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Land Developers Face Dispute Over Indigenous Cemetery - - 14 JUNE 2004
   LOS ANGELES ( - In light of the discovery of the remains of 270 Native Americans at a real estate development site, tribal members are calling on the developer to side-step a 13-year-old pact that permits the excavation of bodies during construction.
   As expected, according to the parties, the Playa Vista Development unearthed human remains during the digging phase for a water throughway that will collect run-off from nearby neighborhoods. Although the firm set a programmatic agreement on the guidelines for handling remains with the Gabrielino-Tongva tribe, the large discovery has sparked debate over renegotiating procedures. Opponents want digging to stop and the throughway redirected....
Bush Adviser Says Yucca Decision Did Not Violate Pledge Process relied on 'sound science,' Rove says - Las Vegas Review-Journal - 14 JUN 2004
   President Bush's top political adviser said the administration's approval of Yucca Mountain as the nation's nuclear waste repository did not violate a 2000 promise to Nevada voters to base such a decision on "sound science, not politics."...
Bush Thanks Veterans, Then Cuts Their Health Care - The Daily Mislead - 01 June 2004
  President Bush spent the Memorial Day weekend thanking the nation's veterans for their service, saying "we acknowledge the debt [we owe them] by showing our respect and gratitude." Yet, his rhetoric came just hours after the Bush Administration announced new plans to slash veterans health care funding if it returns to power in 2005....
136th Anniversary of Long Walk to be Marked - The Farmington Daily Times - 13 JUNE 2004
   FARMINGTON — On June 18, 1868, thousands of Navajo people were released from Fort Sumner, to began making their way back to their beloved land, Dinetah.
   That journey would forever be remembered by the Navajo people as the Long Walk and despite plans by the U.S. Peace Commissioners to relocate the Navajo to the lower Arkansas territory, the Navajo insisted on going back home to their own land.
   Now, 136 years later, the Diné Nation Bikers want to hold a memorial biker run to honor the history of the Long Walk by going back to Fort Sumner....
Concerned for Navajo Aquifer - Natasha Grail, Ft. Defiance, AZ - 10 JUNE 2004
   My concern for the Black Mesa Coalition has brought me to writing this imperative letter. I have been reading about that area for sometime now and I have heard about how the U.S. government has tried to move our people off of their own lands, in order to get the coal which lies beneath them.
   I am also concerned about the U.S. government pumping water out of the Navajo Aquifer. They are pumping an estimated 300 gallons every 10 seconds. This means over a billion gallons are being pumped every year. Most of us don't know it, but we are losing our only reliable source of water very rapidly. If this continues it could be gone in 10 years....
ABA to Add Native American Team - Washington Times - 07 JUNE 2004
   Indianapolis, IN, Jun. 7 (UPI) -- The American Basketball Association is adding an expansion team based out of Albuquerque, N.M., comprised exclusively of Native American players. 
   League co-founder Joe Newman made the announcement Monday....
Bikers to Pay Homage to Indians Long Walk - Gallup Independent - 08 JUNE 2004
   WINDOW ROCK — A memorial biker run will be held to honor the history of the Long Walk June 18 and June 19.
   "(We want) to pay spiritual reverence to honor the ancestors who were lead there," said Etta Arviso, one of the organizers of the run.
   The Hweeldi Beenilniih run, sponsored by the Diné Nation Bikers, will leave Farmington early on June 18, travel through Albuquerque, and then on to Fort Sumner. A camp out and traditional prayer services will be held. The run is scheduled to end in Window Rock on June 19....
City Is Losing a Part of Its Soul in Playa Vista - LA Times - 07 JUNE 2004
   Over the last few months, one of the largest American Indian burial grounds ever found in California —or the nation—has been rising out of the earth in West Los Angeles, more than 275 bodies at last count. You can see the site from Lincoln Boulevard — those big green tents on land that developers mean to turn into an Edenic stream, open space for the 13,000 people who will populate the master-planned Playa Vista community.
   Each day more resting places of Los Angeles' original inhabitants, those we know as the Gabrielino-Tongva, are being exposed and their bones brushed clean. Rib cages and skulls, basketry remnants and personal goods are sifted from the dirt. Some of the remains are 4,000 years old; some date from the days of the Spanish missions. Each is laid in a cardboard banker's box — stacks of them fill metal shipping containers — to be reinterred someplace else....
Gathering Clouds: Arizona's Navajo and Hopi Tribes Have Won a Water-Rights Battle Against the Coal Company That Has Sustained Their Fragile Economies. But on the Threshold of Victory, a Sobering Question: Now What?LA Times - 06 JUNE 2004
   "Somewhere far away from us, people have no understanding that their demand for cheap electricity, air conditioning and lights 24 hours a day have contributed to the imbalance of this very delicate place." — Nicole Horseherder, Navajo, Black Mesa
   For years upon years beneath star-heavy skies, the Navajo awakened before the sun rose over northeastern Arizona's Black Mesa to guide their sheep to the natural waters of desert washes and springs to beat the overwhelming heat of day. For those who kept cattle in more modern times, they dug wells powered by windmills to pump groundwater into drinking troughs. The Hopi, farmers whose reservation borders Black Mesa's fringe, channeled these same waters onto hillside terraces where they planted their sacred and sustaining crops of corn.
