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Member since: Sat Sep 15, 2007, 05:47 PM
Number of posts: 1,040

Journal Archives

Gyasi Ross: WA AG Ferguson, racist like Trump

I'd say not exactly like Trump; our AG is more selective, like Sam Clemens, maybe.

Why is Bob Ferguson attacking Native rights?
by Gyasi Ross
Crosscut. June 5, 2018

Twenty-one Washington tribes sued Washington over state roads with tiny culverts that restrict salmon migration, and therefore limit tribes' treaty fishing rights. That is the so-called “Culverts Case.” Fortunately, a federal court said the tribes are in the right and the federal court of appeals said the same.

Still, Ferguson brought the case as high as he could to violate treaty rights — all the way to U.S. Supreme Court. It is interesting to note that prominent Democrats Washington’s Gov. Jay Inslee as well as Hilary Franz, commissioner of public lands at the Department of Natural Resources and King County Executive Dow Constantine, all oppose Ferguson bringing the case to the Supreme Court. Still, despite the law and his own party’s opposition to his position, Ferguson is committed to violating legal obligations to Native communities.

The Supreme Court is deciding Ferguson’s case against Washington tribes right now. The case further jeopardizes Native treaty rights and Washington honoring its obligations.

Ferguson is on an island against tribal treaty rights — his fellow Democrats in Washington understand that Native Nations should be his allies. And make no mistake: Anti-Treaty rights are anti-Native in the same way that anti-immigration is anti-Latinx and anti-integration is anti-Black. In short, it’s racist. Like Trump.

More at LINK

Native candidate takes governor's primary in Idaho

Paulette Jordan claims Democratic victory: 'We won this race by everyone.'
By Maria L. La Ganga, Idaho Statesman
May 15, 2018

Surrounded by a loud, jubilant crowd in a small Boise bar, Paulette Jordan claimed victory in the Democratic gubernatorial primary, beating two-time candidate AJ Balukoff and going one step closer to becoming the first female, Native American governor in the United States.

“I didn’t win this race by Democrats alone,” the 38-year-old former state legislator declared as red white and blue balloons popped and supporters cheered, nearly drowning her out. “We won this race by everyone.”

She thanked her supporters and her family and her ancestors. She vowed that “never again” will Democrats have to vote for the lesser of Republican evils. She promised to fight “with every single ounce of my life” for access to health care and better education and to preserve the wild lands that make Idaho so special.

More at Idaho Statesman

By 58% to 41% according to Vox

"Advice to Water Protectors"

Here's an interesting opinion on what direction indigenous action might take.

Fighting to Win: the Haida's Advice to Water Protectors in the U.S.

Lessons from the Haida, who fought the government of Canada for sovereignty—and actually won.

by Arvind Dilawar, Pacific Standard, Jan 17, 2018


At least 97 groups across the country are fighting oil and gas projects. Standing Rock may be an inspiration to them, but it doesn't provide the best blueprint. For that, Water Protectors and their allies can look north, to the Haida people of Canada. After more than 40 years of fighting against the exploitation of their homeland—an archipelago off the coast of British Columbia—the Haida have broken the mold: They've actually won. And in light of the NoDAPL movement and other ongoing, Native-led struggles, the lessons that Water Protectors can glean from the Haida's victory are now more relevant than ever.


Considering the Trump administration's support for oil and gas projects, as well as its disregard for Native-American culture, the NoDAPL movement is unlikely to be the last of its kind. As Water Protectors and their allies prepare to do battle with what Guujaaw [a hereditary clan chief] refers to as "the beast," they would do well to follow the blueprint set out by the Haida: coming to consensus around a holistic strategy aiming for sovereignty, then patiently waiting to set that plan into motion.


The Haida, you may remember, are the people whose grandmothers stripped a couple of their chiefs of their authority after it was revealed that they'd been cooperating with Enbridge on their pipeline plans.
(Haida strip two hereditary chiefs of titles for supporting Enbridge)

I think Standing Rock was different in that they didn't have the decades of build-up--the re-routing of the DAPL was relatively sudden, so there was no time for "patiently waiting to put a plan into motion." Also, #NoDAPL accomplished an amazing feat in rallying nations across the continent in their support, as well as indigenous people around the world. The Haida actions, however successful--even breaking into the international news--didn't trigger such widespread response, which is kind of a shame; as this article argues, their tactics deserve close attention.

"Most scientists now reject the idea that the first Americans came by land"

Tiny little baby steps away from the colonizers' self-serving narrative that "we're all immigrants."

