:01:29
Families Freezing in Nation’s Poorest County:
PUBLIC UTILITIES “CUT” ON CROW CREEK RESERVATION
(Fort Thompson, SD) Electric company caught “pulling meters” (CLICK TO VIEW THE VIDEO) in the poorest community in the nation, leaving America’s most vulnerable people without power in the dead of winter. Predatory electric companies continue to conduct these atrocious practices amid growing public outcry and damning national media scrutiny. Headlines in newspapers across the country highlight unnecessary tragedies as arctic winter months reveal the electric company’s controversial conduct of shutting off the community’s power, despite the rest of South Dakota having Seasonal Termination Protection Regulations.
CORRECTION: “Central Power Electric Cooperative, Inc” is the wholesale provider, not the retail provider that has been illegally disconnecting the meters on Crow Creek Reservation. The real culprits are at the “Central Electric Cooperative:” We apologize for any confusion caused by this error and our happy to oblige the request of Loren Noess - General Manager of CENTRAL ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE to post his information here for your convenience. See his e-mail request below.
Loren Noess - General Manager
Text of Mr. Noess’ e-mail with:
To Whom it may concern:
Please change the address of Central you have on your web site. Also if you do some research on this video it was played last June on Utube [sic] and we know they were at Crow Creek last March of 2008 doing taping This video we believe is a year old. Our employees are on this video. They are doing their and should not be explosed[sic].
Please refer to the attached letter that I emailed to Eric Klein yesterday and also sent by mail.
I have sent copies of this letter to all 3 Congressional Leaders in Washington and the South Dakota PUC. The 3 Offices in Washington indicated they haven’t received any calls from the Reservation about disconnects. As you’ll read in our letter we haven’t disconnected any[sic] for the months of Dec. Jan and Feb.
Any questions please give me a call.
PO Box 850
1420 North Main
Mitchell, SD 57301
Office Hours: Monday – Friday 8 am – 5 pm
Toll Free in SD: 800.477.2892
PO Box 850
1420 North Main Street
Mitchell, SD 57301 USA
Plankinton Branch Office:
PO Box 130
102 South Main Street
Plankinton, SD 57301 USA
Putting LIVES on the Line:
This winter, the Crow Creek Indian Reservation is experiencing record-low temperatures reaching fifty below zero. Hundreds of families living in government housing have had their electric meters removed by Central Electric Cooperative, the local electric cooperative. When these power meters are pulled the residents are left without power; the propane heaters do not run; pipes freeze; and there is no water for cooking, drinking, bathing or flushing toilets. Many of these households have family members whose lives depend upon electronic medical equipment such as defibrillators.
Ironically these families are paying some of the highest electricity rates in the country even though they live adjacent to the Big Bend Hydro-Electric Dam on the Missouri river. These homes are poorly insulated causing electric bills in excess of $300.00 in the coldest months.
Median income in the region is approximately $5,000 a year (typical of the thirteen Lakotah (Sioux) Reservations in the “Great Sioux Nation” as defined in the Treaties of 1851 and 1868 with the US Government).
“I’ve been to disaster areas around the world including Sri Lanka after the tsunami, hurricane Katrina, and after the Iowa floods, but, I have never witnessed such blatant disregard for human life as I have here in my own country on the Crow Creek reservation,” stated Eric Klein, Founder and CEO of Compassion into Action Network – Direct Outcome Organization (CAN-DO). “Especially now, with the new administration focusing on the development of America’s infrastructure, we need to focus our energies and resources immediately to address this critical situation where such infrastructure is being blatantly misutilized.”
Appalled by the abuse and neglect, one US Marine and Crow Creek resident took action to publicize the exploitation. Using a hand-held video recorder, he documented local power companies physically cutting electricity lines and removing meters in the peak of winter.
Utilizing their proven approach to providing lasting solutions with full accountability, efficiency and results, CAN-DO is addressing the operation at the Crow Creek Indian Reservation on the local level to raise the nation’s awareness of the urgent human right abuses taking place in the South Dakota region.
“We are calling for a collaborative effort by ethical individuals, organizations, schools and political leaders to assure that this damage is reversed,” said Klein. “Together, we can contribute to real change here at home.”
LAWS OF SOUTH DAKOTA TITLE 49
PUBLIC UTILITIES AND CARRIERS
49-34A-2. Service required of utilities. Every public utility shall furnish adequate, efficient, and reasonable service.
