30 September 2004

Son of the Morning Star...?

Remember what we did to Custer...


Bush's Last Stand

September 28, 2004
By Steven Vincent

President Bush likes to think of himself as a "war President," who is
"resolute," "steadfast," and "decisive." He also likes to compare
himself to historical figures. His favorite is Winston Churchill who
led Great Britain through the horrors of World War II.

I believe a comparison to a historical figure is appropriate but I
think he is much more like a famous American military leader -
General George Armstrong Custer.

Like George W. Bush, George A. Custer was born to a privileged
family. He used his family's political connections to get into West
Point, an institution of learning he was not otherwise qualified for.
While at West Point, George did not distinguish himself among his 34

His carefree attitude and joking demeanor did not sit well with the
rigid requirements of military school life. He was often punished
and, at one point, received enough demerits to be expelled. Someone
was watching out for young George though and his demerits were
mysteriously removed from the record, allowing him to continue.

Cadet George Custer graduated from West Point 34th out of 34, last of
his class. He was nearly court-martialed for neglect of duties while
still at West Point awaiting his commission but again, somehow,
skated by without punishment - a now recurring theme in George's life.

Despite his poor grades and inability to grasp basic military
requirements, George was given a plumb assignment in the military
during the Civil War.  The units he commanded suffered unusually high
casualty rates even by the standards of the time due to George's
arrogance, brazen aggression and disregard for his men's safety.

In late 1867 Custer was court-martialed and suspended from duty for a
year for being absent from duty but he used his connections to, once
again, skirt punishment and regain his standing in the military.
General Phil Sheridan used his military power to excuse young
George's youthful mistake and brought him back into a position with
more power and authority.

George was a master of military politics and somehow worked his way
up to Brigadier General at the age of 25, the youngest man ever to
attain that rank. Gen. George was placed in command of a contingent
of men to seek out "renegade" Indians who were holding up
the "progress" of miners and other business venturers from gaining
profit off of the unexplored lands. The Natives were portrayed as
vicious savages intent on killing innocent American civilians though
the majority of them just wanted to live their lives in peace in
their homelands.

George's fate and historical fame were both wrapped up in an
expedition to destroy the Lakota, Sioux, Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians
in Montana because of the wrongful association of all of the tribes
in that area with the attacks by one tribe and chief, Crazy Horse.
The U. S. government, in all of its wisdom, decided to round up,
imprison or destroy all of the Native people in that area and they
relied on their young, brash, arrogant commander to do it.

Riding with his men and two other brigades, the plan was to use
overwhelming force to destroy the less well-armed and organized
Indians.  Young and boastful, George knew that this mission would
ensure his fame, fortune and political future for all time and led
his men into battle in spite of the intelligence he was getting from
the field.

Though he was warned in advance by scouts that the Indians had a much
larger force than was originally thought, he continued his march.

Though allied units commanded by far more experienced leaders fell
behind and were not with him, he pushed forward, resolute.

Though he split his forces into three separate units, weakening them,
he rode ahead, confidently. Though he went into battle with
underwhelming force, he did so convinced of his ability to bring
forth a glorious victory for his country and himself.

Convinced of his own superiority and leadership skills, George pushed
valiantly forward into one of the greatest military blunders in U.S.
history. The Indians, formerly opponents of each other, united
against the vicious attacks of the U.S. military and thousands of
former enemies combined their forces to attack George and his troops.

General George Armstrong Custer led all of his men, cocksure, to
slaughter.  Not one soldier under his command survived his confident,
resolute, and blindingly wrong blunder.

The amazing thing is, there are still George defenders who claim he
was a great leader and military mind. In spite of evidence to the
contrary, he will always, in some minds, be considered a brave
patriot whose  confidence, resoluteness, and conviction in his
decision-making outweigh the ultimate result of his foolish choices.

But while there are many historical similarities between the two
Georges, there is one glaring difference.

One George led his men into battle and faced the bullets and arrows
of the enemy, donned the uniform and fought for his country, led his
men from the front, and stood behind his choices personally and was
forced to accept their fatal outcome.

The other is our President.

Visit Steven Vincent's blog at

29 September 2004

Eisenhower on Kerry...

Another View:
Why I will vote for John Kerry for President

Guest Commentary

THE Presidential election to be held this coming Nov. 2 will be one of extraordinary importance to the future of our nation. The outcome will determine whether this country will continue on the same path it has followed for the last 31⁄2 years or whether it will return to a set of core domestic and foreign policy values that have been at the heart of what has made this country great.

Now more than ever, we voters will have to make cool judgments, unencumbered by habits of the past. Experts tell us that we tend to vote as our parents did or as we “always have.” We remained loyal to party labels. We cannot afford that luxury in the election of 2004. There are times when we must break with the past, and I believe this is one of them.

As son of a Republican President, Dwight D. Eisenhower, it is automatically expected by many that I am a Republican. For 50 years, through the election of 2000, I was. With the current administration’s decision to invade Iraq unilaterally, however, I changed my voter registration to independent, and barring some utterly unforeseen development, I intend to vote for the Democratic Presidential candidate, Sen. John Kerry.

The fact is that today’s “Republican” Party is one with which I am totally unfamiliar. To me, the word “Republican” has always been synonymous with the word “responsibility,” which has meant limiting our governmental obligations to those we can afford in human and financial terms. Today’s whopping budget deficit of some $440 billion does not meet that criterion.

Responsibility used to be observed in foreign affairs. That has meant respect for others. America, though recognized as the leader of the community of nations, has always acted as a part of it, not as a maverick separate from that community and at times insulting towards it. Leadership involves setting a direction and building consensus, not viewing other countries as practically devoid of significance. Recent developments indicate that the current Republican Party leadership has confused confident leadership with hubris and arrogance.

In the Middle East crisis of 1991, President George H.W. Bush marshaled world opinion through the United Nations before employing military force to free Kuwait from Saddam Hussein. Through negotiation he arranged for the action to be financed by all the industrialized nations, not just the United States. When Kuwait had been freed, President George H. W. Bush stayed within the United Nations mandate, aware of the dangers of occupying an entire nation.

Today many people are rightly concerned about our precious individual freedoms, our privacy, the basis of our democracy. Of course we must fight terrorism, but have we irresponsibly gone overboard in doing so? I wonder. In 1960, President Eisenhower told the Republican convention, “If ever we put any other value above (our) liberty, and above principle, we shall lose both.” I would appreciate hearing such warnings from the Republican Party of today.

The Republican Party I used to know placed heavy emphasis on fiscal responsibility, which included balancing the budget whenever the state of the economy allowed it to do so. The Eisenhower administration accomplished that difficult task three times during its eight years in office. It did not attain that remarkable achievement by cutting taxes for the rich. Republicans disliked taxes, of course, but the party accepted them as a necessary means of keep the nation’s financial structure sound.

The Republicans used to be deeply concerned for the middle class and small business. Today’s Republican leadership, while not solely accountable for the loss of American jobs, encourages it with its tax code and heads us in the direction of a society of very rich and very poor.

Sen. Kerry, in whom I am willing to place my trust, has demonstrated that he is courageous, sober, competent, and concerned with fighting the dangers associated with the widening socio-economic gap in this country. I will vote for him enthusiastically.

I celebrate, along with other Americans, the diversity of opinion in this country. But let it be based on careful thought. I urge everyone, Republicans and Democrats alike, to avoid voting for a ticket merely because it carries the label of the party of one’s parents or of our own ingrained habits.

John Eisenhower, son of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, served on the White House staff between October 1958 and the end of the Eisenhower administration. From 1961 to 1964 he assisted his father in writing “The White House Years,” his Presidential memoirs. He served as American ambassador to Belgium between 1969 and 1971. He is the author of nine books, largely on military subjects.

The Pentagon Papers 2004

History can be like a treadmill for those who won't learn...


Speaker Compares Vietnam, Iraq

Daniel Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers in 1971

Statesman Journal
September 27, 2004

Daniel Ellsberg served for four U.S. presidents before his career in government ended dramatically after he leaked the Pentagon Papers.
He told a standing-room-only crowd at Cone Chapel at Willamette University on Sunday evening that no matter one’s feelings toward Democratic candidate John Kerry, the alternative — the re-election of President Bush — would be far more damaging.

A supporter of Dennis Kucinich during the primary campaign, Ellsberg said that the policies of a second Bush term would lead the United States further down a path reminiscent of the Vietnam era.

Ellsberg, who has a doctorate from Harvard and was a Marine officer who became a policy analyst for the Defense and State departments, gave a classified history of the U.S. involvement in Vietnam to The New York Times and The Washington Post in 1971. The pessimistic assessment of the Vietnam War, and the government’s attempts to suppress the information, is thought by some people to have been a turning point in public opinion against the Vietnam War.

“Until 1969, (when) I read the Pentagon Papers, I thought Vietnam was a legitimate place to fight Communism,” he said. “But after visiting and speaking with those involved in the war, I realized Vietnam wasn’t the right place to fight the Cold War.”

He said that Vietnamese nationalism and an unwillingness to send enough troops to overwhelm the enemy forces was the policy’s downfall.

Ellsberg sees the war in Iraq following a similar pattern. With no exit strategy in place, the war will continue to exist to justify the earlier losses of soldiers.

“Iraq is just unwinnable,” he said. “There is no good reason for us to be there.

“The best-case scenario is a democratic government that loves Israel and hates Iran. That’s not going to happen.”

Ellsberg said that a military draft might be instituted to increase troop strength to 500,000.

About 138,000 U.S. soldiers are in Iraq, including more than 700 members of the Oregon National Guard.

