S.D. tribes gather to talk about ensuring water rights

By: Scott Feldman, July 29, 2014, Argus Leader

RAPID CITY – More than 100 years ago, a treaty established that all water on Native American land or that naturally flowed to Native American land was to be held by the sovereign tribes.

But tribal governments say they still are fighting to make sure their water rights and, by extension, rights of sovereignty are protected.

Representatives from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the Oglala Sioux Tribe and the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, all members of the Great Plains Water Alliance, gathered last week for the Missouri River & Ogallala Aquifer Indian Water Rights Conference in Rapid City to discuss those rights, how they are being undermined and what can be done to protect what is theirs.

The purpose of the conference was to figure out how to prevent federal and state governments from infringing on the water rights legally held by the tribes, said Dennis “Charlie” Spotted Tail, Solider Creek Council representative of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and chairman of the Great Plains Water Alliance.

Presentations at the conference included an explanation of the dangers of uranium mining in the Black Hills, the potentially damaging effect the Keystone XL Pipeline could cause to the Rosebud Sioux Reservation and an explanation of the history of tribal water law.

Spotted Tail claimed that as the conference was being held, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was navigating waters from the Missouri River that naturally would flow to the tribes of the Sioux Nation to other users.

“They are totally disregarding our treaty rights,” Spotted Tail said.

He said engineers are following rules established by the 1944 Flood Control Act but are ignoring the Winters Doctrine precedent that has been in place since 1908.

The Winters doctrine came from the case of Winters v. United States in 1908, when the Supreme Court ruled that when the United States creates an Indian reservation, it implicitly reserves sufficient water to fulfill the purposes of the reservation, with the water claim priority date established as of the date of the reservation, according to a presentation by David Ganje of the Ganje Law Office in Rapid City.

The Supreme Court ruled that the right to use water flowing through or adjacent to the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation was reserved by the treaty establishing the reservation. Although the treaty did not mention water rights, the court ruled that the federal government intended to deal fairly with Native Americans by preserving their water, Ganje wrote in his presentation.

“We need enough water to supply the reservation for what it was created for and to preserve enough for future use,” he said.

The Great Plains Tribal Water Alliance and the The Seven Council Fires of the Great Sioux Nation are working toward a federal congressional hearing to lay claim to what is rightfully theirs, using the help of water law experts and lawyers, Spotted Tail said.

“The theme of this whole meeting is to formulate a strategy after the meeting for a hearing, utilizing the knowledge provided by our water rights experts and attorneys,” he said.

86 family members disenrolled from Oregon tribe

By: Associated Press


PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – An Oregon woman says 86 members of her family have been disenrolled from an American Indian tribe that operates the state’s largest tribal casino, as leaders review the tribe’s rolls and enforce new membership requirements.

Family spokeswoman Mia Prickett said she’s shocked about being stripped of membership from the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde, since one of the family’s ancestors was a chief who signed an 1855 treaty that helped establish the tribe.

The council that governs the 5,000-member tribe had been considering disenrolling the family for nearly a year, saying they no longer satisfy enrollment rules.

The decision to remove the family was made after the council earlier this month changed the enrollment ordinance via “emergency amendments.” The amendments gave the authority to make decisions on disenrollment to an enrollment committee, which is an administrative body, and removed the council from the process.

Grand Ronde’s Stacia Martin, executive coordinator for the Tribal Council, declined to confirm the number of people removed or the exact reasons, citing the “confidential nature” of enrollment proceedings.

Those removed lose health care and housing benefits, educational assistance and about $3,000 annually in casino profits, among other benefits.

The contentious removal is part of what some experts have dubbed the “disenrollment epidemic” – a rising number of dramatic clashes over tribal belonging that are sweeping through the U.S.

These tribal expulsions, which started in the 1990s along with the establishment of Indian casinos, have increased in numbers just as gambling revenues skyrocketed. Critics say the disenrollments are also used as a way to settle political infighting and old family and personal feuds.

Most tribes base their membership criteria on blood quantum or on descent from someone named on a tribe’s census rolls or treaty records.

