Swedish ISP to nominate Snowden for Nobel Peace Prize

Sean Gallup/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Sean Gallup/Getty Images News/Getty Images

By Katie Rachel Zavadski

August 27, 2013 Bustle

Bahnhof — the Swedish Internet Service Provider embroiled in international controversy because it houses the Wikileaks servers — took another stand in support of leakers Tuesday, when it announced that it would endorse Edward Snowden for the Nobel Peace Prize.

The folks at Wired had it first:

The U.S. has charged Snowden with theft and espionage for leaking secret documents that outline the National Security Agency’s domestic surveillance programs. But to many, he’s a heroic whistleblower who has shone a light on a shadowy and excessive government effort to track our personal behavior online.

That’s how Bahnhof CEO Jon Karlung sees it. To those who know him, that’s not a surprise. Three years ago, he was both a hosting provider and vocal supporter of Wikileaks, helping to house the operation in a Cold War-era nuclear bunker. His company hasn’t recommended people for Nobel Prizes before, but he says he decided to name Snowden because the former NSA contractor’s leaks have been so important.

Karlung admits that he doesn’t have high hopes that the prestigious award, set to be announced October 11, will be awarded to Snowden. He’s also not the first to suggest America’s latest leaker for the prize: a left-wing Danish party and aSwedish professor have already tossed Snowden’s name into the ring.

President Barack Obama, who has been put on the defensive by Snowden’s leaks,won the prize in 2009. There’s no doubt that awarding the prize to Snowden would be a seen as a major snub to him by the international community.

Chelsea Manning, the soldier who leaked hundreds of thousands of classified cables and intelligence documents to Wikileaks while stationed in Iraq, is another hero for government accountability groups. A petition to award the Nobel Peace Prize to Manning — who has been nominated for the award each of the past three years — has over 100,000 signatures. Earlier this month, Manning was sentenced to over three decades in prison.

But Manning’s leaks primarily concerned the Iraq and Afghanistan war logs.

Snowden revelations, on the other hand, exposed actions against U.S. citizens and American allies. Secret documents revealed by Snowden routinely contradicted privacy assurances given by the Obama administration. A recent round of revelations showed that the NSA had monitored upwards of 50,000 conversations between U.S. citizens, not just between citizens and foreigners as the government had claimed.

The leaks also revealed extensive collaboration with British authorities. On Sunday, German magazine Der Spiegel announced that documents provided by Snowden show that the NSA was monitoring the United Nations complex in New York.

All this makes Snowden a likelier pick for the prize than Manning. But both are up against a slate of less controversial nominees, including teenage education activist Malala Yousafzai, and Russian human rights activist Lyudmila Alexeyeva.

Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg was never awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his leaks about the Vietnam War, which went public through the New York Times in 1971 (though he received the Gandhi Peace Award in 1978 and the Right Livelihood Award in 2006).

“In my estimation, there has not been in American history a more important leak than Edward Snowden’s release of NSA material – and that definitely includes the Pentagon Papers 40 years ago,” Ellsberg wrote in The Guardian earlier this year.

DOT awards $20M in hazmat grants

by Fire Chief

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx today announced grants totaling $20.1 million to states, territories and Native American tribes for planning and training to improve the nation’s response to hazmat transportation incidents.

Since 1993, more than 2.8 million emergency responders across the country have received training assistance using Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness (HMEP) grants.

Grants from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) are funded by annual user fees paid by shippers and carriers of certain hazmat.

From 2011-12, HMEP grants funded training for more than 98,400 first responders in initial or refresher hazmat response courses, over 1,300 new or revised hazmat emergency response plans, and approximately 1,060 hazmat exercises.

All 50 states, five U.S. territories, and six Native American tribes received HMEP grant funding this year.

