My Thoughts on the DNC

Published on Jul 27, 2016

Michael Kickingbear, Co-host of the Native Opinion radio show and podcast, gives his opinion about the nomination of Hillary Clinton to the Democratic Party. He shares his thoughts about Bernie Sanders as a supporter and the emotions around his exit from the campaign.

Trumps War On Natives

Editorial by Michael Kickingbear Johnson

Donald J. Trump Testifying against Indian Gaming

Donald J. Trump Testifying against Indian Gaming

Over the past few months, we have been telling you that Donald Trump is no friend to Indian Country.  He has consistently demonstrated that he is no friend to minorities as a whole.  But tonight we are going to focus a bit on Indian country, and what we feel are concrete examples of why many native people feel this way. 

But some people may be wondering why suddenly there is this surge of Trump attacks against native people?  Many people only know Donald Trump though his Television show “The Apprentice”. Others only know him as New York Businessman.  But myself, I know Donald J Trump because of his dealings with close tribal relatives of mine.  Relatives that Donald Trump sought to exploit. You see, shortly after the opening of Foxwoods Resort Casino, which is owned and operated by my tribe, the Mashantucket Pequots , other tribes here in Connecticut were also pursuing Federal Recognition.  In fact, they had been pursuing federal recognition just as long as my tribe had, and sadly they still are to this very day. 

Before I get back to the so-called Phenomena called “Donald Trump” a little background on Federal recognition I think is needed for the context of future points.  The federal BIA, or Bureau of Indian Affairs, a division within the department of Interior has criteria  for which it issues to tribes throughout the United States for which they must meet  in order to be recognized by the federal government as a Sovereign Tribe.

If obtained, this “status” or “Federal Recognition” as it is called allows a native American tribe to govern itself. The provision grants a tribe the ability to make its own laws on its reservation with certain limitations. It allows a tribe to establish who is a citizen of its nation.  It allows tribes to establish their own tribal constitutions.  It allows for establishing rights for its people. For building infrastructure such as police departments, fire, EMS, Hospitals, Schools, And yes creating employment on its reservations for native and non-native people alike.  

This can include…Indian Casino Gaming

And in the past, gaming has become very lucrative for some native American tribes, my own included. And with this success, comes outside business interests.  Developers, who want in on the action. Developers like Donald J. Trump. 

You all have heard the saying “Follow The Money Trail”. That is exactly what Donald Trump did to Indian Country.  Straight here to Connecticut. He started targeting tribes who were close to getting a decision on their federal recognition bids.  He offered them money to build their own “Foxwoods” trying to woo them into “Partnering” with him. 

But Trump made a HUGE error. He assumed these tribes…and particularly their leaders…. were naive.  He assumed that after seeing the success that my tribe had with Foxwoods that they were desperate to have their own fortunes. That they would blindly listen to him, and just sign on the dotted line.

They didn’t

No, they actually did some homework. They conducted research about the developer.  What they discovered… was that Donald J. Trump was good at real estate. But he was a HORRIBLE casino operator . The first example, Trump Taj Mahal, went bankrupt in 1991, one year before Foxwoods Resort Casino even opened its doors. Trump then went Bankrupt 3 more times later in 2004, 2009 and 2014.

So trump figured these east coast “Indians” as he called us wouldn’t check him out. 

They did.   

And they fired him For not being forthcoming with that financial information.  Does that sound familiar to you? Kind of like how he won't release his taxes right now?

So since that time, and after the 3 more financial disasters that he went through, including a debt reconstruction in 2004, Donald J. Trump has had it out for native American tribes, particularly those in the hospitality or Entertainment industry, to the point that he insinuated that there was widespread corruption within the Indian Gaming industry. At a hearing before the Subcommittee on Native American Affairs trump was called to testify about his assertions that there was widespread organized crime "Rampant" on Indian  reservations with gaming. It was at this hearing where he completely insulted my tribe by stating "They Don't look like Indians to me, and they don't look like Indians to Indians." I will venture further to say it was a broader insult to east coast native American people. 

