Saturday, December 14, 2013

How We the People screwed the Indians, part n

Tribes in South Dakota that have criticized the Cobell settlement are reexamining their stands.

Comes this in today's Rapid City Journal from doctoral candidate, Eric Zimmer:
Taking the Black Hills settlement would require a consensus among many sovereign entities with local politics and opinions shaping their take on the issue. The Oglala Sioux Tribe’s constitution grants its citizens the power to vote their position on important decisions like this one. That there is no consensus within tribes — let alone among all of them — does not reflect mere apathy or trenchant political squabbling. It reveals instead a sovereign choice not to take the money, but to take their time, plan, build consensus and act when they see fit. Credit is owed to the Obama administration for offering to negotiate on tribal terms. Hopefully, subsequent presidents will follow suit. But many tribal members fear the settlement would unjustly close the book on one of the darkest eras of their history. [Zimmer, Rapid City Journal]
Ernestine Chasing Hawk, Native Sun News Managing Editor, published at Buffalo Post:
In 2008, during a campaign stop in Sioux Falls then Sen. Barak [sic] Obama gave Great Plains Indian tribes a ray of hope on the outcome of the century’s long legal battle over “theft of 48 million acres of their homeland.” However one of the key elements to resolving the issue is “bringing together all the different parties” and with each passing day their “window of opportunity” shrinks as time ticks away for the Obama-Biden administration.
Ms. Chasing Hawk goes on to say:
The 1851 Fort Laramie Treaty gave the Sioux 60 million acres of land west of the Missouri. Gonzalez points out that the Sioux were never militarily defeated by the U.S. and would never have signed the 1868 Treaty had they thought they were ceding any land to the U.S. Arriving at Fort Laramie via Cheyenne in November, the Commission under General W. T. Sherman was dismayed to find no Sioux to parley with as planned. Red Cloud refused to come in until the garrisons at Forts Reno, Phil Kearny and C. F. Smith were withdrawn. The Commission acceded and in March, 1868 the President ordered their abandonment. The legal battle over what has been referred to as Docket 74-A which began in 1922 is based on the argument that the Sioux never gave up any land and that the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty was treaty of peace, not a treaty of cession. In 1980 Supreme Court said the Sioux were entitled to a mere $40 million dollars (Docket 74-A) for the “ceded land’ and na-cu (using a Lakota lexicon, na is and, cu is dew) the government wanted money back for the rations and other annuities they gave the Sioux in the 1800’s. This government action attests to the origin of the cliché, “Indian givers.” In 1980, the Supreme Court also awarded the tribe $106 million dollars (Docket 74-B) on the ground the U.S. had taken the Black Hills and paid no just compensation in violation of the Constitution’s Fifth Amendment. As a result, the tribe realized almost none of the vast mineral wealth yielded by their stolen land.
One paragraph really caught my eye:
And according to Edward Lazarus during his last days in office, Democratic “Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle did a neat little favor for one of his corporate constituents. As a rider to the defense appropriation bill, he attached a provision granting absolute immunity to the Barrick Gold Company of Toronto for any liability arising from the 125-year operation of its Homestake Mine, a gold-bearing gash in the Black Hills of South Dakota.”
Indianz.com brings this from Brian Hicks' revelatory Smithsonian article on the early evolution of reservation law:
John Ross made an unlikely looking Cherokee chief. Born in 1790 to a Scottish trader and a woman of Indian and European heritage, he was only one-eighth Cherokee by blood. To a degree unique among the five major tribes in the South, the Cherokees used diplomacy and legal argument to protect their interests. With the help of a forward-looking warrior named Major Ridge, Ross became the tribe’s primary negotiator with officials in Washington, D.C., adept at citing both federal law and details from a dozen treaties the Cherokees signed with the federal government between 1785 and 1819. Even as his health failed, Ross would not quit. In 1866, he was in Washington to sign yet another treaty—one that would extend Cherokee citizenship to freed Cherokee slaves—when he died on August 1, two months shy of his 76th birthday. More than three decades later, the federal government appropriated Indian property in the West and forced the tribes to accept land reservations.
Attorney Mario Gonzales has been litigating the "Black Hills Claim" for most of his life. He contends that the commission charged to make peace with tribes inserted language into the document signed in 1868 that Red Cloud had neither seen nor agreed to in negotiations.

To attract followers after each campaign, Genghis Khan ordered feasts in each khanate he conquered. An apex predator he lives large in human history and has 16 million descendants who include the Uyghurs. Food and reproduction drove his legacy that took 30 million lives:
"This is a clear example that culture plays a very big role in patterns of genetic variation and diversity in human populations," said geneticist Spencer Wells, one of the 23 co-authors of the paper. "It's the first documented case when human culture has caused a single genetic lineage to increase to such an enormous extent in just a few hundred years."
From PRI's The World:
This growing unease about immigrants raises a deeper question about such attitudes: Is it human nature to distrust those who come from outside our own community? When two groups of chimps bump into each other in the forest, it always leads to conflict. Males threaten each other with loud calls and aggressive gestures. And, occasionally, things escalate to physical violence and warfare. Primatologist Frans de Waal of Emory University has studied what happens when two groups of bonobos encounter each other. “They have initial hostility, but then they have sex, and they groom, and very soon it looks more like a picnic than like warfare between them,” says de Waal.
Tim Giago (Nanwica Kciji), Unity South Dakota, worries that technology is an inadequate teacher of Native culture. From Indianz:
The most adept country at eliminating the language and customs of the indigenous people was Spain. When Spain invaded Native nations from South America to California the first thing they did was to separate the children from their parents, use the parents as slave labor even separating husbands from wives, and begin a process of total immersion in the religion and language of Spain. The US set about eliminating the customs and language of the Indian tribes by following the proven methods of the Spaniards: separate the children from their traditional teachers, their parents and grandparents, force them to speak English only, and coerce them into accepting a new religion by catechists skilled in the art of mind control.
Jodi Rave, in her blog Buffalo's Fire, reported that Elouise Cobell spoke at the University of Montana as she briefed tribes on the Claims Resolution Act of 2010:
Historical Accounting Claims state that the federal government violated its trust duties by not providing a proper historical accounting relating to Individual Indian Money accounts and other trust assets. Trust Administration Claims that include fund and land administration claims state that the federal government violated its trust duties, mismanaged individual Indian trust funds and violated its trust responsibilities for management of land, oil, natural gas, mineral, timber, grazing and other resources.
And, from yesterday's Pierre Capital Journal:
Ben Turner, a Ph.D. candidate working toward his degree in biological sciences, presented his findings on grassland conversion to the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association at the Ramkota on Wednesday. Turner said there is a difference in perspective on land ethics that exists today. To explain such differences, he created a “land ethic continuum.” Turner concluded his presentation to the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association by reminding them of the importance of building a public ecological conscience. [Joel Ebert, Cap Journal]
The Oglala Sioux Tribal Council has backed off its plan to build a bison reserve.

President Obama: it's time to Rewild the West.

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