Most scientists now reject the idea that the first Americans came by land
Researchers embrace the kelp highway hypothesis in “a dramatic intellectual turnabout.”

Annalee Newitz, Ars Technica 11/4/2017

It's been one of the most contentious debates in anthropology, and now scientists are saying it's pretty much over. A group of prominent anthropologists have done an overview of the scientific literature and declare in Science magazine that the "Clovis first" hypothesis of the peopling of the Americas is dead.

For decades, students were taught that the first people in the Americas were a group called the Clovis who walked over the Bering land bridge about 13,500 years ago. They arrived (so the narrative goes) via an ice-free corridor between glaciers in North America. But evidence has been piling up since the 1980s of human campsites in North and South America that date back much earlier than 13,500 years. At sites ranging from Oregon in the US to Monte Verde in Chile, evidence of human habitation goes back as far as 18,000 years.

In the 2000s, overwhelming evidence suggested that a pre-Clovis group had come to the Americans before there was an ice-free passage connecting Beringia to the Americas. As Smithsonian anthropologist Torben C. Rick and his colleagues put it, "In a dramatic intellectual turnabout, most archaeologists and other scholars now believe that the earliest Americans followed Pacific Rim shorelines from northeast Asia to Beringia and the Americas."

Now scholars are supporting the "kelp highway hypothesis," which holds that people reached the Americas when glaciers withdrew from the coasts of the Pacific Northwest 17,000 years ago, creating "a possible dispersal corridor rich in aquatic and terrestrial resources."

More at LINK

Water is Life? Salmon Life Doesn't Matter to the State of Washington

Imagine a conflict over flowing waters: The Powers That Be versus Native Americans struggling to maintain a remnant of their way of being.

Sound familiar? This time, it’s not pipes carrying oil under the water in North Dakota; this time, it’s pipes carrying water under the roads in Washington. It’s culverts. Thousands of culverts throughout the state are blocked, damaged or badly designed so that salmon can’t get past them to spawn. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled earlier this year that the State of Washington needs to fix those culverts in order to meet treaty requirements with the state’s tribes who gave away their homes in exchange for the promise of the life that the salmon bring. Rather than comply, Washington’s Attorney General is trying to get the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn that ruling, so that Washington can watch the dwindling salmon runs continue their decline.

State officials, of course, side with business, development, and big money; use scary What if arguments that exaggerate unlikely scenarios to explain their position. The AG says that he favors fixing the culverts and upholding treaty rights, but that the court’s ruling could be construed as giving those who support salmon conservation too much power to obstruct existing and future development. To put that another way: if salmon could spawn in flowing money, we’d be all in for salmon conservation.

Attorney General Who Battled Trump, Attacks Tribal Treaty Rights
by Wakíƞyaƞ Waánataƞ, Last Real Indians

“We’ve never seen this assault on Treaty rights since Slade Gordon. I put him [Attorney General Bob Ferguson] right next to Slade. Slade lost, so will Ferguson.” Brian Cladoosby, Chairman Swinomish Tribe and President of the National Congress of American Indians

Last January, Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson, a Democrat, rose to national prominence when he filed a lawsuit against the Trump Administration’s Executive Order to temporarily ban refugees and immigrants from seven majority Muslim countries. A U.S. District Court would later agree with Ferguson and issued a Temporary Restraining Order halting the implementation nationwide.

Ferguson, who was hailed a hero and Trump fighter, is now turning his attacks on Northwest Tribes and their treaty rights.


Northwest Treaty Tribes — Tribes Disappointed with State Culvert Appeal to Supreme Court
KUOW — He took on Trump. Now he’s taking on tribes over salmon
The Capital Press — Washington culvert case seen as Western water issue

Trumps Order Silences Alaskan Native Voices

"There can be no other conclusion other than Alaska’s Tribes, and coastal Alaskans in particular, were targeted and silenced."

Trump’s Order Silences Alaskan Native Voices

Native American Rights Fund
April 28, 2017

Today President Trump, flanked by Alaska Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan and Representative Don Young, revoked a critically important Executive Order that we, 40 of Alaska’s coastal Tribes, had drafted and advocated for. Executive Order 13754: Northern Bering Sea Climate Resilience, issued by President Obama on December 9, 2016, was the product of years of tireless work by local Alaskans, Tribes, and nonprofits who—when faced with the devastating effects of climate change and the dramatic increase of large scale shipping right on our front doorstep—sought to create a way for us to have a say in what happens in and to our waters. The key component of Order 13754 was the creation of the Bering Sea Intergovernmental Tribal Advisory Council. This Council gave us, local Alaskans who use the waters of the Bering Sea every day, a say in how the federal government managed those waters.