Grand Ronde officials previously said the tribe’s membership pushed for an enrollment audit, with the goal of strengthening the tribe’s “family tree.” They did not say how many people were tabbed for disenrollment.

Prickett says her ancestor chief Tumulth was unjustly accused of participating in a revolt and was executed by the U.S. Army – and hence didn’t make it onto the tribe’s roll, which is now a membership requirement.

“This is morally and ethically reprehensible,” Prickett said of the disenrollment.

The family can appeal the decision to the Tribal Court and the Tribal Court of Appeals.

At this year’s big climate rally, most of the people won’t be pale, male, and stale

People’s Climate March

People’s Climate March

By Ben Adler, Grist

More than 500 organizations are planning a historic event for Sept. 21 in New York City, what they say will be the largest rally for climate action ever. Organizers and ralliers will be calling on world leaders to craft a new international climate treaty, two days before those leaders will convene at a Climate Summit at the United Nations headquarters. Jamie Henn, spokesperson for 350.org, the main convener of the event, declined to offer a precise target for turnout, but the current holder of the largest-climate-rally title, a February 2012 march on the White House, drew around 50,000 people, so organizers are expecting more than that — possibly significantly more.

However many people show up, though, this march will likely be historic for another reason: its diversity and its focus on climate justice. More than 20 labor unions are among the organizations leading in the planning and turnout efforts. On Wednesday morning, representatives of a handful of them gathered in the Midtown Manhattan office of 1199, the local chapter of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), for a press conference, and then they were joined in Times Square by more unions for a small pep rally to promote the September event. Other groups present included locals from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the Transport Workers Union of Greater New York (TWU), and local social- and environmental-justice organizations such as UPROSE and the NYC Environmental Justice Alliance.


woman with sign
People’s Climate March


These locals are larger than they sound. 1199 and 32BJ, another union also affiliated with SEIU, cover multiple large East Coast states including New York, Massachusetts, and Florida. 1199 alone has more than 400,000 members. And they are diverse — 1199 represents health care workers such as nurses, and 32BJ represents custodial workers. These are not like the overwhelmingly white male unions in the construction trades. They are predominantly non-white and largely made up of women. This includes their top leadership, and their representatives at Wednesday’s event.

Speakers at the press conference and the rally focused on the ways low- and middle-income New Yorkers like their members are affected by climate change. Hurricane Sandy loomed large. In the storm’s aftermath, hospital and transportation workers were tasked with trying to save lives and get the city running amid flooded infrastructure and prolonged blackouts. For people who care about being able to provide reliable transportation and health care, the threat of more frequent superstorms, heat waves, and floods is alarming. And the flooding of waterfront industrial districts like the South Bronx and Brooklyn’s Sunset Park caused major disruption for private sector blue-collar workers and nearby working class neighborhoods.

Many of the union members live in public housing, which is often located in waterfront neighborhoods like the Lower East Side, Red Hook, and Far Rockaway. Those low-lying projects were among the worst-hit areas during Sandy. “Twenty percent of public housing in New York City was affected by Sandy,” said Eddie Bautista, executive director of the NYC Environmental Justice Alliance. “It’s about community health, it’s about jobs, and it’s about justice.”

The unions also see moving to a sustainable clean energy economy, instead of one based on extracting fossil fuels, as a matter of economic self-interest. 1199, unlike some construction unions, opposes approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline because, says spokesperson Chelsea-Lyn Rudder, “We want long-term jobs, not the short-term jobs that Keystone might create.” Cutting down on auto emissions and oil consumption by expanding mass transit, instead of building an oil pipeline, would create permanent jobs driving buses and trains. “Mass transit is green jobs,” noted LaTonya Crisp-Sauray, an official from the TWU.