(video includes interview with Gyasi Ross, editor at Indian Country Today Media Network)

Actually, trump has been fired by other tribes across the country. The 29 Palms as an example, terminated a contract (reported by origional pechanga) they had with Trump when trump didnt' reveal that his casino management company went bankrupt.  Sadly, it is also being reported that 29 may have had to pay Trump 6 million to end that contract.


Now he wants to be president of the United States.  I personally just shake my head. Now he attacks Elizabeth Warren, who presumably in her career, made an assertion that she has native ancestry.  She has backed off that claim over the past few years, but trump now calls her Pocahontas every time her name is mentioned. These insults towards native people have escalated  over the past few days with a less known Radio Talk Show host Howie Carr doing a War Hoop with his hand over his mouth like an old bad western from the 1950’s.

So Donald J. Trump has no love what so ever for Indian Country.  And he never will.  Sadly, I have met Native people who claim that they will vote for him.  I can’t make anyone vote. But I hope in reading this, or listening to our show, it will give them pause. To think about what their actions might do in the future. Indian country has a strained relationship with a country who has not been very kind to us.  Who has yet to formally apologize, as some other countries have done, for it’s behavior towards Indigenous People who have always lived on this continent.  No, I cannot see having Donald Trump as president would ever strengthen Native American Relations with the country that borders us all.

Michael Kickingbear Johnson, is a enrolled citizen of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation in Connecticut.



What should be done?

By David GreyOwl

Well, we are nearing the end of another race within the respective political parties for the position of President of the United States. As you may already know, readers, the race on the Democratic side, has not been on the up and up. Bernie Sanders, the candidate of choice for most progressives and Dems alike, and I might add, Independents as well, has not been given the respect, and coverage he deserved in the Democratic race. There have been many allegations of the mishandling of ballots, flipped ballots and voters being turned away for some of the most ridiculous reasons.

I encourage voters, and readers of this post to make up their own minds as to what has been going on, and what should be done. This author does not trust the system to be fair, otherwise, we would not have the problems that we have seen in regards to voting.

Just so readers understand, the Republican National Convention (RNC), and the Democratic National Convention (DNC) are not government agencies. They are both private, political organizations. Let me repeat that. They are PRIVATE POLITICAL ORGANIZATIONS. Let that sink in for a minute. For the last few decades, and longer, the American people have been hoodwinked by private political organizations, who have worked tirelessly to undermine your vote and your choice to elect the nation's leader.

I believe we are on the very edge of the collapse of our countries political system. What should be done? We are under obligation to wrest back from the, One Percent, (as they are classified), the power we have so willingly given away.

The weakness, the greatest weakness the one percent has, is the dollar. Our greatest weakness is apathy. Our greatest strengths are the dollar and our voices. Think about that for a second.

The ultra rich uses the power of the dollar to subdue the American people, buy politicians through lobbying (bribery), and to use the media to keep America as ignorant as possible. The dollar is the greatest weakness the one percent has. In other words, without us spending and buying the goods corporations produce, or at least, spend at a minimum, the one percent looses its power, one dollar at a time. 

As a people, we are more powerful than the one percent wants to acknowledge.


Who remembers our Native Veterans on Memorial Day?

By David GreyOwl

It has been a long time coming, and I believe now is the time to write this blog post. Over the years, I have often wondered, Who remembers us on Memorial Day? Each year, my answer to my own question is always, no one. No one outside of the Native community at large, that is. Natives have had long held traditions of remembering fallen warriors, Veterans, if you will, for their sacrifice for family, tribe and country. Natives who fought for families, homes and ways of life, Natives long gone, and sometimes, most often forgotten by many, are Veterans by rights and by actions. I suggest we create our own Memorial Day remembrances. I suggest we create our own Veterans Day. Yes, we are part of the US, BUT, no one cares to mention the sacrifices made by Native Veterans, who fought and died for the same principles non-native soldiers fought and died for. 