Now 72 and living in the East Bay hills near Oakland, Calif., Ellsberg is spending eight days and nights speaking throughout the Northwest, encouraging voters who might vote for Ralph Nader or not vote to turn out for Kerry.

Ellsberg is touring with syndicated columnist Norman Solomon.
“I thought I could spend some time trying to convince people to vote for Kerry,” Ellsberg said. “A newspaper referred to my support for Kerry as tepid. But that’s wrong. I might be tepid about some of his votes, but my support for his election is desperate.”

“Desperate times call for desperate measures,” Solomon added.
The speaking tour, not affiliated with any campaign or political group, is aimed at bridging the gap between the more liberal voters and the Democratic presidential nominee.

During an interview earlier in the day, Ellsberg said he couldn’t understand why a liberal voter would opt for Nader or not vote, increasing the chances for Bush’s re-election.

Regardless of the election’s outcome, Ellsberg worries that the war will be perpetuated. He fears that there already are new “Pentagon Papers” on the Iraq war and wonders if or when they will be made public.

“You think about World War I,” he said. “Soldiers were out there dying for more than a year when each side knew they were dying in vain once battle lines hardened.”

Ellsberg wanted to make one thing clear to the roomful of left-leaning Kerry supporters who greeted and thanked the speakers with loud, sustained applause.

“Anyone who says they are unwilling to vote for Kerry because he voted for the (Iraq) war is not a serious political activist to me,” Ellsberg said. “I can’t understand that way of thinking.”

ddecarbo@StatesmanJournal.com or (503) 399-6714

27 September 2004

Quote of the Day

"You must speak straight so that your words may go as sunlight into
our hearts. Speak Americans... I will not lie to you; do not lie to me..."

~~Cochise (Chiracahua Apache) 1812-1874

Leave the Tipis at Home...

Hokahey! It's a good day to defend our dignity...


Indian Mascot Team Asked Not to Bring Offensive Material

Louis Gray 9/24/2004

The Ponca City Pioneers due to play the Union Redskin football team has asked the Tulsa team to not bring Indian material which Native American patrons find offensive Friday night (9/24/04).
An anonymous tip to the Native American Times said the Ponca City High School asked Union to not bring their tipi, or any students dressed like Native Americans in mock costumes.

Ponca Indians have long been opposed to the use of Indian material as used by the Union football team. They have in past years protested the use of the Redskin mascot, a term many Native Americans find offensive.

Indian people were once hunted for bounty and it was common practice to skin the captured and was referred to as "Redskins." Union High School voted last year to retain their mascot which they say is a symbol of pride and tradition. Native American and civil rights groups like TICAR, NAACP, TMM, and NCCJ have voiced their opposition to the mascot.

Native American groups like the Native American Church use the tipi as a church. Union High School routinely blows smoke through the tipi, play sirens and run out through the tipi led by Indian clowns. The tipi crew is usually non-Indians with no shirt on and with paint on their skin like war paint.

Union has brought in the past non-Indian students dressed in Indian buckskin attire to cheer on their team. The team uses a tomahawk chop and chants a cheer which mocks Indian language and songs.
TICAR has been to every school board meeting in the past 19 months to voice their opposition to the use of the Redskin mascot. A bill is due to be introduced in the Oklahoma legislature which outlaw the use of Redskin and Savages as mascot names.

In Oklahoma their are 165 public schools which use Native Americans as a mascot. Nation-wide 30 years ago there were over 3,000 schools which objectified Indians as mascots. Today there is a little over 900 left. Oklahoma has not changed one school.

A Nation's Shame

Could NMAI's opening be a wake-up call for White America?


The Shame of a Nation

Science & Society
By Bernadine Healy, M.D.

Native Americans paid tribute to their ancestors last week at the opening of the National Museum of the American Indian. A few blocks from the Capitol, the sound of drums, whoops, and chants rolled across the grassy Mall. But if their ancestors were looking on proudly, at the same time they must have been weeping for the countless Indians who have died because the same government that erected a showpiece of a museum has flagrantly ignored its moral and legal responsibility to provide the Native American population with decent healthcare.

Browse through an archive of columns by Bernadine Healy.

The health of American Indian tribes became the government's responsibility long ago, through treaties and other covenants signed in exchange for hundreds of millions of acres of tribal land. After generations of neglect, in 1955 the Indian Health Service took over, creating an independent, single-payer, government-funded system. After half a century, there have been small improvements, but the large picture, as described in "Broken Promises," the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights' July draft report evaluating the Native American healthcare system, remains bleak.

The health status of the more than 2.5 million tribal members is worse than that of any other U.S. minority or majority group. Native Americans have a life expectancy of 71, roughly 5 years less than all others. They face higher maternal and infant mortality rates and are many times more likely to die from tuberculosis, diabetes, and alcoholism. During flu season, they die far more often. Indian teenagers kill themselves at a higher rate. The rate of kidney failure from diabetes is staggering; heart disease is rising. Native American cancer patients have the poorest survival rates of any group.

The Indian Health Service is everyone's worst nightmare of what government healthcare would look like. The system is riddled with crumbling facilities, mindless regulations, ancient equipment, and far too few nurses, doctors, pharmacists, and dentists. Long waits choke clinics and emergency rooms. Patients have to fight to see specialists. Everything is rationed--eyeglasses, dental visits, gallbladder operations, kidney dialysis, CT scans, basic psychiatric services. Almost half of "urban Indians" who have moved off the reservation to cities, usually in search of economic betterment, have no medical care because they are too far from a reservation and have little access to private insurance. Although the government's trust responsibilities extend to this group of about 1 million Native Americans, they have been largely abandoned by the health agency created in their name.

But the Indian Health Service can't spend money it doesn't have, and it doesn't have much. America spends an average of about $5,000 per person per year on healthcare. For government programs that deliver healthcare directly, the per-person expenditure varies enormously: $5,200 by the Veterans Administration, more than $3,300 by the armed forces, $3,800 per federal prisoner, and $1,900 by the Indian Health Service. Money isn't everything, but without it you can't buy healthcare. And without it a dent will never be made in the health disparities of these people to whom our government has given its word.

Endangered. In his remarks on the Mall last week, outgoing Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell, the lone Indian member of Congress and one of the few champions of legislation to improve Indians' healthcare, described the native people of this land as America's "first endangered species." Now, more than a hundred years after the U.S. Congress proclaimed peace with Indian country, it is fair to say that the American Indian is America's most health-endangered minority.

The Native American celebrants would have been justified if they had held a mass sit-in under the Capitol dome or in the grand marble-clad lobby of the Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees the Indian Health Service, to protest the shameful years of broken healthcare promises. Perhaps they felt it would strike a disharmonious note. That it would have done. But in a nation that prides itself on honor and fairness, living up to the healthcare obligations we have to the first Americans should not be an option. How have we come to this?

A Modern Life?

NMAI is, at last, bringing some long needed recognition...


After Decades of Discrimination, Poverty, and Despair, American Indians Can Finally Look Toward a Better Future

A modern life
After decades of discrimination, poverty, and despair, American Indians can finally look toward a better future
By Thomas Hayden

Johnpaul Jones stands alone, slowly beating a rawhide drum. A tall man with weathered features and long, gray hair, he walks clockwise around the domed hall four times, the thumping drumbeat echoing as he goes. He is listening--not with his ears, he says, but with his heart. It is late June, and after 15 years and $200 million of planning, design, and construction, the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., is nearing completion. Jones, a Cherokee/Choctaw architect from Seattle, joined the project in 1998. But today he isn't occupied by load weights or angles. The building, he says, "has to sound right. You have to be able to hear the drum in your chest."

Last week, the museum performed to spec, resonating with the sounds of its first visitors. Some 25,000 Native Americans came to Washington for Tuesday's opening festivities, including retired education professor Wayne Mitchell of Phoenix. He recalled his grandmother Mattie Grinnell, the last full-blooded Mandan Indian. At 101 years old, upon her return from the 1968 Poor People's March, she declared: "There's not much for Native Americans in Washington."

"Twenty-five years later, what a change," Mitchell said over the hundreds of tinkling chimes a nearby group of Ojibwe women wore on their jingle dresses. "Indian people . . . can be proud now."

The museum's opening comes at a remarkable moment in the history of America's indigenous people. After generations as the nation's poorest and most overlooked minority, American Indians continue to suffer from what a 2003 U.S. Commission on Civil Rights report called a "quiet crisis" of discrimination, poverty, and unmet promises. Unemployment, substance abuse, and school dropout rates are among the highest in the nation, and Native Americans face epidemic levels of diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. But despite it all, this is a time of unprecedented optimism. Buoyed by a decades-long push for self-determination, recent improvements in education, and the success of new tribal businesses, more and more Native Americans are finding ways to "walk two lives," blending a return to traditional culture and values with successful careers. "For a huge long time," says Tex Hall, president of the National Congress of American Indians, "it was not a good thing to be an Indian in this country. But it's starting to be a good thing again."

Native Americans just might be this country's most diverse group. There are 562 distinct tribes with federal recognition, and scores of others recognized only locally or not at all. They are in every state of the union, some living lives steeped in tradition, others more comfortable in a law office or operating room than at a powwow. Despite a history of exclusion from the American mainstream, they serve in the U.S. military at higher rates than any other ethnic group. And while reservations and traditional lands continue to play a central role in Native American identity, 66 percent of the 4.1 million Americans who checked the "American Indian or Alaska Native" box on the 2000 census lived in urban areas...

Read the rest here

A Grand-Slam Tour...

Cyclist Ends Tour to Raise Aid for Cancer

Sun Sep 26, 6:11 PM ET Add Health - AP to My Yahoo!