   But that was when there was water on Black Mesa....
An Indian Country Model - The Navajo-Hopi Observer  - 05 JUNE 2004
   FLAGSTAFF— Navajo Foster Grandparents came from every corner of the Diné Nation to be recognized for volunteering with children on May 26 at Little America Hotel.
   “Thank you for volunteering. You really deserve this respect and we are all very proud of you,” said Anslem Roanhorse Jr., executive director of the Navajo Division of Health. Roanhorse addressed the 195 elders present who volunteered more than 150,000 hours this past year. The recognition ceremony is an annual event....
Cultural Focus Helps Hopi School Buck Graduation-rate Trend - AP - 31 MAY 2004
   Hope springs eternal at Hopi High School.
   Every spring, that is, when this school in isolated Keams Canyon graduates another large group of seniors, bucking the trend for Native American graduation rates.
   Nearly 87% of students graduate within five years of starting Hopi High, well above the 63% statewide average for Native Americans. The statewide graduation rate for all races is 76%.
   What makes the school a standout?...
Navajo Elders Give 150,000 Hours to Nation - Farmington Daily Times - 30 MAY 2004
   FLAGSTAFF — Navajo foster grandparents came from every corner of the Navajo Nation to be recognized for volunteering with children at Little America Hotel in Flagstaff May 26.
   “Thank you for volunteering. You really deserve this respect and we are all very proud of you,” said Anslem Roanhorse Jr., executive director of the Navajo Division of Health, who addressed 195 elders who volunteer over 150,000 hours this past year. The recognition ceremony is an annual event.
   “You truly are the fabric of our nation,” added U.S. Rep. Rick Renzi, R-Ariz., a guest speaker.
   The Navajo Foster Grandparents program, a program under the Navajo Area Agency on Aging office within the Navajo Division of Health, is one of only four programs within the state of Arizona, but with a volunteer rate that is 3-4 times higher than other Arizona projects....
Navajo VP: Water Accord "Essential" - Farmington Daily Times - 30 MAY 2004
   WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — Passage of the proposed Navajo Nation water rights settlement on the San Juan Basin is absolutely essential to provide water and economic development to the Navajo people, Navajo Vice President Frank Dayish Jr. said Friday in a news release.
   “The settlement reflects years of discussions and negotiations between the Navajo Nation and the state of New Mexico to resolve the nation’s outstanding claims in the San Juan Basin,” he said....
San Juan River Basin Settlement Critic: "Pulling a Fast One" - Navajo Times - 28 MAY 2004
   WINDOW ROCK - Farmington attorney Gary Horner and attorneys for the Navajo Nation are at opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to what kind of agreement is needed for the San Juan River water rights settlement.
   Earlier this week he said that the Navajo Nation is trying to pull a fast one by seeking more water than it needs. The nation, he said, plans to sell the excess water to cities like Phoenix, Las Vegas and Los Angeles and make tens of millions of dollars of profit a year.
   But Stanley Pollack, the Navajo Nation's chief water rights attorney, said Horner doesn't know what he is talking about. If he did, Pollack said, he would know that the settlement does not allow the Navajo Nation to sell off any excess water....
Native Activism Class Takes it on - Indian Country Today - 27 MAY 2004
   ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - When class began, on screen were the portraits of Buffy Sainte Marie, Floyd Westerman, John Trudell, XIT and Red Earth, as University of New Mexico students shared the history of the Red Power Movement of the 1960s and 1970s with Jemez Pueblo and Taos Pueblo high school students.
   "Music is the voice of the people," said Roxanne Olguin, Isleta Pueblo and Navajo, during her group project presentation of the Native American Activism class, the brainchild of Zuni Pueblo adjunct professor Mary Bowannie....
Using Their Language to Save Lives - Arizona Daily Sun - 28 MAY 2004
   It sounded like gibberish to the Japanese in World War II -- the Navajo-inspired code used by the U.S. Marines in the Pacific from 1942 to 1945. Today, the message is coming in loud and clear: Cherish and honor our last remaining code talkers while we still can.
   Five local Navajo code talkers -- Arthur Hubbard Sr., Dan Akee, Alfred Peaches, Teddy Draper Sr. and Lloyd Oliver -- are being honored tonight at a public reception at 5:30 at the Little America Hotel.
   The reception is part of the long weekend of festivities that mark the dedication of the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, and Memorial Day on Monday....