Awardee Funding Distribution


Table 1. FY 2013 HMEP State Grants

State Recommended Grant Award State Recommended Grant Award
1.     Alabama

$374,451

26.  Montana

$112,053

2.     Alaska

$95,274

27.  Nebraska

$280,559

3.     Arizona

$299,671

28.  Nevada

$177,690

4.     Arkansas

$233,146

29.  New Hampshire

$136,793

5.     California

$1,751,181

30.  New Jersey

$470,753

6.     Colorado

$283,522

31.  New Mexico

$226,973

7.     Connecticut

$206,250

32.  New York

$786,073

8.     Delaware

$110,643

33.  North Carolina

$537,781

9.     Florida

$814,764

34.  North Dakota

$193,029

10.  Georgia

$517,384

35.  Ohio

$885,019

11.  Hawaii

$105,645

36.  Oklahoma

$286,088

12.  Idaho

$153,499

37.  Oregon

$259,753

13.  Illinois

$1,078,851

38.  Pennsylvania

$678,630

14.  Indiana

$503,126

39.  Rhode Island

$109,668

15.  Iowa

$317,170

40.  South Carolina

$298,647

16.  Kansas

$371,904

41.  South Dakota

$172,186

17.  Kentucky

$278,211

42.  Tennessee

$410,626

18.  Louisiana

$311,230

43.  Texas

$1,230,189

19.  Maine

$137,461

44.  Utah

$220,117

20.  Maryland

$287,701

45.  Vermont

$94,842

21.  Massachusetts

$329,570

46.  Virginia

$399,484

22.  Michigan

$532,952

47.  Washington

$328,328

23.  Minnesota

$429,013

48.  West Virginia

$200,717

24.  Mississippi

$268,100

49.  Wisconsin

$420,637

25.  Missouri

$435,853

50.  Wyoming

$115,823

 Total for States: $19,259,030

 

 

Table 2. FY 2013 Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness (HMEP) Territory Grants

Territory Recommended Grant Award
1.     American Samoa

$62,967

2.     Guam

$64,773

3.     N. Mariana Island

$63,447

4.     Puerto Rico

$166,393

5.     Virgin Islands

$63,889

Total for Territories: $421,469

 

Table 3. FY 2013 Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness (HMEP) Native American Tribal Grants

Tribe Recommended Grant Award
1.     Inter Tribal Council of AZ

$202,471

2.     Nez Perce

$19,035

3.     Seminole Tribe of Florida

$90,063

4.     St. Regis

$27,143

5.     Pueblo of Laguna

$43,946

6.     Paiute Shoshone Tribe

$63,853

Total for Tribes: $446,511

 

TOTAL FY 2013 HMEP GRANTS: $20,127,010

 

A Continent of Ice on the Wane

 

 

A whale-watching platform made of and sitting on sea ice north of Barrow. Photo by Ned Rozell.

A whale-watching platform made of and sitting on sea ice north of Barrow. Photo by Ned Rozell.

Despite taking up as much space as Australia, the blue-white puzzle of ice floating on the Arctic Ocean is an abstraction to the billions who have never seen it. But continued shrinkage of sea ice is changing life for many living things. A few Alaska scientists added their observations to a recent journal article on the subject.

 

By Ned Rozell | Geophysical Institute

08/26/2013

 

Since 1999, the loss of northern sea ice equal to the size of Greenland is a “stunning” loss of habitat for animals large (polar bears) and small (ice algae and phytoplankton that feed a chain of larger creatures leading up to bowhead whales). So write the 10 authors that teamed to write “Ecological Consequences of Sea-Ice Decline,” featured in the August 2, 2013 issue of Science.

Eric Post of Penn State University, a former graduate student who studied caribou at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, is the lead author on the paper. When sea ice hit its minimum extent in the satellite era about a year ago, it got him thinking about how the loss of ice affects living things. That’s when Post, now the director of the Polar Center, rallied other contributors, from polar bear biologists to atmospheric scientists, to bring their results together.

“I think all of us as authors learned quite a bit about the importance of sea ice loss,” he said by email. “Individually, we each had a pretty clear idea of the implications of sea ice loss for certain parts of the arctic system, but none of us really grasped the full scope of the problem.”