The concerns for these communities go beyond extreme weather events like Sandy. A custodian from the Bronx who gave her name only as Mary, and was there on behalf of 32BJ, pointed out that asthma could be worsened by climate change, and it is already an epidemic in heavily polluted, lower-income communities like the Bronx. “The Bronx has a 20 percent childhood asthma rate, one of the highest rates in the nation,” she said. “[Combatting climate change] is about saving lives.”

climate rally


At the little pep rally in Times Square, the group of about 100 was filled with union members sporting their locals’ T-shirts and waving their banners. Even the United Auto Workers had a few members present. And the social-justice groups brought out everyone from older women to teenagers.

The result was a remarkable sight. Here was a rally for addressing climate change — an issue so often dismissed by conservatives as of interest only to out-of-touch affluent elites like Hollywood actors and former vice presidents — where both the speakers and the crowd were mostly black and Latino. These were members of the most affected communities — including Roberto Borrero from the International Indian Treaty Council, which works for indigenous rights throughout the Americas — talking about how the issue affects them.


climate rally


The environmental movement is often criticized for being mostly white, male, wealthy, and college-educated. As Grist’s Brentin Mock just noted, it is the leaders of environmental organizations who come from that demographic, even though the neighborhoods with the worst pollution are disproportionately low-income and non-white. Sure enough, some of the only white male speakers at Wednesday’s event were the ones from environmental organizations. But at least they recognize the importance of communities of color and blue-collar workers in the movement, and they have successfully partnered with civil-rights, social-justice, and labor organizations.

The images from the march on Sept. 21 probably won’t conform to the snarky stereotypes about Vermont liberals wearing Birkenstocks and driving Volvos. Of course, inconvenient truths have never stopped conservatives from casting unfair aspersions. But even if those conservatives won’t admit it, the movement is diversifying.

Ben Adler covers environmental policy and politics for Grist, with a focus on climate change, energy, and cities. When he isn’t contemplating the world’s end, he also writes about architecture and media. You can follow him on Twitter.

Record attendance at annual health fair

Wait lines for health screens and denials at the blood bus


Amanda Shelton explores the differences between traditional tobacco use and cigarettes.Photo: Andrew Gobin

Amanda Shelton explores the differences between traditional tobacco use and cigarettes.
Photo: Andrew Gobin/Tulalip News

By Andrew Gobin, Tulalip News

The Tulalip Karen I. Fryberg Health Clinic hosted their annual health fair July 28, with participants lining up at health screening stations, a fair first in 31 years,.

“I think this is the biggest health fair that we’ve ever had, there have been lines all day,” said Jennie Fryberg, front desk supervisor at the clinic. “More than 280 participants signed in, 200 of which were here before lunch.”

Every year, the clinic holds a blood drive simultaneously with the health fair. This year, more than 20 people had scheduled donor times with the Puget Sound Blood Center’s Blood Bus. Walk-ins are always welcomed at the Blood Bus, but there were so many walk-in donors this year, in addition to those with scheduled times, that for the first time at Tulalip, donors were being turned away due to lack of space. Of the 33 people who tried to give blood, 29 were able to.

Puget Sound Blood Centers Blood BusPhoto: Andrew Gobin/Tulalip News

Puget Sound Blood Centers Blood Bus
Photo: Andrew Gobin/Tulalip News

With a record 35 booths, 8 screening stations, and a fun run, there seemed to be more interest in this year’s health fair than in previous years.

“People were here at 8:30 a.m. waiting for booths to open,” said Sonia Sohappy, a bowen therapist for the clinic’s complimentary medicine program.

The day started out busy, and really stayed comfortably crowded throughout the day. People stopped at screening stations, checking blood sugar, vision, blood pressure, tuberculosis, hepatitis, and more.

The annual health fair is one of many open house events at the Tulalip Karen I. Fryberg Clinic throughout the year. Watch for event announcements in the See-Yaht-Sub, on the Tulalip News Facebook page, or contact the clinic by phone at (360) 716-4511 for more information.