Another question that I have always asked myself, and sometimes other Natives is. Why do we have to wait until non-natives give their blessing(s) before we are  "allowed" to have our own remembrances and holidays? I believe the time has come to stop "allowing" non-natives to determine what remembrances and holidays we can and should participate in, and enjoy.

It has always been "allowed" and accepted as a practice by this country for other cultures, (mainly cultures of European origins), to celebrate their cultural heritage(s) at their chosen time(s) of the year. Yes, the movement to replace Columbus day is in full swing, as it should be, but look at what it has taken to reach the point the movement has reached. As Native people, we should not have to wage campaigns to be recognized for our accomplishments, past or present. 

Native people should take it upon themselves to create our own remembrances and holidays, specific to our cultures. We do not need permission, nor approval from non-natives. Who remembers our Veterans on Memorial Day? We will.


Donald Trump 1994 Testimony against Indian Gaming

Since announcing his candidacy in late 2015, I have been reminding our audience on our talk radio show "Native Opinion"  about Donald Trump's past attitude towards my own tribe, The Mashantucket Pequot Nation of Connecticut. He stated, "They don't look like Indians to me, and they don't look like Indians to Indians.". 

The inference was two-fold in case you didn't' catch it:

1.) With no insult meant to our brothers and sisters out west,  Donald trump seemingly believes that there aren't any Native People here on the east coast. By saying "They Don't look like Indians to me" begs the question...what are Indians supposed to look like Mr. Trump? And where did this attitude come from? What shaped it? Movies? TV? Certainly not books....  

2.) He then stated "And they don't look like Indians to Indians" Sadly, this is another attitude that many tribes of the east coast suffer from. The belief that our tribes are "Made Up". That a group of people got together, and decided "wouldn't it be cool if we just pretended to be a tribe?"  Like all across America relevant to Indigenous people, history has not been kind to east coast native people. Assimilation forced slavery upon the tribes of the North East. My own people were forced to be divided among other tribes such as the Narragansett/Niantic and Mohegan People. As history elapsed, and modern attitudes evolved, people married into other tribes and also into Non-Native families.  Trump's belief that we "Don't look like Indians to Indians" is simply his lack of actually knowing real native people and his failure to manipulate a few of my cousins from some other tribes here in the Northeast. 

But this article isn't intended to be a history about Northeast Native people. It's intent is to shed more light on the "Trumpster" and to add my little piece of foundation to my assertion that Donald Trump simply has no respect for native people, or even more broadly, "People of Color". To do this, I am simply going to present you the transcript from his testimony in 1993 of a sub-committee that was formed to look into the assertion that Organized crime was on the rise within Indian Gaming Casinos. The document is quite lengthy, but I ask that you take the time to read the transcript no differently than you would sit down to enjoy a good book.  Pay attention to Trumps attitude towards the proponents of Indian Gaming at the time. Keep in mind that Indian gaming was growing at the time, and Trumps personal profits were on a decline in this industry.

We welcome all comments. Feel free to also send your feedback to our

Link to testimony:





Framing the conversation.

By Dr David GreyOwl

We have all witnessed advocacy, or may have taken part in advocacy for things that involve Native peoples. We have all witnessed the types of advocacy for things that involve Native peoples, from marches, lines to block illegal mining, logging, abuse and trespass on Native lands, to outright vocalization against the things that are going on. Let me be clear. These types of actions are needed. In every way, they are needed. If anyone in Indian country ever wonders why some things never seem to receive resolution, there might be a very good reason why that is, beyond the obvious.  

As Native people, we may be unknowingly, partially to blame for the lack of resolution(s). What I am talking about is the way we frame our conversations. I have listened to many other groups present their concerns to entities that needed to hear their concerns, and compared to other groups of people, many Native groups frame their conversation(s) in ways that result in unintended results, no resolution to the concern being presented.  We are not alone in this verbal error.  All too often we frame our concerns as "issues" not as problems. When the receiving party, (non Natives) hears the word "issue", it leads them to believe the concern is not that pressing. Sometimes, an issue and a problem are similar, and require the same attention, or require the same action, but usually, in my opinion they are two different things.