By MARTIN FINUCANE, Associated Press Writer

BOSTON - The speedometer on Charlie Hamilton's bicycle
handlebars told the story. Miles traveled: 11,741.
Speed: 0.0.

Hamilton dismounted from his bike Sunday at
Fenway Park after a 25-week odyssey across North
America in which he traveled to games at all 30 major
league ballparks, raising $13,000 for cancer research
and treatment.

"It was a cockamamie scheme I came up with," said
Hamilton, a 40-year-old software engineer from
Provincetown. "Once I thought about it, I didn't stop
thinking about it."

He began his journey April 2 in Atlanta and ended
it with a final ride to the last Red Sox
regular-season home game at Fenway Park.

He averaged 80 miles a day, sometimes camping or
staying in cheap motels, sometimes staying with
friends and family. He had 50 flat tires, was chased
by dogs, rode through driving rain, went through eight
pairs of sunglasses and had many a brush with an
aggressive anti-biker driver.

Hamilton said he was just a software guy who sat in a
cubicle and typed for 10 hours a day until he quit
that job for his adventure. A Red Sox fan, he said he
was glad he could combine his love for cycling and

"It's totally out of character," he said. "I have
always gone to work every day and all that kind of
stuff. This is my mid-life crisis."

Hamilton rode in honor of Eric Donovan, 15, of
Scituate, who is undergoing treatment for Ewings
Sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer.

"Without a doubt," Donovan said. "He put his life
aside ... and rode all over the country to raise money
for all the kids with all these illnesses."

Hamilton, who rode about 30 miles to the park Sunday,
still hopes to meet his original $125,000 fund-raising
goal for the Pan-Massachusetts Challenge, a
bike-a-thon that raises money for the Jimmy Fund,
which pays for cancer research and treatment at
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Hamilton's wife, Molly, 37, called her husband's feat

"He needs to relax and figure out what he's going to
do next," she said.


Hamilton's Web site: www.hitforthecycle.org.

25 September 2004

Lewis & Clark: The Great Lie Ends

Hokahey! Let battle begin...


From UN Observer and International report:
Lewis and Clark genocide re-enactors told to halt
Lewis and Clark opened the door to the Holocaust of the West
UN Observer and International Report

CHAMBERLAIN, S.D. (Sept. 18, 2004) --

The American lie of Lewis and
Clark unraveled as Lakota, Ponca, Kiowa and Dine' told re-enactors to turn back downriver or face the consequences. "What they wrote down was a blueprint for the genocide of my people. You are re-enacting something ugly, evil and hateful," Carter Camp, Ponca, told the Discovery Expedition camped on the Missouri River.
On Saturday, an Indian delegation of elders, supported by young warriors, gave the expedition a stern warning. If they did not turn around, they would call on all Indians who are not assimilated, colonized and conquered to join them and stop the expedition.
"You are re-enacting the coming of death to our people," Camp told the expedition, while seated in a circle with Indian elders and Lewis and Clark re-enactors, on the banks of the Missouri River. "You are re-enacting genocide."

Deb White Plume of Pine Ridge gave the expedition a symbolic blanket of small pox.

Another Lakota woman from Pine Ridge said she carries the DNA of the Lakota women who survived the slaughters that Lewis and Clark opened the door to. She said she is prepared to die for this cause. "I believe in armed struggle," Wicahpi Wakia Wi of Pine Ridge said. "The act of genocide stops here. We are tired of living poor. We are not afraid to die. I am willing to die." She told them they would not proceed up the river. "You are not going on. I will organize every sister from here to Oregon to stop you."

Lakota elder Floyd Hand, among four bands of Lakota here, told the expedition, "We are the descendants of Red Cloud and Crazy Horse." "I did not come here in peace." Hand said they would not smoke the pipe today and if the expedition continues up the Missouri River, the families of the expedition members would suffer the spiritual consequences of small pox. Referring to the tribal governments who welcomed the expedition, Hand said those tribal governments reflect the same type thinking as the re-enactors and are not the voice of the grassroots people. "The tribal governments are not a voice for us. They are imitating us, like you are imitating Lewis and Clark."

"We want you to turn around and go home," Alex White Plume, Lakota from Pine Ridge, told the expedition White Plume said Lakota are here on this land for a reason. "We were put here by the spirits." He said the Lakota never lost their language or ceremonies and now they are making these requests: Lakota want their territory back, their treaties to be honored and to be able to continue their healing ways. White Plume said many Indian people have become assimilated and colonized. "We pray for our own colonized people. We say they are in a prison in the white man's world." White Plume said there was no point in the expedition coming here. "All you did was open up these old wounds."

Carter Camp warned the expedition to halt or they would be stopped. He said the expedition has been told lies and are spreading lies. Lewis and Clark are apart of the American lie. "They had no honor. They came with the American lie. They murdered 60 million people." Camp said Lewis and Clark said they came in peace. Referring to their costumes, Camp said, "You guys probably believe that lie. That is why you are dressed so funny today."

He said Lewis and Clark knew what happened to Indians in the eastern part of the country and they knew that the missionaries followed the soldiers. And it was the missionaries who left his people as remnants, homeless in the streets.

Camp said the young warriors would not be as patient as the elders seated in the circle. He also questioned whether the re-enactors had asked permission of the grassroots Indian people to come onto their territory. "You chose to come amongst us without permission." Camp said Sacagawea was a woman struggling to return home. "We feel sorry for that woman. We don't like the way she was treated." Camp said Indians here did not like the first Lewis and Clark and
they sure don't like the second ones. "Take those silly clothes off and come back dressed like a normal human being. Don't come here to tell me what your grandfather did to my grandfather." Referring to the re-enactors "silly clothes," Camp said of the Natives who came, "This is the way our people dress everyday. We are not trying to play a game." "Go home and try to re-enact some truth for the rest of your life."

Alex White Plume said all that is good is being destroyed on the Earth because of actions like these. "Our people are dying because our water is no good," he said, adding that the wolves and bears are disappearing from the territory. Lakotas have to pay fees to go the Black Hills to pray.

"Today I can not even go up to the Black Hills to worship. We believe everyone should have access to spirituality." He said buffalo were once the basis of the ecosystem. Now, he said, "The whole West is drying up. "The Earth should be a priority and not your own personal needs." Referring to the red, white and blue flag flying over one of the expedition's three boats docked on the Missouri River, White Plume said, "We want that flag taken down. We honor that flag because we won it at the Little Big Horn." He said the flag could be later given back, if their treaty was honored and sacred lands preserved. "We would like to ask you to turn around and not to proceed into our territory. We didn't bring our bows and arrows, but we will continue to harass you."
Alfred Bone Shirt of Rosebud told the expedition, "This is disgusting. This is a slap in the face." Bone Shirt said the Lakota are a people who never quit fighting for what they believe in. "If you decide to go up river, it is bad, bad for you and bad for your families."

Bone Shirt listed the town of Chamberlain in a long list of racist South Dakota towns. He described the testimony of the Indian Child Welfare Act on KILI Radio the previous day, testimony of Lakota children being taken away in large numbers and given to non-Indian families. "Our prisons are full, our children are being taken away." Pointing out the absurdity of the re-enactment, Bone Shirt asked if there would be a re-enactment of Bush and Cheney invading Iraq.

"If you go up this river, we have good warriors who can shoot arrows. Bone Shirt was ready for action.

"Let's sink some of those boats out here." Bone Shirt pointed out that the Indian people knew what the re-enactors were thinking. "When we leave, you will laugh behind our backs." And Bone Shirt said Indians here know this type of racism. "The state of South Dakota is the most racist state and South Dakota condones this kind of behavior. We want you to know, it has to end here."

Russell Means said if the expedition continues up the river, the Blackfeet are waiting for them. Means said Lewis and Clark, like the myth of Columbus, are apart of the great American lie. And there are many parts to the great American lie. "Even the casino Indians are not rich, that is another falsehood. They don't ever see cash," Means said, adding that the money goes to investors and also to the state, which is illegal. Means said Indians can't even start a business on tribal land without waiting an average of eight years, and then it is only if the paperwork isn't lost. "What you are perpetuating is part of the big lie," Means told the re-enactors. Means said Indians have 40 percent of the nation's natural resources on their lands, yet they are kept in concentration camps called reservations and not allowed to participate.

"This is our river," Means said of the Missouri River running past. He pointed out the water is being used by farmers, cities and power plants without the permission of indian people. "They don't honor anything. This is an insult to our integrity." While there is no Bureau of Irish Affairs or Bureau of other groups of peoples' affairs, the Bureau of Indian Affairs remains an instrument of genocide.

On Pine Ridge, the average lifespan is 44 years. "We are middle-aged at 22."

As Indians arrived at American Creek Marina bay on the river, there were three police and Sheriff units waiting at the entrance.

Later, seated in the circle, Hand told the group there was no need for the police to be sneaking in the bushes and taking photos; they could do it in the open. "That is what the federal government does." Hand said white people are always looking for identity and always taking. He told the re-enactors to find out who they are and live who they are.
Peyton "Bud" Clark, great, great, great-grandson of William Clark, thanked them for being open and candid. "We will be honest with you." He said the expedition was called a commemoration because it was not a celebration. Clark said people in the eastern United States know nothing about Indian people and it is nearly impossible to go to a library and find out any truth about American Indians. Clark said he saw the expedition as a way of listening to Indian people along the river.

"What we did was create a catalyst for open and honest dialogue for the healing to begin," Clark said. "All you need to have is an open mind and an open heart and engage in an open and honest dialogue." Clark was among 22 re-enactors traveling on the river with a keelboat and two large wooden pirogue canoes, with backup support of RVs. Clark said their "funny clothes" cost a lot of money. Although Clark said the re-enactors were volunteers and were not paid, Lakota and Ponca said white people never do anything without being paid. They pointed out the expedition had received $85 million in funds, while the Lakota, the poorest of people, had to pay their own way here to stop them.

