Saturday, November 23, 2013

Tribal nations trapped in Wyoming seeking separate state status

Imagine a blogger's jaw hitting a keyboard.

Karin Eagle of Native Sun News reports that US Attorney for South Dakota, Brendan Johnson met with Rapid City residents to discuss treaty rights.
The Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone tribes nearly five years ago asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to treat their shared central Wyoming reservation as a separate state for purposes of implementing the federal Clean Air Act. If the EPA approves the application, it would allow the tribes to seek grant money to monitor air quality. Approval also could set the stage for the tribes to seek to impose air quality regulations more stringent than federal standards. Rich Mylott, spokesman for the EPA in Denver, said the agency is reviewing the tribes' application and is working toward a decision soon. He said it would be inaccurate to say the agency has seen a lobbying effort against the application by the state, the U.S. attorney's office in Wyoming and industry. [AP, Billings Gazette]
Thunder Basin National Grassland west of Devil's Tower is at risk to the 1872 Mining Act, not to mention the ground impacted by another Canadian invasion in the form of a proposed strip mine for rare earth minerals north of Sundance. Wyoming blasts through treaty lands and leaves mercury trails in its wake.

Mark Trahant is a member of the Shoshone-Bannock tribe surrounded by the State of Idaho and a former president of the Native American Journalists Association. He appeared with Karl Gehrke on Dakota Midday, the flagship broadcast on Bill Janklow's idea of public radio. Trahant addressed the 2013 Joseph Harper Cash Memorial Lecture at the Al Neuharth Media Center: a part of the University of South Dakota. His presentation, “Money in the Cup: The Affordable Care Act and American Indian Health Care,” explores how ACA impacts the Indian Health Service. He calls tribal nations the 51st State in health care.

Montana's red state earth-raping machines are fueled up and ready to rip. The Otter Creek coal development would carve wide swathes through southeastern Montana burial sites. Mal-named Custer National Forest should be under Northern Cheyenne and Crow care although this blogger has witnessed that the pine bark beetle has moved deeper into the Pryors now, too.

The US Environmental Protection Agency recognized the Havasupi as a state under Section 303 of the Clean Water Act as an essential function of tribal governance. And, in a story from The World, a Coos Bay Lee paper, the BLM snubbed the State of Oregon and gave the Coquille tribe an opportunity to develop a sustainable forest plan for federal wildlands.

Nathan Lefthand is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation. He wrote this and more at Indian Country Today:
It is constitutional to create a new state out of an existing state(s), in this case, Arizona, Utah and New Mexico, with the approval of those state legislatures and of Congress. The process for carving out a new state is outlined in Article IV, Section 3 of the Constitution. One rider, one act of Congress, can change it all, and believe me, looking at a few of our borders; it’s getting crowded, “out there." We need to be the fifty-first state in the United States of America. The State of Navajo.
Yes, Mr. Lefthand: there is a Santa Clause.




The history of humanity in the United States of America is at least 14,000 years old, some researchers say it is far older. We the People are at another crossroads: we can allow China to outgrow us or we can grow.

There are 2.5 million Native Americans living in the US, more living in Canada, and virtually every native Mexican is a native American as well. Four sets of laws trapped in a quagmire of treaty obligations. If each reservation in the lower contiguous states were a county in a non-contiguous state, the two senators and five representatives would wield great power in Congress.

Several tribal nations trapped within South Dakota are forming an alliance as a counter-weight to that state's selfishness. Jennifer Naylor Gessick told readers of the Rapid City Journal:
Council representatives from four Sioux tribes met this weekend in Rapid City where they laid the groundwork to work as one nation to address issues important to their communities, Oglala Sioux president Bryan Brewer said Sunday. The Oglala Sioux Tribe hosted representatives of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe at the Holiday Inn in Rapid City for three days of meetings. The tribes have not come together in such a way for over 100 years, according to Brewer.
The War Toilet tripped over the Black Hills Land Claim the other day exposing the GOP's ignorance of issues in Indian Country but ip hasn't bothered trying to get in over there yet today to get readers a link. They block my devices because of my serial, likely obsessive TP-ing of their bullshit so you'll have to get your own waders on and go in. Don't forget a pitchfork.

A persistent commenter over there (yep, guilty) is convinced that President Obama should issue an executive order reassigning the Black Hills National Forest and the Custer National Forest to the Forestry Division of the Bureau of Indian Affairs as a compromise seeking to settle the Claims lawsuits. These lands would be managed by professionals on a par with the current USDA protocols. Besides, how could they fuck it up worse than the Forest Service has?

The Black Hills National Forest should cease to exist and the proposed Tony Dean Wilderness should be folded into a deal for National Grassland, too, maybe under a cooperative Park Service/BIA charter with input from each stakeholder. I'll say it again: the Forest Service should come out of the USDA and look more like the Bureau of Reclamation.

Statehood for the tribes and Mexico. Native readers: what would you call your own State?

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