Tribal Trusts - Numbers And Words
THE NUMBERS –
1887 – The year the federal government set up trust funds to manage mining and other royalties due Native Americans.
13 – It’s been 13 years since a report was sent to Congress that the Interior Department had mismanaged Indian trust funds due to Native Americans.
300,000 to 500,000 – The number of Native Americans owed money according to the plaintiffs in a lawsuit seeking restitution.
$100 billion-plus – This is the amount Native Americans claim they are owed.
$40 million – The cost of failed computer systems to manage the Indian trust accounts.
4 – The number of years the Bureau of Indian Affairs Internet connection has been shut down by court order for lax security related to the trust fund case.
3 – The three Cabinet members held in contempt of court over the Indian trust case.
These numbers come from an August 1st editorial in The Arizona Republic.
Natives say they would accept $27.5 billion to settle the nine-year suit. The Interior Department supports the idea of a settlement but it would require reasonable terms and conditions that are suitable to Congress, the courts, the plaintiffs, and ultimately the American taxpayers.
THE WORDS -
John McCain (R-AZ), chairman of Senate Indian Affairs Committee, has an answer to the problem “if words don’t get in the way”, but McCain says the $27.5 billion is too high an amount to get through Congress. The Indians figure it is a bargain compared with the more than $!00 billion they say is owned to them.
The payments, in question, are royalties for farming, grazing, mining, logging, and other economic activities on tribal lands. The federal government is supposed to collect the money and distribute it to thousands of individual Native Americans
McCain’s answer lies in Senate Bill 1439 drafted by McCain and Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND), vice-chair of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, which was introduced to the Senate on Wednesday, July 20th.
Eloise Cobell, a Blackfoot Native activist from Montana, is the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit and said when she received a copy of the bill. It made her so angry she couldn’t talk after reading it. She told the Internet’s “Montana Forum,” “I want to say some strong things like: ‘This is a disaster Let’s kill it’. But it will come back to haunt us.”
The Internet’s “indianz.com” expresses their opinion. “The bill offered by U.S. Senator John McCain and U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan sent Indian country a low-ball deal, which in gaming terms means they sent the best bill for the guilty and the worst bill for the victims.
“Senate Bill 1439 seeks to fix a hundred years of theft by only looking at the years of 1980 through 2005, because records crucial to the case - exposing the width and breadth of gross theft over the past 100 years – were destroyed. This bill meant to bring justice is a slap in the face to its victims.
“Democratic leader Dorgan points out that this is a starting point and as such it is the way they would like to see this happen. Tribes and their leaders certainly have other plans.”
The Republic concludes its editorial with, “The McCain-Dorgan bill is an opportunity that both sides must seize and figure out together how to make it work.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NINTH ANNUAL FIRST NATIONS FILM AND VIDEO FESTIVAL 2005 – DATES AND CALL FOR ENTRIES – COMING DEADLINE – AUGUST 31ST
Chicago, IL – The Ninth Annual First Nations Film and Video Festival presented by the American Indian Center of Chicago has set its festival dates for November 14th through the 20th at various venues across metropolitan Chicago and its suburbs.
The First Nations Film and Video Festival Committee are also pleased to announce the Call for Entry for the festival with a deadline of August 31, 2005. The First Nations Film and Video Festival consider “Native American" to include all of the indigenous peoples of the Americas. This includes, but not limited to, North American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian people as well as people from the indigenous tribes of Central and South America.
Film and video entries will be accepted from Indigenous American individuals who have written, produced, or directed the film or video which is being submitted. Preference will be given to independent projects for which the applicant has primary creative control. Filmmakers are encouraged to download or print out the application for entry at our new festival website: http://www.fnfvf.com/.
Public service announcements, training material or promotional work will not be considered.
Moving forward on the momentum of last year’s highly successful festival, the Festival Committee hopes to surpass it with added venues and increased participation from Native filmmakers and patrons of the arts.
For further information patrons or filmmakers should contact Ernest M. Whiteman III, Festival Coordinator at 773.275.5871 extension 20 or email@example.com or Dave Spencer at 847.301.2090 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Please feel free to visit the festival’s new website: http://www.fnfvf.com/.
NCAA targets Indian names
NEWS WIRE SERVICES
Submmitted by Elk Richardson
Fed up with what it considers "hostile" and "abusive" American Indian nicknames, the NCAA announced yesterday it would shut those words and images out of postseason tournaments, a move that left some school officials angry and threatening legal action.
Starting in February, any school with a nickname or logo considered racially or ethnically "hostile" or "abusive" by the NCAA would be prohibited from using them in postseason events. Mascots will not be allowed to perform at tournament games, and band members and cheerleaders also will be barred from using American Indians on their uniforms beginning in 2008.
Major college football teams are not subject to the ban because there is no official NCAA tournament.
Affected schools were quick to complain, and Florida State - home of the Seminoles - threatened legal action. "That the NCAA would now label our close bond with the Seminole people as culturally 'hostile and abusive' is both outrageous and insulting,"
Florida State president T.K. Wetherell said in a statement. "I intend to pursue all legal avenues to ensure that this unacceptable decision is overturned, and that this university will forever be associated with the 'unconquered' spirit of the Seminole Tribe of Florida."
The committee also recommended that schools follow the examples of Wisconsin and Iowa by refusing to schedule contests against schools that use American Indian nicknames.
One school, North Carolina-Pembroke - which uses the nickname Braves - will be exempted because the school has historically had a high percentage of students who are Native Americans. Originally published on August 6, 2005
NATIVE UNITY - A place for Native American Peoples to solidify their tribes to make a positive impact on the cultural, social, economic and political fabric of American society and a place for non-Natives to better understand the ways of the American Indian.
For news and information on Native American and First Nations actors, go to Annie's site at www.NativeCelebs.com and follow the threads.
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