Calendula harvested from the Tulalip Health Clinic's Diabetes garden.Photo: Andrew Gobin/Tulalip News

Calendula harvested from the Tulalip Health Clinic’s Diabetes garden.
Photo: Andrew Gobin/Tulalip News

Rainbow Radishes harvested from the Tulalip Health Clinic's Diabetes garden.Photo: Andrew Gobin/Tulalip News

Rainbow Radishes harvested from the Tulalip Health Clinic’s Diabetes garden.
Photo: Andrew Gobin/Tulalip News

Andrew Gobin is a staff reporter with the Tulalip News See-Yaht-Sub, a publication of the Tulalip Tribes Communications Department.
Email: agobin@tulalipnews.com
Phone: (360) 716.4188



Victims of Brutal Joy Killing Had Come Looking for Work

Alysa Landry, 7/30/14, Indian Country Today


The two Navajo men murdered July 19 in Albuquerque were homeless only when they were in the city.

Kee Thompson and Allison Gorman, who were beaten to death with cinder blocks while they slept on a mattress in an open field, had homes on the Navajo Nation, said Mary Garcia, executive director of the Albuquerque Indian Center. Although their individual circumstances varied, both men left those homes in search of other lives and instead found themselves living on the streets of New Mexico’s largest city.

RELATED: Teens Murder for Fun; Smash Heads of Homeless Men With Cinder Blocks

“They leave the reservation for better opportunities,” Garcia said. “But once they get here, the opportunities aren’t here because of lack of training or lack of transportation. Then the bad things start happening.”

Both men sought services at the Indian Center, which offers hot meals, counseling, phone and computer services and referrals. Staff at the Indian Center helped identify the men, who were beaten so badly they were unrecognizable.

Gorman, 44, had a card in his pocket listing his mailing address at the Indian Center, Garcia said. “That was the only thing on his body that could identify who he was,” she said.

In the days following the murders, details about who the men were have trickled in. Gorman, of Shiprock, New Mexico, moved to Albuquerque earlier this year looking for work. When he couldn’t find a place to live, he ended up on the streets, his sister, Alberta Gorman, told reporters.

“We are all in shock and we just can’t make sense of all this that has happened,” Alberta Gorman told a KOB-TV reporter. “My brother Allison was a son, a brother, a father, an uncle and a grandfather, and he was a very kind, loving man.”

Gordon Yawakia, prevention coordinator at the Albuquerque Indian Center, remembers Gorman as a “big, tall guy” who dressed in Levi’s, boots and a cowboy hat.

“He was a regular, down-to-earth cowboy,” Yawakia said. “With a backpack on, he reminded me of the Marlboro man.”

Gorman last visited the Indian Center on May 5. According to sign-in records, he was there at 9:30 a.m. and again at 1:30 p.m. He kept a mailbox at the center, saying he wanted a “place to call home,” Yawakia said.

Thompson, who was either 45 or 46, left his home in Church Rock, New Mexico, in 2005. His family said he moved to Albuquerque after his 19-year-old nephew died of a heart condition.

Thompson’s aunt, Louise Yazzie, told reporters she raised him after his mother died.

“He’s the only son I have,” she said. “I told him, ‘I want you to stay here with us.’”

Thompson returned home periodically, Yazzie told a KOB-TV reporter. But he always returned to his street family.

Although Garcia hadn’t seen Thompson at the Indian Center for several years, she remembers he was always well-dressed and had his hair neatly trimmed.

“He always had a real good-looking hairstyle,” she said. “The reason I found it interesting is because he didn’t look like a street person.”

And really, he didn’t belong on the street, Garcia said.

“A lot of the guys who come here are homeless, but only in the city,” she said. “They have homes on the reservation.”

Police arrested three teenagers in connection with the murders. Alex Rios, 18, Nathaniel Carrillo, 16, and Gilbert Tafoya, 15, each are charged with two open counts of murder, tampering with evidence, three counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and robbery. Bail was set at $5 million for each of them.

The Albuquerque Indian Center organized a peaceful march last Friday to memorialize the two men and call on city and state officials to step up. About 200 people participated in the march, Garcia said.

“I always like to make the point that because the people are homeless, that doesn’t mean they have to be treated with less respect,” she said. “What happened to these men is beyond comprehension and no one should have to go through that.”


