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Webmaster's Blog - Native American Resources

A place to put resources of a more ephemeral nature, such as events, recommended new websites, new books, etc.

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Tribe Loses Suit on Tax-Free Tobacco

BOSTON, Dec. 29 — A federal judge ruled on Monday that Rhode Island acted legally when it raided a tax-free smoke shop run by the Narragansett Indians and that the state had the right to tax sales of cigarettes on tribal land.

In his ruling, Judge William E. Smith of Federal District Court said the July 14 raid, in which state troopers seeking sales records served a search warrant on the smoke shop in a trailer on the Narragansett reservation in Charlestown, did not violate tribal sovereignty.

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Commercial Real Estate: Arizona Indians Turn to Real Estate Development

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., Dec. 18 - Rechanda Howard, a soft-spoken member of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, remembers how her grandfather, Joseph Ray, used to talk about the 90 acres of remote arid land that the federal government allotted to his family in 1913. "He said the land would never be worth anything," said Mrs. Howard, now a grandmother herself. Set against a backdrop of red clay mountains, the creosote-and-mesquite-covered land that Mrs. Howard and two dozen relatives inherited is a picturesque reminder of this region's desert past. But acreage that seemed isolated when the reservation was established in 1879 now bumps against the edge of this manicured city of 203,000. And it lies just to the west of the recently completed Pima Freeway, the major north-south artery in the sprawling Phoenix metropolitan area, with its population of 3.3 million.

Long before the freeway, developers had their eye on Indian lands. The biggest projects so far have been a shopping center with big-box retailers and a Wal-Mart. Early next year, however, Mainspring Capital Group, a local developer affiliated with Ross Brown Partners, a real estate services company, plans to begin clearing and grading the site for the first phase of Pima Center, a $600 million commercial development on 209 acres owned by Joseph Ray's descendants and 34 other Salt River Pima-Maricopa families. Once completed, the project will be one of the largest private business parks on Indian land. Pima Center, which is slated to be a mix of high-end office buildings, retail stores and warehouse and distribution space, is one of several developments that are expected to sprout along the freeway on land leased from the tribe.

Sunday, December 21, 2003

Women of Kickapoo Tribe Protest in Okla.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Ten women belonging to the Kickapoo tribe have barricaded themselves inside tribal headquarters, saying they won't leave until their tribe is investigated for misuse of funds.

The women -- ranging in age from 19 to 50 -- took over the headquarters Friday after finding a back door unlocked. The group then piled desks and filing cabinets against the doors, keeping tribal police at bay.

Rep. Janklow Files Motion for Acquittal

FLANDREAU, S.D. (AP) -- Rep. Bill Janklow filed a motion asking that he either be acquitted of second-degree manslaughter or granted a new trial, saying prosecutors didn't present enough evidence to establish his guilt.

Janklow, convicted Dec. 8 for a traffic crash that killed a motorcyclist, filed the motion for acquittal Friday.

Monday, December 15, 2003

The Squabbling Illini: Rallying Cries Lead to Rift

URBANA, Ill. — The history books say the last Indian tribe in Illinois was forcibly relocated to Kansas and then Oklahoma early in the 19th century. But there is one Indian left, according to members of the Honor the Chief Society: Chief Illiniwek.

A debate over whether mascots with Indian themes are offensive or harmless has played out on college campuses and at professional stadiums for more than two decades. But there is something singular here, a fierce loyalty to a student in war paint that makes the hair stand on grown men's forearms. The passions aroused by the chief also make the great-great-granddaughter of Sitting Bull, a junior at Illinois, fear for her safety.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Seeking Balance: Growth vs. Culture in Amazon

PUMPUENTSA, Ecuador — As international energy companies move into the Amazon basin to tap some of the last untouched oil and natural gas reserves, more and more natives are fighting to keep them out.

Oil workers and contractors have been kidnapped, company officials say. Equipment has been vandalized. Protests, injunctions and lawsuits are piling up as Indian groups grow increasingly savvy in their cooperation with environmentalists.

The governments may increasingly regard the Amazon as an engine for economic growth, but native groups are struggling to balance development with the desire to preserve a nearly primordial way of life.

"Let the military come in, because we will defend to the last," said Medardo Santi, a leader of Kichwa Indians in an unspoiled jungle region that has been mapped for oil exploration in Ecuador, where the dispute is most contentious. "As long as we live here, we will defend our rights."

Monday, December 08, 2003

Congressman Convicted of Manslaughter & Resigns His Seat

FLANDREAU, S.D. (AP) -- In a verdict that could bring an abrupt end to a three-decade political career, a jury convicted Rep. Bill Janklow of manslaughter Monday for a collision that killed a motorcyclist, rejecting the congressman's claim that he was disoriented by a diabetic reaction.

The jury in Janklow's boyhood hometown deliberated for about five hours before returning its verdict.

Janklow, 64, was convicted of second-degree manslaughter, reckless driving, running a stop sign and speeding for the Aug. 16 crash that killed Randy Scott, 55, a farmer from Hardwick, Minn. Prosecutors said Janklow was traveling more than 70 mph in his white Cadillac when he crashed with Scott's Harley-Davidson.

Janklow could get up to 10 years in prison on the manslaughter charge and also face a House ethics committee investigation that could lead to his expulsion.

Janklow Jury Weighs Manslaughter Case

FLANDREAU, S.D. (AP) -- A jury began deliberating Monday in the manslaughter case against Rep. Bill Janklow after a prosecutor ridiculed as ``goofy'' the congressman's claim that he was suffering a diabetic reaction when he sped through a stop sign and collided with a motorcyclist.

``The defendant's driving is like a deadly game of Russian roulette,'' said deputy prosecutor Roger Ellyson, who called Janklow an ``unbelievably awful and menacing'' driver. ``On August 16, Randy Scott took the bullet.''

Janklow, 64, is charged with manslaughter, reckless driving, running a stop sign and speeding for the Aug. 16 crash at a rural intersection that killed motorcyclist Scott, 55. If convicted of manslaughter, Janklow could get up to 10 years in prison and also face a House ethics committee investigation that could lead to his expulsion.

Saturday, December 06, 2003

Rep. Janklow Says Remembers Little of Accident

FLANDREAU, S.D. (Reuters) - U.S. Rep. Bill Janklow testified on Saturday that he remembers almost nothing about an August accident in rural South Dakota in which his car collided with a motorcycle, killing the driver.

During the rare Saturday session on the sixth day of his manslaughter trial, Janklow, a diabetic, testified that he forgot to eat on the day of the accident that killed Randy Scott.

Thursday, December 04, 2003

First Nations for Kucinich - Dennis Kucinich for President Campaign, 2004

Winona LaDuke endorses Dennis Kucinich for President. See the Kucinich Plan.

Monday, December 01, 2003

Potential Jurors Quizzed for Janklow Case

FLANDREAU, S.D. (AP) -- Potential jurors were quizzed on their knowledge of motorcycles and diabetes as jury selection began Monday in the manslaughter trial of Rep. Bill Janklow, accused in a traffic accident that killed a man at a rural intersection.

Two people who appeared to be American Indians were excused, both saying they had formed an opinion. Janklow has had rocky a relationship with tribes in the state.