Responding to comments by re-enactors who defended the expedition as a means of education, Camp asked, "Would it be all right if these guys were dressed in sheets like the Ku Klux Klan? "Do you know that Clark would not free his slaves?"

Native women told the expedition that they carry the DNA of the survivors of the slaughters that Lewis and Clark opened the door to and the diseases they brought. Ahmbaska, among the Native youths, spoke of the tribes who had become extinct, their languages and cultures lost forever, and the women and babies murdered by the U.S. military. "They stomped their heads to save bullets."

Speaking directly to the re-enactors, he said, "This is not a show, this is our hearts." His people, the Missouri, were exiled to Oklahoma. "My people have never seen this Missouri River which was named after us." Now, he said, on Rosebud, people are dying from the whopping cough. Lewis and Clark were the beginning of the end in the West. "They came and they took and they conquered. That is what you are re-enacting," he said.

Deb White Plume said for Lakota, halting the expedition is a spiritual act. She reminded the expedition of the diseases brought by the invaders. She presented Clark with a blanket and said, "Small pox. Have it back." Clark accepted the blanket, a symbol of small pox, cautiously.

Deb White Plume chastised Clark and the other re-enactors for the tone they addressed the Indians present with. "You are patronizing us, you are condescending to us." She said their tone of voice said that they were going on up the river no matter what. "You hurt us. We don't want you here."

White Plume said she has only two children because she was sterilized against her wishes. "I have two sons because your government sterilized me."

"Your government fought my family with guns and I survived and I am here to tell you about it." She said Lewis and Clark and those that followed "were the original terrorists on this continent." Pointing out they were surrounded by law enforcement here, she said, police always surround Lakota. She said to the expedition, "You are here with no respect."

White Plume said they could not allow the expedition to continue up the river to their sacred Sun Dance grounds. "How can you willingly want to trample on anyone's sacred grounds?"

From Michael Moore


Dear Friends,

Enough of the handwringing! Enough of the doomsaying! Do I have to come there and personally calm you down? Stop with all the defeatism, OK? Bush IS a goner -- IF we all just quit our whining and bellyaching and stop shaking like a bunch of nervous ninnies. Geez, this is embarrassing! The Republicans are laughing at us. Do you ever see them cry, "Oh, it's all over! We are finished! Bush can't win! Waaaaaa!"

Hell no. It's never over for them until the last ballot is shredded. They are never finished -- they just keeping moving forward like sharks that never sleep, always pushing, pulling, kicking, blocking, lying.

They are relentless and that is why we secretly admire them -- they just simply never, ever give up. Only 30% of the country calls itself "Republican," yet the Republicans own it all -- the White House, both houses of Congress, the Supreme Court and the majority of the governorships. How do you think they've been able to pull that off considering they are a minority? It's because they eat you and me and every other liberal for breakfast and then spend the rest of the day wreaking havoc on the planet.

Look at us -- what a bunch of crybabies. Bush gets a bounce after his convention and you would have thought the Germans had run through Poland again. The Bushies are coming, the Bushies are coming! Yes, they caught Kerry asleep on the Swift Boat thing. Yes, they found the frequency in Dan Rather and ran with it. Suddenly it's like, "THE END IS NEAR! THE SKY IS FALLING!"

No, it is not. If I hear one more person tell me how lousy a candidate Kerry is and how he can't win... Dammit, of COURSE he's a lousy candidate -- he's a Democrat, for heavens sake! That party is so pathetic, they even lose the elections they win! What were you expecting, Bruce Springsteen heading up the ticket? Bruce would make a helluva president, but guys like him don't run -- and neither do you or I. People like Kerry run.

Yes, OF COURSE any of us would have run a better, smarter, kick-ass campaign. Of course we would have smacked each and every one of those phony swifty boaty bastards down. But WE are not running for president -- Kerry is. So quit complaining and work with what we have. Oprah just gave 300 women a... Pontiac! Did you see any of them frowning and moaning and screaming, "Oh God, NOT a friggin' Pontiac!" Of course not, they were happy. The Pontiacs all had four wheels, an engine and a gas pedal. You want more than that, well, I can't help you. I had a Pontiac once and it lasted a good year. And it was a VERY good year.

My friends, it is time for a reality check.

1. The polls are wrong. They are all over the map like diarrhea. On Friday, one poll had Bush 13 points ahead -- and another poll had them both tied. There are three reasons why the polls are b.s.: One, they are polling "likely voters." "Likely" means those who have consistently voted in the past few elections. So that cuts out young people who are voting for the first time and a ton of non-voters who are definitely going to vote in THIS election. Second, they are not polling people who use their cell phone as their primary phone. Again, that means they are not talking to young people. Finally, most of the polls are weighted with too many Republicans, as pollster John Zogby revealed last week. You are being snookered if you believe any of these polls.

2. Kerry has brought in the Clinton A-team. Instead of shunning Clinton (as Gore did), Kerry has decided to not make that mistake.

3. Traveling around the country, as I've been doing, I gotta tell ya, there is a hell of a lot of unrest out there. Much of it is not being captured by the mainstream press. But it is simmering and it is real. Do not let those well-produced Bush rallies of angry white people scare you. Turn off the TV! (Except Jon Stewart and Bill Moyers -- everything else is just a sugar-coated lie).

4. Conventional wisdom says if the election is decided on "9/11" (the fear of terrorism), Bush wins. But if it is decided on the job we are doing in Iraq, then Bush loses. And folks, that "job," you might have noticed, has descended into the third level of a hell we used to call Vietnam. There is no way out. It is a full-blown mess of a quagmire and the body bags will sadly only mount higher. Regardless of what Kerry meant by his original war vote, he ain't the one who sent those kids to their deaths -- and Mr. and Mrs. Middle America knows it. Had Bush bothered to show up when he was in the "service" he might have somewhat of a clue as to how to recognize an immoral war that cannot be "won." All he has delivered to Iraq was that plasticized turkey last Thanksgiving. It is this failure of monumental proportions that is going to cook his goose come this November.

So, do not despair. All is not over. Far from it. The Bush people need you to believe that it is over. They need you to slump back into your easy chair and feel that sick pain in your gut as you contemplate another four years of George W. Bush. They need you to wish we had a candidate who didn't windsurf and who was just as smart as we were when WE knew Bush was lying about WMD and Saddam planning 9/11. It's like Karl Rove is hypnotizing you -- "Kerry voted for the war...Kerry voted for the war...Kerrrrrryyy vooootted fooooor theeee warrrrrrrrrr..."

Yes...Yes...Yesssss...He did! HE DID! No sense in fighting now...what I need is sleep...sleeep...sleeeeeeppppp...

WAKE UP! The majority are with us! More than half of all Americans are pro-choice, want stronger environmental laws, are appalled that assault weapons are back on the street -- and 54% now believe the war is wrong. YOU DON'T EVEN HAVE TO CONVINCE THEM OF ANY OF THIS -- YOU JUST HAVE TO GIVE THEM A RAY OF HOPE AND A RIDE TO THE POLLS. CAN YOU DO THAT? WILL YOU DO THAT?

Just for me, please? Buck up. The country is almost back in our hands. Not another negative word until Nov. 3rd! Then you can bitch all you want about how you wish Kerry was still that long-haired kid who once had the courage to stand up for something. Personally, I think that kid is still inside him. Instead of the wailing and gnashing of your teeth, why not hold out a hand to him and help the inner soldier/protester come out and defeat the forces of evil we now so desperately face. Do we have any other choice?


Michael Moore

Anti-Bush Troops

The Truth is beginning to leak out through every crack in the Bush Facade...



By Ann Scott Tyson, Correspondent of The Christian
Science Monitor

Though military personnel lean conservative, some vocally support Kerry - or at least a strategy for swift withdrawal.

Christian Science Monitor
September 21, 2004


WASHINGTON -- Inside dusty, barricaded camps around
Iraq, groups of American troops in between missions are
gathering around screens to view an unlikely choice
from the US box office: "Fahrenheit 9-11," Michael
Moore's controversial documentary attacking the

"Everyone's watching it," says a Marine corporal at an
outpost in Ramadi that is mortared by insurgents daily.
"It's shaping a lot of people's image of Bush."
The film's prevalence is one sign of a discernible
countercurrent among US troops in Iraq -- those who
blame President Bush for entangling them in what they
see as a misguided war. Conventional wisdom holds that
the troops are staunchly pro-Bush, and many are. But
bitterness over long, dangerous deployments is
producing, at a minimum, pockets of support for
Democratic candidate Sen. John Kerry, in part because
he's seen as likely to withdraw American forces from
Iraq more quickly.

"[For] 9 out of 10 of the people I talk to, it wouldn't
matter who ran against Bush -- they'd vote for them,"
said a US soldier in the southern city of Najaf,
seeking out a reporter to make his views known. "People
are so fed up with Iraq, and fed up with Bush."
With only three weeks until an Oct. 11 deadline set for
hundreds of thousands of US troops abroad to mail in
absentee ballots, this segment of the military vote is
important -- symbolically, as a reflection on Bush as a
wartime commander, and politically, as absentee ballots
could end up tipping the balance in closely contested

It is difficult to gauge the extent of disaffection
with Bush, which emerged in interviews in June and July
with ground forces in central, northern, and southern
Iraq. No scientific polls exist on the political
leanings of currently deployed troops, military experts
and officials say.