Alex Rios, 18, Nathaniel Carillo, 16, and Gilbert Tafoya, 15, are suspects in the brutal deaths of two homeless Navajo men in Albuquerque on July 21. (Courtesy Albuquerque Police Department)
Alex Rios, 18, Nathaniel Carillo, 16, and Gilbert Tafoya, 15, are suspects in the brutal deaths of two homeless Navajo men in Albuquerque on July 21. (Courtesy Albuquerque Police Department)


Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2014/07/30/victims-brutal-joy-killing-had-come-looking-work-156119

For Rare Languages, Social Media Provide New Hope



by Lydia Emmanouilidou, NPR


At a time when social media users, , are trading in fully formed words for abbreviations (“defs” instead of “definitely”), it may seem that some languages are under threat of deterioration — literally.

But social media may actually be beneficial for languages.

Of the estimated that are spoken around the world, UNESCO projects half will disappear by the end of the century. But social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter are in a position to revitalize and preserve indigenous, minority and endangered languages, linguists and language-preservation activists say.


Facebook is available in over 70 languages, ranging from Ancient Greek to French.

Facebook is available in over 70 languages, ranging from Ancient Greek to French. Facebook

One of the reasons some indigenous languages are endangered is that increased connectivity through the Internet and social media have strengthened dominant languages such as English, Russian and Chinese, says Anna Luisa Daigneault of the .

Endangered languages stand a greater chance of survival when they are used online.

“Having a Web presence for those languages is super important for their survival. Social media are just another connection point for people who want to stay connected to their language,” says Daigneault, Latin America projects coordinator and development officer at the institute.

Today, Facebook — the world’s most popular social networking site — is available in . The list includes indigenous languages like Cherokee and Quechua. This year, Facebook says it launched 13 news languages, including Azerbaijani, Javanese, Macedonian, Galician and Sinhala.

Facebook through the website; if there is enough demand, the language will then appear in the and the Facebook community can begin translating the interface.

, a community of 16 volunteers in Bolivia, is working on translating the Facebook interface in Aymara, one of the three official languages in Bolivia.


An Aymara woman prepares to take part in a pageant in La Paz, Bolivia, in 2013. Jaqi-Aru, a community of volunteers is working on translating the Facebook interface in the indigenous language of Aymara.

An Aymara woman prepares to take part in a pageant in La Paz, Bolivia, in 2013. Jaqi-Aru, a community of volunteers is working on translating the Facebook interface in the indigenous language of Aymara. Juan Karita/AP


Elias Quispe Chura, the group’s Facebook translation manager, says the effort involves young Aymara people from different Bolivian provinces. “We promote use of our mother tongue on the Internet through translation projects and content creation,” he says. “With that, we want to contribute and enrich the content of our language in cyberspace.”

He says Aymara native speakers in Peru, Chile, and Argentina are waiting anxiously to see their language as an option on Facebook. The group started the project in 2012 and is more than halfway done translating 24,000 words, phrases and sentences.

But the task hasn’t been free of challenges.

“There are many words that there aren’t in Aymara, for example: mobile phone — ‘jawsaña,’ password — ‘chimpu,’ message — ‘apaya,’ event — ‘wakichäwi,’ journalist — ‘yatiyiri,’ user — ‘apnaqiri’ and so on,” Chura says. “In some cases, we had to create new words taking into account the context, the situation, function and their meanings. And in others, we had to go to the .”

Facebook provides some support to the volunteer translators, offering stylistic guidelines on its page.

The website can be used to revitalize and preserve indigenous, minority and endangered languages in more ways than one.

Pamela Munro, a professor of linguistics at the University of California, Los Angeles, has created a to post words, phrases and songs in Tongva, a language formerly spoken in the Los Angeles area.

Munro, a consultant to the Advocates for Indigenous California Language Survival, says the language hasn’t been spoken by a native speaker in about 50 years. She hopes to reach people who are interested in learning about the language through the Facebook page.

“We have readers all over the world … people post on the page from all over and ask questions like, ‘I found this word in a book. Can you tell me about it?’ A lot of the people that interact with the page are ethnically Tongva but a lot of the people are not,” she says.