Starting at the smaller end of things, the scientists point out that freshening of the Arctic Ocean caused by melting of sea ice may cause smaller types of plankton to thrive.

Arctic foxes, great wanderers of sea ice, will be limited by less of it, which would decrease the spread of rabies they sometimes carry from Russia’s mainland to Svalbard.

Walrus, which suck clams out of their shells with piston-like tongues, use sea ice as a resting spot between dives to the ocean floor. In recent years, people have seen more walruses using shorelines as haul-out spots; U.S. Geological Survey scientists counted 131 carcasses at one of these sites in September 2009. They wrote that the deaths, perhaps because of exhaustion or trampling, “appear to be related to the loss of sea ice over the Chukchi Sea continental shelf.”

In Canada’s arctic, “later freeze-ups and increased shipping traffic should shift or prevent the annual migration of the Dolphin and Union caribou herd,” the Science authors wrote. Parasites that feed off the caribou might increase because of this, but diseases spread by wandering caribou might decrease.

Polar bears need sea ice to hunt their favorite food, seals. As the sea ice shrinks, polar bears may be driven to land, where brown bears might outcompete them or hybridize with them.

The two UAF scientists who added to the report are Uma Bhatt, who studies the atmosphere, and Skip Walker, an expert on tundra plants. They have both done work to prove that the loss of sea ice has made the Arctic a greener place.

How might that happen? With less ice acting as a mirror for sunlight, the darker ocean absorbs more heat, which in turn warms the coastlines touching the Arctic Ocean. That warm air encourages plants to convert sunlight into growth at a higher rate and lengthens the growing season. Woody shrubs are becoming more numerous and taller, shouldering out smaller tundra plants. And the most extreme region of far north plants — a swath of bryophytes, lichens, blue-green algae and a few other non-woody species that make up what Russians call “polar desert” — seems to be headed for extinction.

The study helped lead-author Post envision northern sea ice as he would a great boreal forest or caribou herd scattered across an arctic plain.

“Sea ice is a living system,” Post said. “And not only does it harbor and sustain life, which is obviously affected by its loss, its disappearance influences the climate systems that affect life on other parts of the planet. We’ve come a long way in understanding how the loss of vast areas of mature tropical rainforest affects everything from indigenous cultures to species to ecosystems; our views of sea ice loss need to catch up with that understanding.”

Since the late 1970s, the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute has provided this column free in cooperation with the UAF research community. Ned Rozell is a science writer for the Geophysical Institute.

– See more at: http://alaska-native-news.com/the-arctic/9157-a-continent-of-ice-on-the-wane.html#sthash.KOPiL9DH.dpuf

Federal recognition of local tribe near

by Wolfgang Kurtz, The Seward Phoenix LOG

Melanee Stevens, Youth Activities Director for Qutekcak Native Tribe, has been working at the tribe’s administrative center on Third Avenue for close to 10 years. While she’s moving on to another career outside of Seward, she had hoped to see federal recognition of the tribe by now. Stevens says that all the testimony has been given, lobbying undertaken and applications submitted. It could be just a matter of days away.

Mary Hudetz, West Regional Desk editor for the Associated Press and President of the Native American Journalists Association visits Qutekcak headquarters on Third Avenue earlier this month.Photo/ Wolfgang Kurtz | The Seward Phoenix LOG

Mary Hudetz, West Regional Desk editor for the Associated Press and President of the Native American Journalists Association visits Qutekcak headquarters on Third Avenue earlier this month.
Photo/ Wolfgang Kurtz | The Seward Phoenix LOG

The Qutekcak Native Tribe submitted its first petition for recognition by the U.S. Interior Department’s Bureau of Indian Affairs in 1993 after existing under a formal tribal government since 1972. It was received but return correspondence literally got lost in the mail. A second petition for recognition in February 2002 was routed to the wrong division of BIA for processing. A third petition was filed in 2008 and stands an almost certain chance of leveraging federal recognition for the tribe.