An issue is something that is, as an example, debatable, something that does not necessarily have or need a solution. A problem, on the other hand, is something that requires or needs a solution. When we talk about concerns in Indian country, and call those concerns issues, we unknowingly marginalize our own concerns because of wording, language if you will, (I am not talking about our Native languages.) that we have become accustomed to using. WORDS HAVE POWER! How we frame our conversations determines how the conversation(s) will go. How we frame our conversation(s) will determine whether or not a much needed solution is reached.

The link to the video below will hopefully help us in framing our conversations and empower us to reach resolutions to the problems within Indian country. Thank you for reading our blog.

Copy and paste the link below to watch. 

Just when you thought you had it all figured out.

By Dr. David GreyOwl

There is a trend going on in Indian country. A trend that is extremely harmful to tribes all over the country. "What is that trend", you may ask? That trend is tribal dis-enrollment. Tribal dis-enrollment is a very dangerous practice being conducted within Native tribes. Tribal dis-enrollment is a tool given to tribes by non-natives to help Natives hasten their own demise. So you believe you have it all figured out? You believe you have justified dis-enrolling members based on tools that non-natives told you were accurate tools to verify if someone is Native or not? Well guess what? Just when you thought you had it all figured out, the truth happens........

 "So how do tribes use DNA testing to determine membership?
It depends. The tribe I’m enrolled in does DNA testing to trace parentage, but only on new applicants. However, some tribes will go back and test everybody. Of course, in any population where you do that you’re going to find misattributed paternity. And some tribes dis-enrol descendants: say your biological father is not who you think he is, then you can get dis-enrolled. This has happened in some tribes in the US."

"Is this dangerous for tribal identity?
All a parentage test does is say whether your parent is your biological parent or not. I feel that’s dangerous in the long run because there is a conflation going on in people’s minds of parentage testing with genetic-ancestry testing. People think that there’s a DNA test that can prove if somebody is Native American or not. There isn’t."

“People think there is a DNA test to prove you are Native American. There isn’t”

To read more.........

When do we grab the bull by the horns?

By: Dr. David GreyOwl,

When do we grab the bull by the horns? As Native people, it is long past time for us to "grab the bull by the horns" and choose our own direction(s). As a people, we have to decide whether we want our destinies to continued to be controlled by non-natives, or whether we want to control our own destinies. Yes, the issue of "tribal sovereignty" through Federal Recognition is a touchy subject, but is "tribal sovereignty" through Federal Recognition all it is cracked up to be? 

I have over the years, heard tribal leaders make statements like " We now have a chance to determine our own destinies" after receiving Federal Recognition. My question to those who believe "tribal sovereignty" is a good thing is: If Federal Recognition is all it is cracked up to be, why do tribes apply to a government body that assumes the right to decide whether you are a tribe or not? Do you not know you are a tribe already? Do you need the blessing of the "Great White Father" to validate who and what you are? The issue of "tribal sovereignty" has become yet another problem for tribes who have sat by and wasted years petitioning a government body to acknowledge them as a tribe. Money has permeated the fabric of tribal culture, and the pursuit of money through per capita payments has deluded many tribal members into believing the less members you have, the more you will collect per individual. This type of mentality has led to tribal dis-enrollments. Most, if not nearly all of those dis-enrollments are, in my opinion, unjust. So, because of such beliefs many dis-enrollments have also come about for political reasons. Understand, this is a slow, deliberate attempt at tribal genocide by your own hands.

Below is an excerpt. to read more......... 