To be sure, broader surveys of US military personnel
and their spouses in recent years indicate they are
more likely to be conservative and Republican than the
US civilian population -- but not overwhelmingly so.
A Military Times survey last December of 933
subscribers, about 30 percent of whom had deployed for
the Iraq war, found that 56 percent considered
themselves Republican -- about the same percentage who
approved of Bush's handling of Iraq. Half of those
responding were officers, who as a group tend to be
more conservative than their enlisted counterparts.
Among officers, who represent roughly 15 percent of
today's 1.4 million active duty military personnel,
there are about eight Republicans for every Democrat,
according to a 1999 survey by Duke University political
scientist Peter Feaver. Enlisted personnel, however --
a disproportionate number of whom are minorities, a
population that tends to lean Democratic -- are more
evenly split. Professor Feaver estimates that about one
third of enlisted troops are Republicans, one third
Democrats, and the rest independents, with the latter
group growing.


"The military continues to be a Bush stronghold, but
it's not a stranglehold," Feaver says. Three factors
make the military vote more in play for Democrats this
year than in 2000, he says: the Iraq war, Defense
Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's tense relationship with the
Army, and Bush's limited ability as an incumbent to
make sweeping promises akin to Senator Kerry's pledge
to add 40,000 new troops and relieve an overstretched

"The military as a whole supports the Iraq war," Mr.
Feaver says, noting a historical tendency of troops to
back the commander in chief in wartime. "But you can go
across the military and find pockets where they are
more ambivalent," he says, especially among the
National Guard and Reserve. "The war has not gone as
swimmingly as they thought, and that has caused

Whether representing pockets of opposition to Bush or
something bigger, soldiers and marines on Iraq's front
lines can be impassioned in their criticism. One Marine
officer in Ramadi who had lost several men said he was
thinking about throwing his medals over the White House

"Nobody I know wants Bush," says an enlisted soldier in
Najaf, adding, "This whole war was based on lies. "
Like several others interviewed, his animosity centered
on a belief that the war lacked a clear purpose even as
it took a tremendous toll on US troops, many of whom
are in Iraq involuntarily under "stop loss" orders that
keep them in the service for months beyond their
scheduled exit in order to keep units together during

"There's no clear definition of why we came here," says
Army Spc. Nathan Swink, of Quincy, Ill. "First they
said they have WMD and nuclear weapons, then it was to
get Saddam Hussein out of office, and then to rebuild
Iraq. I want to fight for my nation and for my family,
to protect the United States against enemies foreign
and domestic, not to protect Iraqi civilians or deal
with Sadr's militia," he said.

Specialist Swink, who comes from a family of both
Democrats and Republicans, plans to vote for Kerry.
"Kerry protested the war in Vietnam. He is the one to
end this stuff, to lead to our exit of Iraq," he said.


Other US troops expressed feelings of guilt over
killing Iraqis in a war they believe is unjust.
"We shouldn't be here," said one Marine infantryman
bluntly. "There was no reason for invading this country
in the first place. We just came here and [angered
people] and killed a lot of innocent people," said the
marine, who has seen regular combat in Ramadi. "I don't
enjoy killing women and children, it's not my thing."
As with his comrades, the marine accepted some of the
most controversial claims of "Fahrenheit 9/11," which
critics have called biased. "Bush didn't want to attack
[Osama] Bin Laden because he was doing business with
Bin Laden's family," he said.

Another marine, Sgt. Christopher Wallace of Pataskala,
Ohio, agreed that the film was making an impression on
troops. "Marines nowadays want to know stuff. They want
to be informed, because we'll be voting out here soon,"
he said. " 'Fahrenheit 9/11' opened our eyes to things
we hadn't seen before." But, he added after a pause,
"We still have full faith and confidence in our
commander-in-chief. And if John Kerry is elected, he
will be our commander in chief."


No matter whom they choose for president, US troops in
even the most remote bases in Iraq, Afghanistan, and
elsewhere overseas are more likely than in 2000 to have
an opportunity to vote -- and have their votes counted
-- thanks to a major push by the Pentagon to speed and
postmark their ballots. The Pentagon is now expediting
ballots for all 1.4 million active-duty military
personnel and their 1.3 million voting-age dependents,
as well as 3.7 million US civilians living abroad.
"We wrote out a plan of attack on how we are going to
address these issues this election year," says Maj.
Lonnie Hammack, the lead postal officer for US Central
Command, an area covering the Middle East, Central
Asia, and North Africa, where more than 225,000 troops
and Defense Department personnel serve.

The military has added manpower, flights, and postmark-
validating equipment, and given priority to moving
ballots -- by Humvee or helicopter if necessary -- even
to far-flung outposts such as those on the Syrian and
Pakistani border and Djibouti.

Meanwhile, voting-assistance officers in every military
unit are reminding troops to vote, as are posters, e-
mails, and newspaper and television announcements.
Voting booths are also set up at deployment centers in
the United States.

"We've had almost 100 percent contact," says Col.
Darrell Jones, director of manpower and personnel for
Central Command, and 200,000 federal postcard ballot
applications have been shipped.

"We encourage our people to vote, not for a certain
candidate, but to exercise that right," he said, noting
that was especially important as the US military is
"out there promoting fledgling democracy in these
regions." Many of the younger troops may be voting for
the first time, he added.


Miracle is Gone...

Miracle has moved down the Holy Road...


Miracle, a Symbol of Peace, Passes Away

By Catherine W. Idzerda/Gazette Staff
Janesville Gazette,Janesville Wisconsin

Miracle is gone.

Miracle the buffalo, the symbol of peace, died at
11:07 p.m. Sunday on the Dave and Valerie Heider farm
in Janesville.

"She became sick on Friday," Dave Heider said. "She
was off her feed and became lethargic."

The vet was with Miracle for much of last weekend but
couldn't save her.

"We don't believe she was suffering," Heider said
Friday afternoon. "It looked like she was resting

The vet and Valerie Heider were with Miracle when she

It's not known why Miracle died, and the Heiders
thought it would be inappropriate to do an autopsy.

"I really don't know what happened; she's always been
small," Dave Heider said.

Miracle was buried in an unmarked grave. The Heiders
may plan a memorial service at a later date and
haven't decided on a grave marker.

Miracle was born on Aug. 20, 1994. She was the first
all-white buffalo born since 1933.

A white buffalo is a sacred figure to some American
Indians. According to a Lakota Sioux legend, the
return of the female white buffalo calf heralded an
era of peace and understanding among the people of the

Her appearance caused an influx of visitors from all
over the world to the 45-acre farm at 2739 S. River

People tramped up and down the farm lane at all hours
of the night. The phone rang constantly. The Heiders
had to set aside part of their land for parking.

The attention was exhausting.

In an 1999 interview, Heider talked about the days
after Miracle's birth: "We figured after three months
it would all dry up and go away. Now, we know better.
Sometimes, I regret it."

But his attitude changed, and he came to feel blessed
by Miracle's presence.

"We met people from all over the world," Heider said.
"We had opportunities that we never would have had

The Heiders have played host to 300 tribes from all
over the world including the Masai of Africa, the
Aztecs of Mexico and aborigines from Australia. The
Sioux, the Cree and the Ho Chunk are just a few of the
tribes that have been to their home.

Over the years, Miracle turned black, red and yellow.
Part of the legend said that the white buffalo would
turn different colors to reflect all human races.

Miracle had three calves, Millennium, Lady Miracle,
Mitakuye Oyasin-which means "We Are All Related in the
Sacred Hoop of Life" in the Nakota Sioux language.

In August, about 300 people visited the Heider farm
for her 10th birthday. Many visitors said Miracle
represented hope in time of war.

"The legend doesn't say anything about Miracle dying,"
Heider said. "Buffalos can live to be 25 to 30 years

Heider delayed releasing the news for the better part
of a week because he and his wife had to go on a
business trip and they were still adjusting to their
own shock and sadness.

"I really don't know how you can love an animal that
much that you couldn't touch. She wasn't tame, you
know, she was basically a wild animal," Heider said.
"It's hard to put into words; I don't know how to
explain it. It's like losing a close friend or

24 September 2004

Pipe Ceremony Marks Court Victory

Religious freedom means we are ALL able to practice our chosen faith, not just Christians...


deseretnews.com | Puffs on peace pipes hail court win

Puffs on peace pipes hail court win

By Angie Welling
Deseret Morning News

More than a dozen undercover officers observed a downtown peace-pipe ceremony Wednesday morning by James "Flaming Eagle" Mooney to honor his attorney and recent win at the Utah Supreme Court.

Tom Smart, Deseret Morning NewsThe plainclothes officers mainly stayed on the outskirts of the Exchange Place ceremony, although some videotaped the proceedings from the audience and even from a black pickup truck parked on Main Street.

Mooney was celebrating a huge legal win in June when the state Supreme Court ruled he could legally use peyote as part of his religious ceremonies. A federal exemption that allows use of the hallucinogenic drug in religious ceremonies applies to all legitimate members of the Native American Church, the court said, not only those who are also members of federally recognized American Indian tribes.

Though the ruling protects Mooney from state prosecution for the time being, the U.S. Attorney's Office for Utah recently warned Mooney that his continued use of peyote could subject him to possible prosecution under federal drug laws.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office said no charges are forthcoming against Mooney, and said the police presence, largely agents from the federal Drug Enforcement Agency, was simply to ensure the ceremony conformed with federal law.

"That's what we wanted to be sure of," spokeswoman Melodie Rydalch said. "If he had been using peyote, that would have been a violation of federal law and he would have been subject to arrest."

