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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.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Proposed New Appeals Process for Dams Angers Several Groups

WASHINGTON, Oct. 29 - A proposed Interior Department regulation that would create a unique appeals process for hydropower companies seeking relief from regulations intended to protect fish and other wildlife is prompting criticism from Indian tribes, state governments and environmental groups.

The proposal, published last month, injects the new appeals process in the middle of the multistage process that a hydropower company complete to renew its license to operate dams. The license renewal process, under the overall umbrella of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, gives several agencies, including the Fish and Wildlife Service in the Interior Department or the National Marine Fisheries Service in the Commerce Department, authority to require dam owners to take certain steps to protect wildlife.

'Totems to Turquoise': Indian Art Meets Craft to Inspire and Adorn

We are not left to our own devices in "Totems to Turquoise: Native North American Jewelry Arts of the Northwest and Southwest," the always illuminating, sometimes beautiful, but also excessively orchestrated exhibition opening tomorrow at the American Museum of Natural History. "Look Closely!" an annoying badgelike label exhorts in each of the 40 vitrines that dominate the show. The command singles out a bracelet, bolo tie, squash blossom necklace, amulet or some other small gleaming object for special attention; a block of tiny print explains what we should look for.

"Totems and Turquoise" is a complicated package of art and commerce, special pleading and the real thing - just like any other art exhibition, only perhaps a little more overt. It reveals two interconnected art worlds that while less familiar than those that co-exist and sometimes collide in New York City, are art worlds nonetheless.

Monday, October 04, 2004

U.S. Is Ordered to Tell Indians Before Selling Trust Property

WASHINGTON, Oct. 2 - A federal judge has ruled that the government must notify American Indian landowners before it seeks to sell property from a trust it manages that collects revenue from oil, timber and grazing leases and other activities on Indian land.

It is the first time such a practice has been required, the Indians say, in the nearly 120 years that the Department of the Interior has administered the fund, called the Indian Trust.

The ruling on Wednesday is part of a complex class-action lawsuit filed in 1996 by Elouise Cobell, a banker and Blackfoot from Montana, on behalf of nearly a half-million Indians who contend that during more than a century the government has cheated them of about $137 billion in royalties from the leases. The government pays beneficiaries a total of more than $500 million each year from the fund, which exceeds $3 billion dollars.