Self-government under Federal Law

One must immediately add qualifiers to the assertion that self-government and institutionalized political independence is the fulcrum of Native Americans in American politics. Native American "sovereignty" is not as complete as the "government-to-government" relationship suggests. Indeed, the first time the United States dealt with Native Americans through the State Department -- the normal vehicle for government-to-government relationships -- was in May, 1996. This was a "consultation" meeting preparatory to the United States taking a position in the United Nations with regard to a Draft Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples under consideration in the international arena. Prior to that meeting, and continuing since, the "government-to-government" relationship consists of Native American governments dealing with the United States through various domestic agencies, primarily the Department of the Interior. From an historical perspective, there was more "government-to-government"dealing when the United States acted towards Native Americans through the War Department, where the first Bureau of Indian Affairs was created (1824), than in the subsequent years when "Indian affairs" became institutionalized as a "domestic" concern.4


A straight-forward legal explanation of the special position of Native Americans in American politics was provided in 1973 by the Federal District Court for the District of Montana, in the case of 

United States v. Blackfeet Tribe

. The facts of the case were simple: The Blackfeet Business Council had passed a resolution authorizing gambling on the reservation and licensing of slot machines. An FBI agent seized four machines. The Blackfeet Tribal Court issued an order restraining all persons from removing the seized articles from the reservation. The FBI agent, after consultation with the United States Attorney, removed the machines from the reservation. A tribal judge then ordered the U.S. Attorney to show cause why he should not be cited for contempt of the tribal court.The U.S. Attorney applied to federal court for an injunction to block the contempt citations. The Blackfeet Tribe argued that it was sovereign and that the jurisdiction of the tribal court flows directly from this sovereignty. The federal court said:No doubt the Indian tribes were at one time sovereign and even now the tribes are sometimes described as being sovereign. The blunt fact, however, is that an Indian tribe is sovereign to the extent that the United States permits it to be sovereign -- neither more nor less. [194]The court explained: While for many years the United States recognized some elements of sovereignty in the Indian tribes and dealt with them by treaty, Congress by Act of March 3, 1871 ... , prohibited the further recognition of Indian tribes as independent nations. Thereafter the Indians and the Indian tribes were regulated by acts of Congress. The power of Congress to govern by statute rather than treaty has been sustained.

United States v. Kagama,

118U.S. 375, 6 S.Ct. 1109, 30 L.Ed. 228 (1886). That power is a plenary power ... and in its exercise Congress is supreme. ... It follows that any tribal ordinance permitting or purporting to permit what Congress forbids is void. ... It is beyond the power of the tribe to in any way regulate, limit,or restrict a federal law officer in the performance of his duties, and the tribe having no such power the tribal court can have none. [Id .] The fundamental definition of "American Indian sovereignty" in United States law, as the District Court made clear, is that it is not really sovereignty. According to the fundamental jurisprudence of "federal Indian law" -- a vast, complex body of United States statutes and court decisions designed to govern Native Americans -- "tribal"peoples have a diminutive form of "sovereignty," which turns out to be not self-determination, but dependence. This theory was articulated by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall in

Cherokee Nation v. Georgia

(1831). Marshall wrote that Native5[sic]

American societies, though they are "nations" in the general sense of the word, are not fully sovereign; he suggested they are "domestic, dependent nations," a phrase suggesting that native peoples are "wards" of the United States, a concept that almost immediately passed from dictum to dogma. Native American sovereignty has been the object of a kind of legal shell game -- "now you see it, now you don't" -- since the beginning of federal Indian law.......

Words Matter

By Michael Kickingbear

 As we move through the 2016 political season, a central question I have had is. Why haven't these candidates for President of the United States approached native people to solicit our vote? Yes, we know the usual answers. "We are an invisible people", and "they are ignoring us."  In the past eight years, Native people have really worked to make our voices heard through activism and other movements such as, Not My Mascot, and Idle No More. Native people have been collectively organizing and speaking with one voice around a variety of subjects.

So, when, Senator Bernie Sanders a Democratic candidate for, President recently visited his second reservation in North Minneapolis, MNmy ears perked up a bit. I was encouraged by the fact that out of the six to eight remaining candidates running for the highest position in America, Bernie Sanders has started to reach out to Indian country.  Sure, another question naturally rises. "What took so long?" We can think of a million reasons the candidates would give for not reaching out to Natives, and most would not hold water.