The creators and contributors of — a website that seeks to preserve Anishinaabemowin, an endangered Native American language from Michigan — use Facebook in a similar manner.

Ojibwe.net contributor Margaret Noodin is an assistant professor of English and American Indian Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The language has 8,000-10,000 speakers, she says. But most of the native speakers are over 70 years old, placing the language under threat.

“That’s the most dangerous thing. There are very few young kids that are growing up in a fluent environment,” Noodin says.

Although the group doesn’t rely solely on social media to disseminate content, Noodin says that gives the group a chance to reach younger generations.

“It’s how kids communicate now. It’s little moments here and there. And that adds up … . If we don’t use the language creatively into the future then what we’re doing is documenting a language that’s dying … . Our language is alive and it’s staying alive,” she says.

Other social networking websites such as Twitter can also be used in similar ways. The website is currently available in just under 40 languages

Kevin Scannell, a professor at Saint Louis University, has consulted for Twitter on how to make the website friendlier to speakers of minority languages.

Scannell is also the creator of , a site that tracks tweets in indigenous languages. It can help people who want to find others who are using their language online.

“Having endangered languages on the Internet has a really strong impact on the youth because it shows that their language is still relevant today,” says Daigneault of the Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages. “When people use their language it shows that they’re proud of speaking … it.”

At a time when companies like Facebook are trying to grow in the developing world, having the interface available in other languages can be a great benefit.

“Just even making the website itself available in other languages in a huge part of reaching the ,” Scannell says.

John Hobson, the director of Graduate Indigenous Education Programs at the University of Sydney, agrees.

“It is … essential that as new technologies are integrated into majority societies and communication, they should be equally integrated into minority ones,” he says.

But Hobson says the best results will come when the conversation continues outside of social media.

“They are not magical devices that will do the learning or communicating for folk,” he says. “Living languages are those used for meaningful communication between real people … . So, tweet and Facebook in your language … . But make sure you keep speaking the language when you put the device down.”

Lydia Emmanouilidou is an intern with NPR News.

After burglary, lawmaker pushes for power to ping

By Eric Stevick, The Herald


TULALIP — A burglary at his home earlier this month has strengthened a state lawmaker’s resolve to let police more quickly track cellphone signals to catch crooks and look for people whose lives might be in danger.

Sen. John McCoy got a firsthand demonstration of how the power of pinging cellphone towers can combat crime.

On July 13, someone broke into his Tulalip home. Early that morning, the burglar stole keys, McCoy’s iPhone, and a rental car parked in the garage.

The couple was home at the time, but didn’t hear the intruder.

McCoy called Tulalip police. When an officer arrived, McCoy used an iPad to electronically track the whereabouts of the missing phone. He relayed to a Tulalip police officer the phone’s movements as it traveled from Snohomish to Everett. The Tulalip officer, in turn, contacted police from other agencies.

State law prevented the officers from pinging the phone on their own and without a warrant, McCoy said.

“I kept them updated because they couldn’t do it” without jeopardizing the investigation, McCoy said.

The suspect, 35, was stopped and arrested in north Everett within three hours of the break-in. Based on information relayed from cellphone towers, it appeared the burglar took an illegal U-turn on U.S. 2, drove to Snohomish and Everett and stopped at 23rd Street and Broadway for a spell.

Ultimately, an Everett patrol officer pulled the car over in the 3800 block of Rucker Avenue. The suspect has previous felony convictions for theft, identity theft, forgery and possessing stolen property. His lengthy misdemeanor history includes three drug offenses.

“It was, ‘Hey, we caught the bad guy. Good. And technology was used to do it,’” McCoy said.

Three months earlier, McCoy’s wife had a cellphone stolen, snatched right from her hands. Police were able to catch up with the suspect that same day after the family used pinging technology to track the missing phone.

McCoy hopes to use his recent experiences to gather more support for legislation that would require wireless companies to provide call location information to police in cases of emergencies involving risk of death or physical harm.