Today, the President took that away, along with all the other key components of the Order, including a provision to include traditional knowledge in federal decision-making. Now there is no seat at the table for Alaskans or our local knowledge. Alaska’s own congressional delegation stood by as local Alaskan voices were removed from decisions that affect our lives, and now we are at the mercy of federal decision-makers only. This does not benefit Alaska. Rather, it only benefits the federal government and private interests who will financially benefit from silencing our voices and taking or polluting the resources that we, as Alaskans, rely on.

(More at link)

What are the candidates' positions on

attacking Indians with vicious dogs?

I expect a swift, strong and specific response from every serious candidate.

Xiuhtezcatl, the kind of endorsement that matters

to me.

Those of you have a vote, please, I'm asking you to stand for our generation, for our voices, for the people of this planet.

I don't care much about celebrity endorsements, or endorsements from politicians who don't represent me, except insofar as it reflects on the judgment of the endorser.

Xiuhtezcatl Martinez --too young to vote himself-- makes an endorsement that matters much more.

Listen to his brief message:

Perspective: Why I Can't Support the Second-Best Candidate

I won't settle for second-best. I won't settle for pragmatic, incremental progress.

According to yet another divisive opinion, this one in the Guardian, and subject of a DU post, my self-righteous insistence is a result of white privilege, because only affluent white progressives can afford the privilege of being so picky.

Affluent? Hardly. I have a government document, Form 1044, that challenges that assertion, if it doesn't outright refute it.

White? Granted. Half of my ancestors were born and bred in eastern Europe. At some point one of them was progressive enough to leave Poland for the New World, come to look for America. I'm quite aware of many advantages their skin-color genes have given me. It's good to be as white as the President, and beneficial to look as white as the ones before him.

Progressive? OK. More of a liberal really, though apparently now it's acceptable to own even democratically-modified small-s socialist.

Privilege? The other half of my family has been in what is now the U.S. for thousands of years, ever since migrating down the glaciers from interior Canada. For most of those millennia things were quite good, privileged with plenty of food and enough wealth to share around.

Then the Russians came with their diseases, and things got worse.

Then the Boston Men came in their gunboats, and things suddenly got much worse. The U.S. Navy destroyed my family's town: bombarded it and then burned what was left, leaving the survivors with no winter stores. Eventually the town was rebuilt.

Then the Yankee missionaries came, and things got still worse again. The church men convinced the people that they were hell-bound sinners. They burned their totem poles, burned their regalia and any other sign of their culture; they suppressed their language and marriage customs; they moved out of their clan houses and into respectable American single-family dwellings (each needing a separate source of heat, the fuel oil conveniently sold by...guess who!). They sent their kids away to boarding schools. The cultural destruction and public burning was continuing in 1992.

Then the businessmen came, and grabbed up all the resources. They continue grabbing today.

Still, over the last hundred years or so, things have gotten gradually, incrementally better, less dramatic than bombing and burning, anyway. Not so much better for the young ones who decide suicide is a good choice. Or drugs. Or alcohol. (Hooch is the one word from their language that has been absorbed into English.) But better, generally -- mostly for those who more fully adopted the American life-style -- so there is an awareness of incremental improvement.

All this history, it is a kind of privilege: fear isn't going to work. Eight years of Big Hands or Booger Eater in the White House is not that scary to the kind of people who preserved an un-exploded Navy bomb in their homes for 140 years, because it was part of their town's history, and sacred in the sense of at.oow, a thing that defines them, paid for by lives. Fear isn't going to work. Another generation of conservative bigotry on the Supreme Court is not that scary to people who have hardly seen anything but bigotry there.

Is perfection the enemy of the good? Yeah, maybe, but the best is by definition better than second-best, isn't it? Self-righteous? Yeah, maybe. Sacrifice? A single vote in one election -- yeah, maybe. Life is full of loyalties, some more dear than others.

There's a long memory active here: our ancestors are never gone, they're always here, now. Our descendants are not away in the future: they're here, now. They're watching.

I can't afford to support second-best. I can't afford to choose the lesser of two evils. I can't afford to settle for "not as bad as the other guy," that idle threat. To be a good ancestor, for the sake of my descendants -- and yours too, by the way -- I can't afford it. I can't afford not to be idle no more.

It's not simply a matter of privilege: it's a matter of perspective.
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