  I believe it is important that a dialog be initiated, or maintained.  If a candidate takes it upon himself, or herself to open a dialogue with tribal leaders around the country, how can we fault him, or her for that? To have a chance to speak directly with someone who is a sitting United States Senator, and (potentially) a future President, and talk about concerns, issues, or problems, this is something you would want to take advantage of, Correct? That is an opportunity that was afforded to Clyde Bellecourt at a black caucus meeting being hosted on a Minnesota reservation on February 12th, 2016.



 Mr. Sander’s time was limited because he was scheduled to appear at an event in St. Paul, Minnesota. The moderator (all though rather rude, was also a guest on the reservation), did explain to, Clyde Bellecourt, the Senator had time for one question. The moderator then asked Mr. Bellecourt to come forward, to ask his question. Unfortunately, Mr. Bellcourt chose to use his time to scream at the, Senator, bringing up past issues that (while still relevant to Indian Country) really were not the type of things to try to bring up in the amount of time he had available to him.

Bellcourt instead, ranted largely about HIS career with the American Indian Movement, history relevant to the work done by AIM, and other things. While it is not my intent to diminish his, or the organizations past efforts, the way he went about attacking, Senator Sanders was not helpful to Indian Country. 

On our show, Native Opinion, we try to present Native American perspectives and points of view that are constructive. In my opinion, Mr Bellcourt's rant did nothing to elevate Indian Country. All, Mr. Bellcourt did was obtain a sound bite. There is an old saying. "Know when to pick your fights."  In this instance, Mr. Bellcourt did not exercise good judgement. He took an old school approach that may have worked in the 70's and 80's, the tactic of disrupting a conference when there are cameras present, to try to get your agenda out.  I can virtually guarantee that, Mr. Sanders walked away knowing nothing more about Indian Country, or our needs, and absolutely no solutions. A completely missed opportunity. 

The things I believe should be acknowledged are the needs, and problems in Indian country.  Every time an approach is taken like that of Mr Bellcourt’s, how much more difficult do you think it will be to get, Mr. Sanders, or any politician to visit other reservations after an experience like that?   All this does is feed an already pre-existing problem of ignorance by United States government officials. Fortunately, in Iowa, Mr. Sanders had a more positive experience at the Meskwaki Nation. The questions presented by some of the tribal youth were very well thought out, and I believe the questions impressed the, Senator. They did us all proud! The town hall meeting on the reservation in Iowa, and the participants approach to discussions should be a good example around Indian country. Those types of discussions are much more proactive.




Each year, the National Congress of American Indians presents "The State of Indian Nations" address.  It is presented by NCAI President Brian Cladoosby.  It is a good summary of a broad range of progress that Indian Country has made. It's important to really know what has actually been worked on to help native people. To understand what has actually been accomplished, and what still needs to be worked on.  

Here is that address:



If we took an approach to create a town hall meeting with a distinct focus on American Indian issues, with well constructed questions, and invited any presidential candidate that truly wishes to engage with Indian County, which method do you think a candidate would walk away with having learned something? The Town Hall Approach, or the one that Clyde Bellcourt took In Minnesota?. The answer should be obvious.  I personally do acknowledge and thank the American Indian Movement for the work that they have done in the past, and continue to do.  But I encourage Clyde Bellcourt and other activist leaders to please take a step back and think about your approach.  Thank you for what you do.






















A great example of cultural insensitivity.

Cultural insensitivity has existed since the beginning of time. One would be correct to believe that such lapses of sensitivity would begin to evolve and move away from a developed, progressive society. In America, cultural insensitivity has and is a money making past time that has very few rivals. The fight against using Native American imagery as sports logos is not new. To feign ignorance about knowing there is an on going fight to ban the use of Native American imagery for sports logos, is at best, an attempt to not be responsible to do ones part in helping to stop the use of Native American logos. The claim to care about the use of said logos, and the lack of action to support the removal of said logos is an act of cowardice, and it is ingenious.