That was the gist of House Bill 1897 during the last session. It didn’t become law.

It is another wrinkle in the ever-evolving debate on how to investigate crime and protect civil liberties in the digital age.

McCoy followed the story of a Kansas family whose daughter was killed in 2007 after she was kidnapped in a department store parking lot. Kelsey Smith, 18, had been in possession of a cellphone that could have revealed her location. It took three days before the telecommunications company provided that information to police.

Laws inspired by the Kelsey Smith case have been passed in more than a dozen states.

Privacy advocates have mounted some opposition.

In Washington state, the American Civil Liberties Union remained neutral on McCoy’s legislation.

“We understand there are valid reasons in an emergency,” said Doug Klunder, an ACLU attorney specializing in privacy cases. “Just as in any emergency situation, cops don’t need to get warrants. Because of that we did not take a position on the bill.”

Washington’s state constitution has strong privacy protections.

A staff analysis of the bill during the last session found: “Although some federal court decisions have held that the government does not need a warrant under the Fourth Amendment to obtain cell phone location data, the analysis under the state Constitution may be different.”

As it stands, prosecutors across Washington advise police to obtain search warrants before seeking cell phone location data from service carriers, the analysis found.

Klunder said it is important to define what is and isn’t an emergency so police don’t overstep their authority.

“In non-emergency situations we do believe a warrant is required and almost certainly a warrant is required by our state constitution,” Klunder said. “…If it’s just the police on a hunch that’s problematic.”

Black and Blue, the Kangen craze

Water that truly unlocks health, or the latest cure all snake oil?


Signature Enagic water jugs, the mark of a Kangen user.Photo, Andrew Gobin

Signature Enagic water jugs, the mark of a Kangen user.
Photo, Andrew Gobin/Tulalip News

By Andrew Gobin, Tulalip News

You may have seen the blue and black Enagic water jugs people are packing around these days. You’ve probably heard about Kangen water, and if you yourself are not a Kangen user, you’ve probably wondered what exactly is so special about this water from all other filtered waters. The answer to which often leaves people with many more questions about how it all works, or why Kangen is a better choice. Here you will get an in-depth look at this latest health fad.

Many Kangen users tout this water as the new miracle in naturopathic health. Easily absorbed by the body, this water is supposed to keep you hydrated, in addition to being an antioxidant.

Tulalip tribal member Caleb Woods, a Kangen user, said, “I feel more energized, and toxins flush out of my body faster. I notice I sweat easier, and my acne has been clearing up.”

The effects Woods noted are typical of any well hydrated person, so what makes Kangen different? The answer is not so simple.

What is Kangen water exactly? In a nutshell, it is basic, or alkaline. The machine that filters and produces the water is actually a medical machine developed by a Japanese manufacturer 40 years ago. According to Kangen rep, Shawn Brown, water from the city tap or well goes into the machine, is filtered, and then restructured using electrolysis; a process of running an electric current through the water. Water molecules, which are naturally polarized, cluster in a naturally hexagonal structure, similar to a honeycomb. The restructuring of water arranges the molecules into micro clusters of five to seven molecules, instead of the typical 15. That process also ionizes the water, which makes it basic by creating a negative hydroxyl molecule (HO) and a positive hydrogen ion (H+), or cation. Micro clusters of hydroxyl molecules are more easily absorbed in the body.

The separation of ions of Kangen water raises the pH, which is a measure of the power, or concentration, of hydrogen ions in any compound. The pH scale runs 1-14, 7 being neutral. As the concentration of hydrogen ions increases, the pH number decreases. Acids have low pH, and bases have high pH. Water typically measures at 7. According to the Snohomish County Health District, city water measures at 7.5 because of the lye added to the water to prevent rusting pipes, both hazardous to health in and of themselves. Kangen water is very basic when it’s ionized, measuring between 8.5 and 11, though agitating the water will return it to a neutral state. Also, if not consumed immediately, the natural interaction between the cations (H+) and hydroxyl (OH) molecules will return the Kangen water to natural water (H2O).