Across the country most of today’s federally recognized tribes historically received federal recognition status through treaties, acts of Congress, presidential executive orders or other federal administrative actions, or federal court decisions. Alaska tribes have been provided other options including recognition according to criteria in the Alaska Amendment to the Indian Reorganization Act (the Alaska IRA), by being named in the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA), through specific recognition by Congress and through administrative confirmation by the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs.

In 1978, the Interior Department issued additional regulations to handle requests for federal recognition from Indian groups. These regulations, 25 CFR Part 83, were revised in 1994 and are still in effect. Not one of the 229 federal recognized tribes in Alaska has been recognized pursuant to the Part 83 regulatory process. When BIA “waves the wand,” QNT will become the 230th federally recognized tribe and may be the first to gain that status by means of those Part 83 regulations.

QNT maintains that Native peoples in the Seward area were overlooked by the federal government. The list of entities eligible under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act only recognized urban tribes in Juneau, Kodiak, Sitka and Kenai. Upon federal recognition, QNT would be responsible for administering tribal interests over a broad swath of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula, historically used by a variety of Native populations. With it’s concentration in the Resurrection Bay area, QNT’s management area would include Cooper Landing and Hope.

In its petitions, QNT claims to have roots as a community of Alaska Natives residing in the Seward area since 1886, the earliest date that can be documented. As of 2012, QNT had 298 enrolled members and the local tribal organization has provided health care and other community services, promoted self-sufficiency of its members and administered federal programs under the Indian Self-Determination Act. QNT also sponsors a renowned dance and drum program through which its elders pass on cultural values and practices to youth.

The tribe also collaborates with the Seward Community Library Museum in maintained the local Alaska Native Archive. QNT serves as area coordinator for the Native Youth Olympics program. With the imminent departure of Stevens, lifelong NYO participant and coach James Wardlow will be Seward’s point man for the games.

To learn about QNT and keep up with tribe news and events, visit their web-site at http://www.sewardaknatives.com. The Seward NYO contingent also maintains an active Facebook group.

Bumbershoot’s 2013 Lineup

Bumbershoot 2013, August 31 – September 2, 2013 at Seattle Center

Source: Bumbershoot.org

Now in its 43rd year, Bumbershoot has consistently drawn artists representing the best in music, film, comedy, spoken word, dance, theatre, performance, and visual arts to Seattle every Labor Day weekend.

North America’s largest urban arts festival, Bumbershoot takes place in the heart of the city at the 74-acre Seattle Center.

Over 100,000 visitors from near and far spend the weekend experiencing groundbreaking local, national, and international artists in all arts disciplines and musical genres at venues large and small, indoor and outdoor.

Bumbershoot also features a variety of food, merchandise, and urban craft vendors throughout Bumbershoot grounds—there’s plenty to eat, see, and do all weekend long.

Check out the full lineup here.

bumbershoot

Eight Hot Environmental Battlegrounds in Indian Country

Terri Hansen, Indian Country Today Media Network

Corporate interests have been gobbling up indigenous land and rights since contact more than 500 years ago. Today, American Indians are still fighting to maintain their stewardship and the integrity of the land. From the uranium invasion of the Grand Canyon, to the trashing of sacred places in the name of renewable energy, here are some of the most environmentally embattled hot spots in Indian country.

1. Havasupai Tribe Challenges Grand Canyon Uranium Mine

The Havasupai, natives of Grand Canyon lands, sued the U.S. Forest Service on March 7, 2013 over its decision to allow Energy Fuels Resources Inc. to mine uranium near Grand Canyon National Park without initiating or completing tribal consultations, and without updating a 26-year-old federal environmental review. The lawsuit alleges violations of environmental, mining, public land and historic preservation laws.