My Co-Host Michael Kickingbear, a member of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe which is located in Connecticut stated:         "Some people here in CT are "Closet Racists".  I no longer say that people like this are "ignorant" or "uninformed". They CHOOSE to be racist.  They CHOOSE to not try to understand another point of view. They CHOOSE to not learn about another culture to better themselves. "Ignorance" can infer that someone isn't exposed to something.  It doesn't always mean they consciously disregard something they don't understand. Willfully creating images like this (T-Shirt) does not demonstrate ignorance. It demonstrates a desire to not be inclusive and perpetuate racism.  If I catch anyone wearing this shirt in public, they will hear from me publicly and I will video document the encounter."


After Mascot Ban at CT High School - Parent Designs ‘F*ck You’ Finger Headdress T-Shirt

Vincent Schilling


    Soon after a Native mascot image ban at two West Hartford Connecticut high schools in 2015, a Conard Chieftain high school parent alumni created a t-shirt with an image of a Native American man in a headdress with an emblem of a ‘f*ck you’ middle finger hidden in the medallion.........            Read more at :


Soon after a Native mascot image ban at two West Hartford Connecticut high schools in 2015, a Conard Chieftain high school parent alumni created a t-shirt with an image of a Native American man in a headdress with an emblem of a ‘f*ck you’ middle finger hidden in the medallion.........




Read more at :



How much is it going to take to put an end to the abuse and misuse of Native culture?

As long as Natives sit back and allow someone else to speak out against the abuse and misuse of our culture, and the destruction of sacred lands and sites, the abuse and misuse will continue. It is going to take ALL of our voices to speak out against the abuse and misuse to make a difference, and put an end to the madness.  

From Dailykos

Militants bulldoze through Native American archeological site, share video rifling through artifacts


Armed militants at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge continue to damage both the delicate ecosystem of the refuge and archeological [sic] sites of critical importance to the Burns Paiute Tribe. Amanda Peacher from Oregon Public Broadcasting shared photos of what appeared to be a new road in the refuge and got confirmation that not only is the road new, it goes through a vitally important area:

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service confirmed Thursday that not only is the road built last week by the occupiers new, but it is also within an archaeological site important to the Burns Paiute Tribe.

Members of the Burns Paiute Tribe are increasingly angry nothing has been done to get the armed militants out of the refuge and away from their artifacts and the archeological sites:

On Friday, the tribe delivered a letter to federal agencies including the U.S. Attorney and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service demanding prosecution of Ammon Bundy and other armed militants occupying the Malheur Wildlife Refuge, “If the occupiers disturb, damage, remove, alter, or deface any archaeological resource on the refuge property.

There are approximately 4,000 artifacts belonging to the tribe in the buildings the militants are holding. The occupation is entering its third week.

The tribe is demanding federal action under both the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 and a "protection against bad men” provision in the treaty the tribe signed with the United States in 1868.

Meanwhile, in the video below, LaVoy Finicum and other armed militants show themselves rifling through boxes of artifacts and offering to return them to the Burns Paiute Tribe. Some of the artifacts at the refuge date back 6,000 years. Tribal representatives have repeatedly said they want the militants to leave immediately:

"They just need to get the hell out of here," said Jarvis Kennedy, a member of the tribal council. "They didn't ask anybody, we don't want them here...our little kids are sitting at home when they should be in school."

They also note the relationship with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management has evolved over the years:

"We feel strongly because we have had a good working relationship with the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge," she said. "We view them as a protector of our cultural rights in that area."