Wednesday, with gentle flute music competing with the cacophony of Main Street traffic, Mooney celebrated the Utah Supreme Court ruling in a sacred pipe ceremony. He removed his shoes and sat cross-legged on blankets to smoke from a pipe dedicated to him in 1987 by a leader of a Florida Seminole tribe while his wife, Linda, fanned participants with smoke.

Mooney made clear he was smoking herbs he collected from the Utah mountains rolled in a corn husk — "no illegal substances," he said. Peyote was not part of the ceremony, he said.

Despite Mooney's assertions, federal agents asked his attorney, Kathryn Collard, for a sample of the materials used in Wednesday's ceremony. Mooney consented and allowed officers to take a small amount of the mixture, Collard said.

The attorney said she was disappointed but not surprised by the police presence.

"I'd like to be surprised, but I'm not. I don't know why they are going to such extreme lengths," Collard said. "Here are 15 police officers . . . surveilling people who are sitting on the ground and having a traditional peace ceremony."

Mooney founded the Oklevueha Earth Walks Native American Church in 1997 in Gunnison, Utah. The Native American Church operates throughout the United States and Canada, and each chapter operates autonomously and sets its own rules.


E-mail: awelling@desnews.com


Oregon Fraud OUTED!

It's a good day to get busted...


Man’s Fabrications Rankle Local Indians

September 22, 2004

Clifford ‘Two Smokes’ Coiner retracts tales of Vietnam heroism he told the Mail Tribune for a story last month

for the Mail Tribune

Following an uproar in the local American Indian community, a Phoenix man has apologized for claiming that he was a Marine officer, a prisoner of war in Vietnam and was decorated for heroism.

Clifford "Two Smokes" Coiner recanted his story after being asked to come before the Warrior Society, a local organization of American Indian military veterans based in Grants Pass. Coiner confessed that his statements regarding his military service, printed in the Aug. 30 edition of the Mail Tribune, were "a pack of lies" that came from "living in a fantasy world."

Nick Hall, executive director of Southern Oregon Indian Center in Grants Pass, said Coiner’s misrepresentations of his military record were offensive to Indian veterans, who could not find his name on any POW or Marine veteran Web sites and requested he publicly straighten out the record.

Rather than being a decorated Marine Corps officer and POW, Coiner now admits he only served two years as an enlisted man in the Navy just before the Vietnam War.

"I’ve insulted and hurt a lot of people with these stupid ego fantasies," Coiner said. "It was a fantasy I made up seven years ago when my daughters found me on the Internet. We were apart 31 years and I wanted to impress them so they wouldn’t think I was a bum."

The Warrior Society, which operates within Southern Oregon Indian Center, asked Coiner to publicly apologize for misstatements made at the Pottsville pow-wow, where his wedding — the occasion for the newspaper story — took place. He delivered a brief apology, Hall said. Coiner said his wife "supported me through this" ordeal over the fabrications.

While the Aug. 30 story focused on Coiner’s wedding, it also made reference to his alleged military experience, describing him as "a highly decorated Vietnam combat veteran" and "a martial arts instructor who spent 19 months in a POW camp." He said he had retired from the Marine Corps in 1984 as a lieutenant colonel.

Hall and other local American Indians said Coiner’s published statements also stereotyped or misrepresented Indian custom, dress and ceremony and offended many in the local American Indian community.

"Just about everything he said was fabricated," said Hall, "and my phone was ringing off the wall with calls from Native Americans and veterans."

In particular, Hall said, Indian regalia, such as the sacred eagle feather bonnet, sacred shirt and scalp locks worn by Coiner, are earned and worn only by designated people, with the consent of elders.

The Warrior Society "takes care of the people and tries to protect our elders, using traditional ways to deal with the situation," said Hall.

"This is a real problem in the Native American community," said Jerry Aaronson of the Choctaw tribe. "People go around and claim certain status or position when they have never been designated such by the tribes they claim to come from."

"He apologized and did what was right," said Warrior Society and Shasta tribe member Jim Prevatt. "We don’t hold any animosity. If you misrepresent yourself as a leader or Sundancer, you answer to the Creator for everything you do. You have to do things in a good way and treat people as you want to be treated."

Hall and other American Indian veterans of the Warrior Society met with Coiner and heard his apology.

Diane Shadley, a Navajo-Comanche, said American Indians are happy to have non-Indians come to pow-wows and appreciate Indian ways but it’s a "sad thing" that they sometimes get "out of hand" and dance or dress inappropriately.

"What this all brought up was that this man should not have been looked to as a leader," said Shadley. "Anytime you say you are a leader or pipe carrier or you charge money (for ceremonies or healings), you’re not respected. A pipe-carrier or leader doesn’t have to say that’s what he is, because the people know."

Coiner said he once performed weddings in an Indian manner, but said a few years ago the Lakota tribe asked him to stop because "bad things were coming from people not of full blood doing sacred ceremonies." He said he has not done ceremonies since.

Local American Indians also disputed Coiner’s claim to have done the Lakota Sundance ceremony at age 12. However, Coiner maintains that he is half Lakota and dragged a buffalo skull attached by rope to a peg skewering one of his shoulders for two hours, but outside the Sundance circle. That method is one of several that is part of the Lakota Sundance ritual.

"I am so, so sorry," Coiner said. "I’ve made my peace with everyone and from now on I’ll try to be as honest and truthful as I can be."

John Darling is a free-lance writer living in Ashland. E-mail him at jdarling@jeffnet.org

You can find this story online at:

Nighthorse Campbell Takes Culture to Senate...

Hey, the Senate floor could use some life!


Colo. Senator Wears Indian Chief Regalia

By APARNA H. KUMAR, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell, the Colorado Republican
known for his ponytail and bolo ties, made a bolder style statement
Tuesday, wearing a full chief's regalia to the Senate floor to manage
an appropriations bill.

Campbell, one of the 44 chiefs of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe, said
his choice of attire was based more on convenience than anything

"It was a bit of a tight schedule," he said, rushing into the Senate
chamber after speaking at the opening ceremony for the Smithsonian
Institution's new National Museum of the American Indian just west of
the Capitol. "I didn't know if I could change before I got to the

Wearing a full feather headdress and fringed white leather tunic and
pants that are his tribe's traditional chief's costume, Campbell
opened the debate on a $2.5 billion bill to pay for all of the
operations of Congress next year.

Campbell, 71, who is retiring at the end of this term after 18 years
in Congress, chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee's legislative
branch subcommittee.

Anticipating the time crunch, he sought his fellow senators'
permission Monday to appear in traditional tribal dress. They gave
their unanimous consent.

The son of a Portuguese immigrant mother and an Indian father,
Campbell is the only American Indian currently serving in the Senate.
He is also the first Indian to chair the Senate Indian Affairs

He is not, however, the first senator to claim Indian heritage, said
Senate historian Richard Baker. Charles Curtis, a Kansas Republican
who was in Congress twice, 1907-1913 and 1915-1929, before becoming
Herbert Hoover's vice president, was one-eighth Kaw Indian. Robert
Owen, a Democrat from Oklahoma, 1907-1925, had a Cherokee Indian
mother. Over the years, the House has had several members of partial
Indian descent.

In a Senate where an unwritten dress code for men specifies dark
suits and sensible hairstyles, Campbell, often in cowboy boots, has
always been a fashion iconoclast. When riding Harley-Davidson
motorcycle around town, he prefers a black leather vest, jeans and
silver jewelry, which he designs himself.

Campbell, a former member of the House who sponsored the bill there
to create the museum, said its opening was the realization of a long-
awaited dream. He called it "a special day in the lives of all Native

"From the Indian perspective, it's the opportunity that we're going
to have to tell our story our way," he said.

22 September 2004

Quote of the Day

"All men were made by the same Great Spirit..."

~~Chief Joseph (Nez Perce), 1844-1904

A Museum Of Our Own...

All thanks to the Creator...



American Indian honored at Smithsonian
By Frederic J. Frommer

WASHINGTON - A colorful Native Nations procession heralded the opening yesterday of the Smithsonian Institution's Museum of the American Indian, the newest addition to the historical treasure-trove dotting the National Mall.

White Mountain Apache Indians from White River, Ariz., drew a crowd with their exotic dress. Four had their chests painted black with white lettering, and the fifth was painted white with black lettering.

Pine needles were wrapped around their arms and waists, and wooden headgear reached two feet above their heads, which were covered in masks.

As they danced, metal balls around their shoes added to the sounds of an accompanying drummer.

Nearby, Aztec Indians from San Francisco danced with headfeathers that reached as high as six feet above their heads.

On Monday, hundreds of people were milling about the museum to get an early peek.

"At last we're getting some kind of recognition as Indian people," said Lawrence Orcutt, from the Yurok tribe in Northern California.

Missing from the opening festivities was the architect who designed the tan building, layered in swooping levels of Minnesota limestone rounded to depict the curves of the Earth, sun and moon.

Douglas J. Cardinal, a Canadian, was hired as architect in 1993, but he wound up in a dispute with the architectural firm that he subcontracted for, GBQC of Philadelphia, claiming he was losing money.

The Smithsonian failed to settle the differences between the two parties and fired both in 1998. Another architectural team finished the work.Native nations of america

Thanks Arnie!

Once again, our favourite govenor of California (not!) attempts to endear himself to the First People...


Schwarzenegger Vetoes School Mascot, 'Green' Business Bills

SACRAMENTO Governor Schwarzenegger has vetoed legislation that would have barred schools from using the term redskins as team nicknames, protected hotel guests against slippery bathrooms and promoted environmentally beneficial businesses.
At the same time, he's signed bills to discourage pirating of music and motion pictures through the Internet, set standards for plastic bags that claim to be biodegradable and close a loophole in campaign contribution disclosures that helped Republicans in 2002.