RELATED: 20-Year Ban on New Uranium-Mining Claims in Grand Canyon Holds Up in Court

2. Keweenaw Bay Indians’ Fight Global Mining Corporation

The Keweenaw Bay Indian Community of the Lake Superior Band of Chippewa in Michigan’s remote Upper Peninsula had to fight for their clean water, sacred sites, and traditional way of life after the international Kennecott Eagle Minerals arrived 10 years ago to tunnel a mile underground near Lake Superior to reach metals in the ore. As the project moves toward completing its sulfide-extraction plan to mine copper and nickel from tribal lands in 2014, this fight is far from over.

RELATED: Keweenaw Bay Indians’ Fight Against Michigan Mine Detailed in Series

3. Lummi Stand Firm Against SSA Marine’s Proposed Cherry Point Coal Terminal

Members of the Lummi Nation protest plans for a coal rail terminal at Cherry Point, Washington state. (Photo: Associated Press)
Members of the Lummi Nation protest plans for a coal rail terminal at Cherry Point, Washington state. (Photo: Associated Press)

The Lummi Nation formally opposed SSA Marine of Seattle’s proposed Cherry Point terminal in a July 30 letter to the Army Corps of Engineers, as it will infringe on treaty fishing rights. SSA Marine wants a shoreline terminal with multiple rail lines near Bellingham, Wash., to export 48 million tons of Montana and Wyoming Powder River Basin coal annually—some likely from Crow Indian country—to Asia. In the past USACE has refused to process other permit applications if Indian tribes contend such projects violate treaty rights as defined by numerous federal court rulings. What’s next?

RELATED: Lummi Nation Officially Opposes Coal Export Terminal in Letter to Army Corps of Engineers

4. Desert Natives Fight Annihilation of Petroglyphs, Geopglyphs by Mega Renewable Power Projects

Multibillion-dollar solar power and wind projects fast-tracked for California’s pristine desert areas materialized in 2008 that would destroy hundreds of petroglyphs as well as giant earth drawings called geopglyphs. The plan prompted lawsuits by Native American tribes and La Cuna de Aztlan Sacred Sites Protection Circle. A U.S. District Court ruling in December 2010 said that the Department of the Interior and Bureau of Land Management had failed to consult with the Quechan Tribe before approving one project, stating that Native Americans are entitled to “special consideration” when agencies fulfill their consultation requirements under the National Historic Preservation Act.

The Coyote Mountains form the backdrop for this desert wilderness that is part of the Quechan Indian Tribe’s creation story. The desert floor would be scraped bare to make way for the 10-mile-long solar project.
The Coyote Mountains form the backdrop for this desert wilderness that is part of the Quechan Indian Tribe’s creation story. The desert floor would be scraped bare to make way for the 10-mile-long solar project.

Yet in early 2002 after the Genesis solar plant disrupted cultural and cremation sites of the Colorado River tribes BLM Deputy State Director Thomas Pogacnik said Native Americans had good reason to be angry about his agency’s fast-track process that relied almost entirely on data from developers to determine where to place the first “high-priority” wind and solar projects on public land.  The battles rages on.

RELATED: Tribes Fear Destruction of Cultural Sites by Solar Project

5. Quapaw Tribe Sues United States Over Mining Mess

The Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma filed suit March 25, 2013 against the United States for copy75 million for financial mismanagement and failure to ensure that mining companies had appropriately cleaned and restored their reservation after discontinuing the largest lead and zinc mining operation in the country, which produced billions of dollars in ore. Now, much of their land is polluted and lies within the Tar Creek Superfund Site. In a 10-year investigation the tribe said it found that a close relationship between the federal government, U.S. Department of Interior, and mining companies contributed to the lack of meaningful cleanup. Few members of the tribe benefited from the tribe’s mineral wealth.