49-34A-6. Rates to be reasonable and just – Regulation by commission. Every rate made, demanded or received by any public utility shall be just and reasonable. Every unjust or unreasonable rate shall be prohibited. The Public Utilities Commission is hereby authorized, empowered and directed to regulate all rates, fees and charges for the public utility service of all public utilities, including penalty for late payments, to the end that the public shall pay only just and reasonable rates for service rendered.
Source: SL 1975, ch 283, § 16.
THE LIE PROPAGATED BY THE STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA:
Crow Creek Sioux Tribe:
“Every night, the sun slips quietly away behind the bluffs of the Missouri River. These bluffs flank the western edge of the Crow Creek Reservation in central South Dakota. Located one mile south of tribal headquarters at Fort Thompson is Lake Sharpe, one of South Dakota’s Great Lakes. Water recreation abounds on the 80-mile reservoir created by the Big Bend Dam. Visitors enjoy boating, fishing and swimming as well as picnicking and camping along the water’s edge. The tribe’s wildlife department offers guided fishing and hunting trips. It also maintains a buffalo herd that often grazes north of Fort Thompson. ” http://www.travelsd.com/ourhistory/sioux/tribes/crowcreek.asp
… thousands of hectares of Indian land have been lost to dams. In North Dakota, a quarter of the Fort Berthold Reservation, shared by the Arikara, Mandan and Hidatsa peoples of the upper Missouri, for example, was flooded as a result of a staircase of dams (the Missouri River Development Project (MRDP), built during the 1950s and 1960s. The land lost included the best and most valuable and productive land on the reservation – the bottom lands along the river where most people lived.105 Five different Sioux reservations also lost land. Again, the impact was quite severe: the dams destroyed nearly 90 per cent of the tribes’ timberland, 75 per cent of the wild game, and the best agricultural lands.106
Ultimately, the Missouri dams cost the indigenous nations of the Missouri Valley an estimated 142,000 hectares of their best land – including a number of burial and other sacred sites – as well as further impoverishment and severe cultural and emotional trauma. A guarantee, used to rationalise the plan in the first place, that some 87,000 hectares of Indian land would be irrigated was simply scrapped as the project neared completion. As researcher Bernard Shanks puts it: “MRDP replaced the subsistence economy of the Missouri River Indians . . . with a welfare economy . . . As a result of the project, the Indians bore a disproportionate share of the social
cost of water development, while having no share in the benefits.”.107
104 Pittja 1994:54.
105 Guerrero 1992.
106 United States v David Sohappy, Snr et al., 477 US 906 (1986), cert. denied. Cited in Guerrero 1992.
107 Guerrero 1992.
Founded by Eric Klein, CAN-DO has set a new standard for humanitarianism and is changing the face of philanthropy. It quickly has become an organization people can trust and depend upon to “get it done” fast and effectively. It is a 501c3, relief organization dedicated to working on the local level to provide lasting solutions, with full accountability, efficiency, and results.
Video footage, photographs and the web site offer documentation of the organization’s efforts at every phase. CAN-DO supporters take pride in watching their generosity directly affect the lives of those in need through the organization’s VirtualVolunteer.TV.
CAN-DO’s successful missions to bring immediate and direct relief to areas in need have captured the attention of renowned philanthropists including Oprah Winfrey and former president Bill Clinton. The organization was recently awarded the Global Compassion Award at the United Nations for its global impact, unparalleled transparency and accountability. For further information, please visit www.can-do.org or email Eric Klein at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Republic of Lakotah:
We are the freedom loving Lakotah from the Sioux Indian reservations of Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana who have suffered from cultural and physical genocide in the colonial apartheid system we have been forced to live under.
We are continuing the work that we were asked to do by the traditional chiefs and treaty councils at the first Indian Treaty Council meeting at Standing Rock Sioux Indian Country in 1974.
During the week of December 17-19, 2007, we traveled to Washington DC and withdrew from the constitutionally mandated treaties to become a free and independent country. We are alerting the Family of Nations we have now reassumed our freedom and independence with the backing of Natural, International, and United States law.
We do not represent those BIA or IRA governments beholden to the colonial apartheid system, or those “hang around the fort” Indians who are unwilling to claim their freedom.
For further information, please visit www.republicoflakotah.com or call 605-867-1111.
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