What is the need for alkaline Kangen water?

Brown said, “Cities put a lot of chemicals in the water to kill bacteria, or to make the water healthy. Essentially, that is dead water. Kangen water is not only filtered, but it has free hydrogen ions, which is a natural antioxidant.”

The hydrogen cations are regulators that catalyze chemical reactions in the body’s systems, drawing out free oxygen molecules, or oxidants. In that way, the water is alive, interacting with the body as you drink it. The abundant of cations join with oxidants, neutralizing them. But Kangen water, as a basic solution, disrupts the body’s cells from doing this naturally by inhibiting the mitochondrial processes. The mitochondria of a cell, which govern metabolism in cells and in turn the body, require oxidants in order to metabolize proteins. Hydroxyl molecules join with free radicals making hyperperoxide in the body, allowing the free cations to seek out oxygen and oxidants to join with. That essentially leads to the depletion of oxygen creating a chemical imbalance in the body and a disruption of natural processes at a cellular level. This leads to premature cell death. The body works to regulate itself, and these processes occur naturally without Kangen water.

“The body is naturally alkaline, the blood is alkaline. If the body is acidic, you’re probably sick,” said Brown.

That is true, though not entirely accurate. The ideal pH of blood is between 7.3 and 7.4. So yes, it is alkaline, but only slightly. The body’s many systems help to regulate the pH of the body, each producing acids and bases, specific to each system. While the body is naturally alkaline by design, it is regulated through the secretion of acids produced in the body. Acids, like lactic and stomach acids, are designed to breakdown sugars and proteins, while bases, various hormones, are designed to specifically regulate systems in the body, many of which produce acids. Systems in the body use water to make hydroxyl and hydrogen cations for the purpose of metabolizing compounds and cleaning the body. It is a delicate balance that can have serious health implications when altered.

While it is a delicate balance, deviation of pH levels, even slightly, are signs of serious illness in the body. To do this intentionally has many health implications. For example, deviations in body chemistry of any degree affect metabolic systems drastically. A shock of pH imbalance due to raising the alkalinity of your body could lead to alkalosis. Mild alkalosis causes muscle spasms and cramps. Severe alkalosis can lead to tetanus or cardiac arrest. Acidosis, in contrast, causes mild nausea, vomiting, convulsions, and apnea.

Why does it matter, you may wonder? First of all, Kangen water will be available at all youth summer programs, and at the summer school. Parents should be aware that this is being served to your children. For people with strict dietary needs, there are serious health risks associated with altering body chemistry. That’s not saying Kangen is bad, or shouldn’t be used, but parents should be aware of what their children are exposed to. If people, including children, are on medications, they need to know how Kangen water affects them. The Kangen website and virtual demonstration specifically warn that users should not take medications with the alkaline Kangen water, and should refrain from drinking Kangen for an additional two hours afterward.

Second, there has been a large push that this is the answer to a healthier membership. There is a community Kangen machine available to the public for an hour, mornings and afternoons, at the Don Hatch Jr. Youth Center. Some members have machines in their homes. Kangen can only be acquired through the use of these machines, not sold in stores anywhere. These machines run between $2500 and $4000, and can be acquired through a regional Kangen representative. While the benefits of Kangen may outweigh the risks, the truth is, you don’t need Kangen water to be healthy. Similar results can be achieved through choosing organic foods and eliminating processed foods as much as possible, and expanding your diet to include foods that have specific benefits for healthy function of the body’s systems.

There is no magic cure all to ailments. While you can’t drink your way to health, it is beneficial to drink filtered water. To  date, however, there is no documented medical suggestion that says basic water is healthier than natural water, in fact the opposite. Whatever water you choose to drink, the importance is to stay hydrated.

More info on Kangen water available online at www.kangenkarma.com. See the demonstration at www.kangendemo.com.


Andrew Gobin is a staff reporter with the Tulalip News See-Yaht-Sub, a publication of the Tulalip Tribes Communications Department.
Email: agobin@tulalipnews.com
Phone: (360) 716.4188