Watch as the militants open boxes and show off the artifacts, complaining about their storage and offering to return to the tribe who helped archive them at the refuge in the first place:


Y’all Qaeda Militia Not Welcomed by Oregon Locals

Self-described “patriots,” members of a militia that is not exactly “well-regulated” (as the Second Amendment requires), occupied Malheur National Wildlife Refuge on January 2 for two stated reasons. They intended to keep Steven and Dwight Hammond from serving the minimum lawful sentence for arson on public land and to protect the citizens of Oregon from the tyranny of the federal government. They have now gotten some results.

First, Steven and Dwight Hammond released a statement through their family lawyer disavowing the support of the militia. Then they turned themselves in to serve their sentences, as required by the terms of their bonds. Dwight Hammond told the Associated Press that was going to happen and now it has.

Second, the descendants of the aboriginal owners of the dirt upon which the Malheur Wildlife Refuge sits (formerly the Malheur Indian Reservation)have held a press conference. It should be noted that if, as the militia claims, the land is not federal, then it is tribal. It’s unclear how the state could have a claim at all since the land belonged to the Paiutes, then was in federal trust for the Paiutes, and then the use of the land was designated as wildlife refuge when most of the Paiutes were removed to Washington Territory.

Those Paiutes who did not move still live on theBurns Paiute Reservation. On January 6, the Burns Paiute Tribal Council called a press conference.



Read Full Story (Origional Story provided by Indian Country Today)

As long as someone else determines who we are, we are never in control of our own destiny.

When people learn that what is important to others is just as important as the things they consider important, then and only then will understanding be reached. When others determine who we are as a people, we will never be able to determine our own destiny. 

House Natural Resources Chairman calls Native American artifacts “bull crap”

WASHINGTON – House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah) on Friday, July 10 dismissed the historical value of Native American artifacts as a basis for establishing national monuments, as first reported by Greenwire in a story about President Obama’s designation of three national monuments....Read more here.




What are the powers to be afraid of?

One would think that in order to work on the behest of all the citizens of a state, the leader, the Governor, would talk with the citizens he is about to make a ruling against, and try to explain to those individuals why he is about to make said ruling, and give the parties of those groups a chance to open a dialogue with the, Governor to try to reach a solution. That was not the case.

Maine Governor Affirms and Rejects Tribal Sovereignty in New Executive Order.

The governor of Maine has rescinded a three year-old executive order that recognized the “special relationship” between the State of Maine and Indian tribes living there. The order created a consultation policy for tribal input before laws, rules and policies affecting them are passed.

Gov. Paul LePage’s new executive order on April 16, “An Order Respecting Joint Sovereignty and Interdependence,”......Read more at.


Kevin Gover Talks History Myths at TEDx: Columbus, Thanksgiving, and Imaginary Indians

Recently, Kevin Gover, director of the National Museum of the American Indian, gave a TEDx Talk about history myths.       

Recently, Kevin Gover, director of the National Museum of the American Indian, gave a TEDx Talk about history myths.





Kevin Gover, Pawnee, began his TEDx Talk with the Christopher Columbus song “In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.”

“When you’re in elementary school, you don’t question what you’re learning, you assume the teacher knows everything,” he says. “So I know that Columbus discovered America in 1492.”

The Columbus myth is one of our “origin stories” he says, pointing out that a large painting of the discovery hangs in our nation’s capital. That painting hangs about 400 yards from where he works as the director of the National Museum of the American Indian.

“Think about how powerful that notion is, that Columbus discovered America. There was nothing here, there was nobody here until Columbus arrived,” he tells the crowd.

Gover goes on to discuss the First Thanksgiving myth and how Squanto learned English. The real Thanksgiving story continues about 50 years after that First Thanksgiving. “About 50 years later, there were new generations of Pilgrims, new generations of Wampanoags, and the Wampanoags had sold so much of their land to the Pilgrims that they had fallen into poverty themselves. And they lashed out, and there was a great conflagration known as King Philip’s War,” he says. “King Philip’s Warwas perhaps the most devastating war in the entire history of North America in terms of the percentage of people who were killed in this conflict. The tribes of New England were virtually wiped out. Those that weren’t wiped out were confined and no longer the powers they had once been.”