RELATED: Quapaw Tribe Files Suit Against Federal Government for Alleged Land Mismanagement

6. Northern Wisconsin Tribes Take on Gogebic Taconite LLC

The problems keep coming for Gogebic Taconite’s proposed open pit iron ore mine in Wisconsin’s Gogebic Iron Range. Against it are the Lac Courte Oreilles and Bad River tribes. ICTMN brought to light a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ July 2013 letter to GTAC warning of the potential presence of a deadly form of asbestos, and GTAC’s dismissal of the agency’s concern in a written reply. ICTMN also reported that Wisconsin legislators ignored crucial scientific evidence when they passed legislation underwritten by GTAC last March that facilitated the project.

RELATED: Wis. Mining War

7. Sacred San Francisco Peaks Sewage Drench Staved Off

The San Francisco Peaks in Arizona, sacred to more than a dozen tribes, gave rise to lawsuits when in 2002 the U.S. Forest Service lessee, Arizona Snowbowl, began plans to expand a ski area on one of the peaks. Doing so meant not only clear-cutting a huge swath of rare alpine tundra but also making snow from reclaimed wastewater, including sewage, pumped in from nearby Flagstaff by cacophonous machines operating around the clock. The Hopi Tribe won its latest round on April 25, when the Arizona Court of Appeals overturned a 2011 ruling by a former Coconino County Superior Court judge, clearing the way for them to challenge the city of Flagstaff’s contract to sell reclaimed wastewater to Arizona Snowbowl.

8. A Losing Battle for Uranium Mine in Navajo Country

A joke that was circulating on Facebook recently said that if Wate Mining wanted to extract uranium from Arizona state land it would have to catapult the 500,000 annual pounds of ore to the processing mill in Utah. Why? Navajo country surrounds the state land. Officially, the Navajo Department of Justice responded to the mineral lease application in May, saying, “Given the (Navajo) Nation’s history with uranium mining, it is the nation’s intent to deny access to the land for the purpose of prospecting for or mining of uranium.”

These are just a few of the battles being fought to preserve the environment against corporate interests in Indian country. Follow even more conflicts below.

With Billions at Stake in Bristol Bay, Mining Company Spends Big

Winnemem Wintu Tribe Wrestles With Bureaucracy to Perform Sacred Ritual

Proposed Alaska Coal Mine Divides Alaska Communities, Elicits Racist Rant

 

Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2013/08/27/eight-hot-environmental-battlegrounds-indian-country-151054

Qwuloolt restoration in its final phase

By Monica Brown Tulalip News Writer

State and local politicians along with environmentalists toured the estuary while learning about the extensive undertakings that are part of the complex project that will restore the estuary to it's natural function. Photo by Monica Brown

State and local politicians along with environmentalists toured the estuary while learning about the extensive undertakings that are part of the complex project that will restore the estuary to it’s natural function. Photo by Monica Brown

Tulalip, Wash. –

Restoring 400 acres of estuary land is not a mediocre task and has required years of dedication from many groups. The complexity of the restoration project has spanned fourteen years and is nearing completion. With just over a year left in the project the, the final stage is to  lower the southern levee and remove the tide gate.

The tide gate and levee drain the fresh water from the land and prevent any water from flowing back into the estuary. With the completion this winter of the setback levee on the western side, the southern levee, which runs along the northern edge of Ebey Slough, will be breached and the tide gate removed allowing the saline and fresh water to mix.

The Tulalip Tribes, along with the City of Marysville, Army Corps of Engineers, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, Washington State Department of Ecology, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service have collaborated on this project and representatives were invited along with local and state politicians to view the progress that has been made.

Visitors were led into the estuary and taken on a brief walk to view the channel opening. Afterwards they were invited to the Hibulb Cultural Center for lunch and a discussion the estuary project in its final stage.

The restoration’s completion is expected to increase the salmon and migratory bird population and bolster the native vegetation in the area.