The team nickname bill would have barred schools from using redskins as a name for teams, publications or mascots starting January 1st, 2006, although the five California schools that use that name now could have continued using their old team uniforms until they wore out.

Bill supporters say many Indians consider redskins an insulting name, but Schwarzenegger says decisions on school names should be left to local officials.

21 September 2004

Honoured At Last...

A truely wonderful thing...


NMAI not just a decoration

Museum opening on National Mall signals end to years of horror

Posted: September 18, 2004 - 8:36am EST
by: Jim Adams / Associate Editor / Indian Country Today

WASHINGTON - Five unnamed victims of the 1864 Sand Creek massacre hold a place of honor among the thousands of people contributing to the opening of the new National Museum of the American Indian building on the National Mall Sept. 21.

Nearly 40 years of planning and campaigning prepared the way for the dramatic new building. The week of festivities surrounding its opening signals that it is already being viewed as a major event in modern Native history. But the Sand Creek victims, and a gruesome reminder of their fate, stand out as the catalyst for the agreement that brought the museum into being. Their story shows that the museum is not just another cultural repository; it is meant to be nothing less than a revolution in the role indigenous peoples play in the dominant American society.

The origin of the museum is closely bound with several landmark measures reversing generations of cultural oppression. The intricate and prolonged negotiations that produced the legislation for the NMAI also brought about passage of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), which overturned the attitude of previous generations that Indians had dead or dying cultures.

In August 1989, legislation to establish NMAI was pending in Congress, and the trustees of the Museum of the American Indian in New York, the source of the core George Gustav Heye Collection, were close to a final deal to turn it over to the Smithsonian Institution. But the final sticking point was the issue of repatriation. The Smithsonian held tens, maybe hundreds, of thousands of Native human remains and funeral objects collected during a century when Indians were dehumanized objects of scientific inquiry. Throughout the talks with the Smithsonian, the trustees of the Heye Collection were learning to their horror just how extensive the human holdings were.

The writer and activist Suzan Shown Harjo, a trustee of the Heye Collection and one of the principal negotiators, said, "We were dealing with the Indian issues and we were dealing with the museum issues. It was all intertwined. But the final piece of it had to be a repatriation agreement. And the Smithsonian said ‘no.’"

Harjo recalled that she had flown to New Mexico, where the Smithsonian and the National Congress of the American Indians, which she also served as executive director, had scheduled a reception at the Wheelwright Museum during the Santa Fe Indian Market. "The purpose of the reception was to celebrate the pendency of the National Museum of the American Indian and to make the final push for legislation," she said, but the parallel agreement on human remains and cultural property was still unresolved.

"So I told Secretary of the Smithsonian Bob Adams that we were out of time. We had to have a repatriation agreement."

Harjo was making a long-distance call to Adams at his home in Colorado. Before she left, someone, an inside source she still hesitates to name, had given her a cache of documents about the source of some of the Smithsonian’s more gruesome holdings. During the call, she said, "I was looking at bills of lading from the Anthropological Archives showing how the remains of five of the Sand Creek massacre victims had wound up in his institution."

A Southern Cheyenne citizen of the Cheyenne and Arapaho nation of Oklahoma, Harjo counts all the Sand Creek victims as her relatives. She still speaks with a catch about seeing the bills of lading. "I just couldn’t continue," she said.

"There it was. I was holding it in my hands, "One male Cheyenne crania …" These were the bills of lading that went with each head.
"I said, ‘I can’t talk to you any more. We’re out of time.’"

The continued absence of an agreement, Harjo said, meant that the Native coalition would start filing lawsuits. "We had lots of lawsuits ready to go.

"He said how much time did he have, and I said, ‘an hour.’" When he hung up, Harjo called Walter Echo-Hawk, a Pawnee lawyer at the Native American Rights Fund in Colorado, to get ready to file, maybe as early as the next morning.

"But Bob Adams called back and said, ‘We have a deal.’"

On Sept. 12, 1989, Adams and Harjo joined U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, D-Hawaii and U.S. Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell, R-Colo., then a Democratic U.S. Representative, to announce a revised Smithsonian policy on repatriation that would be included in the NMAI bill. NMAI Director W. Richard West Jr., himself Southern Cheyenne, said that Inouye was deeply offended by the collection of human remains and insisted on the repatriation language. Even Secretary Adams came to change his mind on repatriation, said West, "because of the power of Suzan’s negotiating."

President George H.W. Bush signed the NMAI legislation on Nov. 28. "Twelve years were packed into 12 weeks," said Harjo.

But the turning point was the resurfaced evidence of the posthumous fate of the Sand Creek victims, almost literally Harjo’s ancestors.

"These five people were as much a part of the making of this museum as anyone living," she said.

The seed of the idea

Another decade and a half would elapse between the signing of the NMAI bill and the opening of the building on the Mall, but it took almost twice as long for the idea of the NMAI to grow into the legislation. Harjo remembered that the true origin of the idea was "a coalition which formed at Bear Butte in South Dakota in June 1967 and which began working on several things at the same time."

One of the offshoots began working on protection of sacred sites, "which is still going on," said Harjo. Another group talked about respect for human remains and sacred objects and protection of burial grounds. "At that time we still had lots and lots of dead Indians in museums," said Harjo, "and many of the remains were on display.
"We were talking about very, very specific things without putting it into sophisticated terms. We were talking about care and treatment of remains in museums. We were talking about repatriation, although we didn’t use that term until much later, and we were talking about developing public awareness through laws, developing public awareness through schools, museums and the like.

"We were talking about superior treatment and respect for Indians generally, living and dead, in society as a broad matter. And we were talking about a place that we were calling a center, where we would do these things in the right way."

One early result of this movement was passage of the American Indian Religious Freedom Act in 1978. In its aftermath, Harjo joined the administration of President Jimmy Carter to work on a Presidential report mandated by the act. "Through 1978 and ’79, we worked closely with the Defense Department museums.

"We came to an agreement that the Defense museums would return upon request Native American human remains, sacred objects and cultural patrimony. We tried to encourage the Smithsonian to reach that agreement as well. They balked. They said they weren’t part of the federal government. It was just hilarious, but we persuaded them to come along. So they had a weaker position than the Defense museums, as one would expect.

"At that time, no Secretary of the Smithsonian had met with a living Indian since the time of Lincoln, when Lincoln met with one of my ancestors, Lean Bear and Black Kettle and other Cheyenne chiefs to try to convince them not to take sides in the Civil War."

The accumulations of George Gustav Heye

With the end of the Carter administration in 1980, Harjo was out of government, but quickly found herself involved with the institution that would become the nucleus of the NMAI. "My friend, the great author Vine DeLoria asked me if I would go on the board of the Museum of the American Indian with him and our other top writer, Scott Momaday. And that was one way that working with a single museum and a single collection, we could enhance our national repatriation work and create a better museum. And that’s what we did."

The Museum of the American Indian at the time was a private foundation with a handsome building but an uptown Manhattan location off 125th Street where relatively few visitors ventured. It grew from the obsessive life-long collecting of the engineer and investment banker George Gustav Heye. A six-foot-four bull of a figure, incessantly smoking large cigars, Heye accumulated over a million Native objects from his first purchase of a deerskin shirt in Arizona in 1897 to his death in 1957. The Smithsonian Magazine acknowledges the ambiguity of his legacy. In spite of his voracious quest for even the most mundane remains, he seemed to have had little concern for contemporary Indian life. Yet he left behind the largest collection of Indian artifacts, from both North and South America, in the world.
Harjo said he would collect with a front-loader, scraping up whole villages and carting them back east in boxcars. By 1980, she said, his collection "was rotting in a warehouse in the Bronx, I mean literally falling apart.

"No one was interested, and we were trying to get someone in Washington or someone in New York or both, to show any interest at all. As part of the prudence of being trustees, we had to figure out whether we could keep the collection together and market it to someone, to salvage it, as well as getting help to do it another way."
After a trustees meeting, she recollected, she and Vine DeLoria Jr. were getting in a car with fellow trustees Charles Simon, a founder of the Salomon Brothers investment house and restaurateur Peter Kreindler, on their way to dinner at Kriendler’s "21 Club", when Simon said, "I have a crazy idea. What would you think if we started a bidding war, and have New York and Washington try to outbid each other for the museum?"

Fine, they replied, but how?

Simon replied that he had heard that H. Ross Perot, the Texas billionaire and later presidential candidate, wanted to found a world-class museum near Dallas and wasn’t particular about the class.
"We have a world-class collection," he said. "What would happen if we told him we wanted to put it on the block and wanted him to make a bid on it?"

Simon went to Perot with the explanation that they needed the bid to start the competition. "Bless his heart," Harjo said of Perot, "it had to be a serious bid, because he might wind up with it.

"Simon told him he could be the butt of a joke, and reported that Perot said, ‘What’s new?’"

The maneuver worked. "New York Mayor Edward Koch was on national television saying the collection was a New York treasure, and people in Texas weren’t going to take it away. People in Washington were saying that it was a national treasure, not just a New York treasure.
"So that was the point at which we actually had the makings of a deal."

Finding a home

The long and complicated negotiations that followed eventually found a three-part home for the National Museum of the American Indian, under the aegis of the Smithsonian Institution. New York City kept a hand in with the George Gustav Heye Center in the Old Custom House, a 1907 Beaux-Arts federal edifice next to Battery Park, a popular tourist destination at the foot of Manhattan. The Heye Center, in the first two floors of the building, opened Oct. 30, 1994. The bulk of the collection, 800,000 objects, headed to the Cultural Resources Center in Suitland, Md. This facility, completed in 1998, provides conservation and research support as well as traditional ceremonies for sacred objects. And after complications worth a separate saga, the dramatic building on the Mall had its opening Sept. 21, asserting the Indian revival to the center of Washington.