The collaboration between tribal, local, county, state, and federal agencies will restore the natural water flow in the 400 acre estuary. Photo By Monica Brown

The collaboration between tribal, local, county, state, and federal agencies will restore the natural water flow in the 400 acre estuary. Photo By Monica Brown

 

Mel Sheldon, Tulalip board chairman, reminisced during the lunch after the tour about when the project was just getting started 14 years ago. Photo by Monica Brown

Mel Sheldon, Tulalip board chairman, reminisced during the lunch after the tour about when the project was just getting started 14 years ago. Photo by Monica Brown

 

 

 

Right call (but late) on Sand Creek Massacre exhibit

 

History Colorado has made the right decision by closing, temporarily at least, its exhibit on the Sand Creek Massacre while officials consult with the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes. We’re just sorry it had to come to this.

By The Denver Post Editorial Board
August 30, 2013

 

The clear lesson from this episode is that museum officials should have reached out earlier to the tribes and given them fuller opportunities to voice their concerns.

And their concerns, outlined in reporting by Westword’s Patricia Calhoun over the last several months, were many.

The History Colorado Center closed its Sand Creek Massacre exhibit earlier this year while it consults with tribal families. (Brennan Linsley, The Associated Press)

The History Colorado Center closed its Sand Creek Massacre exhibit earlier this year while it consults with tribal families. (Brennan Linsley, The Associated Press)

First, the very name of the exhibit, “Collision: The Sand Creek Massacre,” was offensive to many tribal members, who believed the event was being portrayed as an inevitable clash of cultures rather than an indefensible massacre.

On Nov. 29, 1864, U.S. Army soldiers led by Col. John M. Chivington attacked a village along Sand Creek in southeastern Colorado. Soldiers savagely butchered more than 160 Cheyenne and Arapaho, the bulk of them women, children and the elderly.

The massacre was defended at the time as revenge for Indian attacks on white settlers, including the bloody murders and mutilations of a family near present-day Elizabeth.

Nevertheless, a congressional commission later labeled the Sand Creek attack as “foul, dastardly and cruel.”

One of the most damning eyewitness accounts of the massacre came not from the survivors, but from Capt. Silas Soule, who wrote to Gen. Edward Wynkoop afterward.

“I tell you Ned it was hard to see little children on their knees have their brains beat out by men professing to be civilized,” Soule wrote. “One squaw was wounded and a fellow took a hatchet to finish her, and he cut one arm off, and held the other with one hand and dashed the hatchet through her brain.”

Soule, who refused to participate in the massacre, was branded a coward and murdered the following year.

Originally, only an excerpt of his letter was included in the exhibit. The full letter was added after complaints from tribal representatives.

But tribal members still say they wanted more time to discuss the exhibit, which was opened over their objections.

The museum now says it is committed to working with the tribes on how to appropriately depict one of the most tragic events in American history.

That’s a good idea. However, the end product must reflect the best historical consensus of experts.

For the sake of history, and to respect those murdered and their descendants, we hope the museum gets it right this time.

 

The History Colorado Center closed its Sand Creek Massacre exhibit earlier this year while it consults with tribal families. (Brennan Linsley, The Associated Press)

Dozens of summer chinook stolen from Chief Joseph Hatchery

by K.C. Mehaffey The Wenatchee World

Aug. 30, 2013

 

BRIDGEPORT — Two months after the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation opened the Chief Joseph Hatchery, thieves made off with dozens of summer chinook being held for broodstock.

Losing an estimated 42 adult fish that were ready to produce more than 73,000 young salmon for later release was bad enough.

But even worse, tribal officials are warning that whoever took the fish have exposed themselves to a cancer-causing chemical.

The fish, in a broodstock pen below the hatchery, were treated with Formalin and should not be handled or eaten, a notice posted on the Colville Tribes’ website says.

“If you believe you have consumed or handled these fish, then it is recommended that you should immediately seek medical attention,” it says.

HatcheryColville Tribal Police are offering a $500 reward for information leading to conviction of the poachers.

Tribal Chairman said he people are cautious of any salmon that may have come from an unlikely source to be wary, and contact tribal officials.

“We’ve done all we can on our end to try to educate the public that those fish aren’t safe,” he said.

The loss of these fish is also significant to the tribes’ effort to bring more fish to the upper Columbia River for both tribal and non-tribal fishermen.

“There’s no doubt it’s going to set us back,” Finley said.

Salmon are collected all season and held until they’re ready to be spawned. To get a good sampling of salmon that are likely to return at different times of the spring, summer and fall, the adults from which the eggs are taken should also be gathered from different times of the spawning season, he said.

“We literally have to wait until next year” to get salmon that will return at the same time, he said.

Tribal police are investigating the case, and the tribe will close the North Shore Access Road at Chief Joseph Hatchery at sunset every day due to the theft.

Anyone with information can contact tribal police at 634-2472.

Notah Begay III Foundation to Launch New $1.5 Million Diabetes Initiative

Notah Begay – Navajo/San Felipe Pueblo, is founder of the Foundation that serves Native American children.

Notah Begay – Navajo/San Felipe Pueblo, is founder of the Foundation that serves Native American children.

Source: Native News Network

ALBUQUERQUE – The Notah Begay III Foundation, NB3F, has announced it will launch a new initiative to expand its fight against childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes for American Indian children.

This announcement, which includes plans to lead extensive research and advocacy initiatives while assisting more American Indian communities in developing their own evidence-based health and wellness programs, was made possible through a generous $1.5 million grant to NB3F by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, one of the nation’s largest health foundations.

“This is a transformative time for the Notah Begay III Foundation. It’s the next step in realizing our vision to empower Native American children nationwide to achieve their potential as tomorrow’s leaders,”

said four time PGA Tour winner, NBC/Golf Channel analyst and NB3F founder, Notah Begay III – Navajo/San Felipe Pueblo.

“Childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes are epidemics in Native American communities. Until we invest the appropriate resources to turn the tide against these preventable diseases, they will continue to overwhelm our communities. There is still much more work to be done but, with the help of the great people at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the ongoing support of all our partners and donors, we’ve taken a very important step toward accomplishing our mission.”

The Notah Begay III Foundation’s new national initiative will be focused on investment in research, grantmaking, technical assistance and advocacy for American Indian communities in three regions of the country – the Southwest (New Mexico, Arizona), the Upper Midwest (Minnesota, Wisconsin) and; the Southern Plains (Oklahoma, Texas).

In addition to equipping more Native American communities with resources and training to address this health crisis through innovative, community-driven, culturally appropriate and multi-faceted programs on a local level, this expanded effort will provide unprecedented funding for research into childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes among American Indian children.

Currently, there is no clearinghouse of data on the topic, which impedes work to fully understand these health issues and the best prevention strategies to effectively combat them. By generating detailed research data and advocating on a national level to reinforce the incredible need for additional resources, NB3F will elevate the issue in the hopes of reaching even more communities in the future.

“There’s a tremendous need for more research, advocacy and local assistance to help Native American children lead healthy lives,”

said Jasmine Hall Ratliff, program officer for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

“It’s become clear in recent years that this work needs to happen now to ensure that Native American children grow into the leaders their communities need. We look forward to working with NB3F as it launches this new national initiative.”

The need for investment in this cause continues to grow.

While childhood obesity rates across the nation are showing positive signs of improvement, they are moving in the opposite direction in many Native communities, some of which have childhood obesity rates exceeding 60 percent. That alarming rate also indicates accelerated incidences of type 2 diabetes, which is often caused by obesity. Current trends indicate one-in-two Native American children will develop type 2 diabetes, a rate higher than all other ethnicities combined. Native Americans are twice as likely as Caucasians to die from diabetes.

These disparities between national averages and those among Native Americans points directly to the relative lack of resources committed to these issues in Native American communities. Statistics indicate that investments in awareness and prevention, especially among children, deliver strong return on investment and save significant public healthcare costs long-term.

For more information about NB3F, its work in Native communities and the continued need for support, visit www.nb3foundation.org.