Harjo recollected the many sides of the dealing that led to this arrangement. "There were lots of entities involved. There was New York City, New York state, about 10 different federal agencies. When we were talking about getting the Old Custom House in New York, we were also talking about getting a historic site, so every brick in front of the Custom House is protected by historic preservation. Every single site is protected or should be protected by New York state or city or a federal agency or all of them together. It was massive."

Importantly, Sen. Inouye and the staff of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee became personally involved. Harjo remembered the museum taking Inouye and Alan Parker, the committee chief of staff, to New York to review the collection. They toured the storage facility in the Bronx shortly after a flood. "The inventory index cards were laid out to dry, curled up like Fritos," said Harjo.

"After that trip, we were standing on the balcony at the Senator’s office in the Capitol," said Harjo, "and we were talking about places in Washington where we could showcase the Museum. We already had pretty much a lock on the Custom House, through David Rockefeller. We knew that we could locate a research center anywhere. We needed a place for the showpiece.

"Sen. Inouye hit on the solution while standing on the balcony of his hideaway office in the Capitol," said Harjo.

"He pointed to the space next to the National Air and Space Museum and said, ‘What’s that blank spot there on the Mall?" Parker, Harjo and Patricia Zell, now Inouye’s top staffer, researched the spot and found that it was dedicated to the Smithsonian, but not yet authorized for anything.

Inouye and the National Congress of American Indians mounted a campaign to secure the site. It had its grim side, but a light side, too. Harjo remembered putting together a skit for a banquet at the Air and Space Museum. "Our ‘Average Savage Review’ sang to Sec. Adams and other Smithsonian dignitaries, ‘Over there, over there, put the Indian Museum over there,’ pointing to the blank space that now houses the museum."

The museum campaign became inextricably entwined with the repatriation issue, when results came in from the Smithsonian’s inventory of human remains, said Harjo. "It worked out to be 18,500 Native American remains and 4,500 Indian skulls."

The skulls derived from the "Indian Cranial Study" ordered by U.S. Army Surgeons General in the 1860s and ’70s, in which soldiers in the field were instructed to "harvest" heads from Indian graves or battle casualties. This grisly research supposedly advanced the pseudo-science of phrenology, then in its heyday, but it left an embarrassing physical legacy, which the military turned over to the Smithsonian, and a folklore of horror, which haunts Indian people to the present day.

"It must have been one of the earliest things I heard as a child," said Harjo. "I don’t remember a time when I didn’t know about that.
"We all had oral histories of the beheadings of our people, but we didn’t have documentary evidence. The archival confessions were stunning.

"We deliberately married these issues," she said. "Repatriation agreement with the Smithsonian and an Indian museum to be built on the Mall, with these other pieces." The campaign drew strong support from editorial writers around the country and from Congress. By the time of Harjo’s final confrontation with Secretary Adams and the August 1989 reception in Santa Fe, the elements for the NMAI, the three locations and the repatriation agreement, were all in place for the final legislation.

The location on the Mall took on enormous symbolic significance. "It was the last place to be built," said NMAI Deputy Director Douglas Evelyn, "but it had primacy of place in relation to the Capitol." Harjo sees it as a constant reminder to the policy makers of Washington that the American Indian is here to stay.

An afterthought

Harjo recalled another symbolic encounter from that week in August 1989, subtler and more humbling. Immediately after the final deal and just as the story announcing it was going to press at the New York Times, Adams, Campbell, Echo-Hawk and Harjo had a celebratory dinner in Santa Fe. At Sec. Adams suggestion, they met at the Coyote Café in Santa Fe "which somehow made it all wonderful and laughable," she said, "because the Coyote is the Trickster who makes things happen in the right way.

"Just when we thought we had all done something marvelous, we were reminded that it was all being done, and we were just the instruments."


This article can be found at http://www.indiancountry.com/?1095511246

His Words...

"Tell General Howard I know his heart. What he told me before I have in my heart. I am tired of fighting. Our chiefs are killed. Looking Glass is dead. Toohoolhoolzote is dead. The old men are all dead. It is the young men who say 'yes' or 'no.' He who led the young men (Olikut) is dead. It is cold and we have no blankets. The little children are freezing to death. My people, some of them, have run away to the hills, and have no blankets, no food. No one knows where they are; perhaps freezing to death. I want to have time to look for my children, and see how many of them I can find. Maybe I shall find them among the dead. Hear me, my chiefs! I am tired. My heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever."

Chief Joseph (Nez Perce) Bear Paw Mountains, Montana Oct. 5, 1877

In Our Hearts, Chief Joseph Lives On...

The People are very much in need of a leader with such grace and honour as Chief Joseph... we can only Pray the Creator will deliver us one...


100 Years After Chief Joseph, Legend Lives

By John K. Wiley
The Associated Press

NESPELEM, Okanogan County — Summer turned to autumn when the great Nez Percé leader Chief Joseph died in his sleep hundreds of miles from his beloved Wallowa Valley in northeastern Oregon.

It was Sept. 21, 1904, some 27 years after his famous "I will fight no more forever" speech marking the end of a nearly 1,200-mile running battle with Army troops.

A century after his death, historians still debate whether he was a great war chief or simply a leader with diplomatic skills who wanted to be allowed to stay on his traditional homeland.

"To many Americans, he is a national hero ... for his tenacity and brilliant effort to take his people to a safe place," said Thomas Sweeney, spokesman for the National Museum of the American Indian, which will open tomorrow on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

"Beyond that, his comments are directed to all people," Sweeney said. "There is a message there of living in peace."

Rather than be forcefully moved from traditional lands taken by treaty, Joseph had fled northeastern Oregon with about 400 members of his tribe, mostly women and children but including 64 warriors.

For nearly four months, they outmaneuvered 2,000 pursuing U.S. cavalry soldiers across Idaho and Wyoming before being surrounded and surrendering in northern Montana, just 30 miles short of freedom in Canada.

The retreat became known as the Nez Percé War of 1877.

Joseph, the son of a Nez Percé tribal chief, was later banished with a small band of followers to the Colville Indian Reservation in Eastern Washington, where he would remain until his death.

Born about 60 years earlier in northeastern Oregon, Hin-Mah-Too-Yah-Lat-Kekt, "Thunder Rolling in the Mountains," was buried in what is now a weed-choked cemetery on the Colville Reservation, about 100 miles northwest of Spokane.

Above his simple grave — strewn with plastic flowers, feathers, coins, tobacco and candy — is a white granite column — its top broken off — that says: "He led his people in the Nez Percé War of 1877."

He is best remembered for his words of surrender: "I am tired. My heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever."

Although he came from a relatively obscure band in the Pacific Northwest, Joseph became a well-known figure after his plight was taken up by supporters in the East, said Dave Nicandri, director of the Washington State Historical Society in Tacoma.

"He was among the handful of most famous Indian chiefs and warriors, up there with Geronimo and Sitting Bull," Nicandri said.

Nez Percé Tribal Chairman Tony Johnson said Joseph was a forceful advocate for returning his people to the Northwest from exile in Oklahoma.

"He found a lot of friends in the non-Indian community that advocated for a return to the Northwest," said Johnson, a descendent of Olikut, one of the chiefs killed in the Nez Percé War and possibly the true war chief.

But the return was not without more grief for the Nez Percé, Johnson said.

A condition of return to the reservation at Lapwai, Idaho, was acceptance of Christianity. Joseph and about 150 followers who wanted to retain their traditional beliefs were sent to the Colville Reservation, with members of a dozen other tribes and bands. Others went to the Umatilla Reservation in northeastern Oregon.

Disputes over religion and acceptance of treaties caused rifts within the tribe that still are felt today, Johnson said.

"It left a pretty deep wound. We're really all broken up as a family on three reservations due to U.S. government policy at that time," he said.

Joseph's father, who died in 1871, refused terms of a peace treaty in 1855 that was intended to open the area for gold miners and settlers. It was superseded by another pact in 1863 that reduced the Nez Percé's homeland to one-tenth its original size.

When Joseph succeeded his father, he also refused to accept treaty terms but worked to maintain peaceful relations with whites that had existed since the 1805 Lewis and Clark expedition.

Nez Percé historians say the tribe's name — "Pierced Nose" in French — was given by a French-Canadian interpreter with the expedition, although the practice was not common to the tribe, which called itself Nimi'ipuu.

The original Nez Percé homeland encompassed portions of southeastern Washington and northeastern Oregon and most of central Idaho. The tribe's summer camp was at Wallowa Lake in northeastern Oregon near the present-day town of Joseph and the Eagle Cap Wilderness.

When Gen. Oliver O. Howard threatened to forcefully remove the Nez Percé to the small reservation at Lapwai in north-central Idaho, Joseph and his band set out for Canada.

Thus began the nearly 1,200-mile strategic retreat, marked by six battles that culminated in the Bear Paw Mountains in northern Montana, where Army troops finally surrounded the band on Oct. 5, 1877.

Captured and sent to Fort Leavenworth in Kansas, then to Indian Territory in Oklahoma, Joseph relentlessly campaigned for his people to be returned to the Pacific Northwest. But he was forced into exile at Colville, never to permanently return to his beloved Wallowa Valley.

"Up until his dying day, Chief Joseph never stopped trying to get a homeland in Wallowa," Johnson said. "The tribe honors all our ancestors for their struggles. Regardless if they are divided by church affiliations, that is a tribal and family value you'll get from all three areas."