Environmentalists Sue over Medicine Lake Geothermal Plans - AP - 19 MAY 2004
   SACRAMENTO (AP) -- Environmental groups have sued the federal government over geothermal projects it has approved in the remote Medicine Lake Highlands region considered sacred by Indian tribes.
   The suit, filed Tuesday and announced Wednesday, challenges approval of the first two geothermal power plants proposed by Calpine Corp. Both would be built within the Medicine Lake caldera, the remnant of an ancient volcano 30 miles east of Mt. Shasta and 10 miles south of the Lava Beds National Monument in northeastern California....
Victims of Nuclear Fallout Tell Their Stories - Gallup Independent - 21 MAY 2004
   WINDOW ROCK—They talk of watching the clouds, playing in the "snow" in the summer, sweeping the ash from their cars and the ash burning their skin as it fell on them. They talk of being farmers who became bankrupt because nobody would buy their produce or milk, of being so poor they didn't have a choice to throw away goods that had been grown on ground covered with nuclear ash....
   The United States conducted more than 900 nuclear weapons tests at the Nevada Test Site, 100 above ground and 804 detonated underground. The "Sedan Shot" was detonated at 635 feet underground. "Shot Baneberry" was detonated at 900 feet. The two tests vented radioactive debris to heights of 16,000 feet and 10,000 feet respectively, with fallout reaching as far as Kentucky and Tennessee.
   "We have been involved with people and their families that have been devastated by cancer,"...
Ex-miners, Shirley Seek Changes in Radiation Law - The Navajo Times - 21 MAY 2004
   WINDOW ROCK - Leroy Harry, 65, remembered his days of bull riding on and off the Navajo Reservation with a huge smile.
   "I was young," said Harry, who doesn't show signs of the fatal lung and throat diseases caused by radiation exposure.
   He pops another throat lozenge in his mouth before talking about his days as a uranium miner, which started at the age of 19 in 1958.
   Harry was among about 500 people that came from across the reservation, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico to attend a one-day hearing on the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act program on Tuesday....
Navajo Rugs' Appeal Transcends Time and Style - Los Angeles - 13 MAY 2004
   Entertainment lawyer Lawrence Rose spends his days fighting for his clients, and at night he retreats home to be watched over by nine dancing Yei-be-cheis. The figures, woven into a Navajo rug in the entryway, represent the protective grandparents of Native American gods.
   "There's a calming quality about the Southwest style and a spirit to Navajo rugs," said Rose from his Adobe Revival house, which overlooks Beverly Hills, Calif. "People in my business need a peaceful place to inhabit, a vacation house in the city. Once I'm here, I can forget what happens outside."
   That's the power of Navajo rugs, a 300-year-old art form inspired by nature and the supernatural, created one line at a time by weavers using upright looms....


Grave Desecration in Southern California
- SENAA International - 10 MAR 2004
   An Indigenous American cemetery has been discovered in Playa Del Rey, California. Part of the cemetery was uncovered at the Playa Vista development that began in October of 2003. Currently, there has been destruction of Indigenous American burials, removal of Indigenous American human remains, and the separation of funerary objects from the human remains to which the objects belong....
   Below are links to documents released by the Gabrielino/Tongva detailing the issue. You will find three fact sheets that will inform you of the situation, a letter that you can download and/or print to voice your support for preservation of the site, and a list of names and addresses of those who should be contacted and urged to stop the desecration and restore the disturbed graves....

Despite Protest, the Deadline Stands for Comments on Peaks Snowmaking 
Arizona Daily Sun - 09 APR 2004
   In a tense public demonstration against snowmaking at Arizona Snowbowl, about 40 protesters led by the Save The Peaks Coalition gathered Thursday in front of the new Coconino National Forest Supervisor's Office during its open house.
   Carrying signs with sentiments such as, "We don't desecrate your church, don't desecrate ours," the group was relegated to the sidewalk about 75 yards from the main entrance to the office....
   The public comment period ends Tuesday at midnight for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Arizona Snowbowl Improvement Project.
   To submit a comment to the Forest Service: e-mail...
Discovery of Human Remains Halts Multi-million Dollar Pigeon Forge Development
WBIR-TV, Knoxville, TN - 26 APR 2004
  According to state archaeologist Nick Fielder, human remains discovered in Sevier County on what is known as the "Jake Thomas property" may be part of a native American burial site.
   Thursday's find has put a temporary halt to the multi-million dollar "Riverwalk" project, planned to include restaurants, hotels, retail, condominiums, and a Pigeon Forge Civic Center. The development is located along Teaster Lane, next to the West Prong of the Little Pigeon River.
   Artifacts and human remains were uncovered in one area of the 185 acre development area by an archaeologist working for Riverwalk's developer. The archaeological testing was a required part of the federal permitting process in order for Riverwalk to divert a stream.
   According to Fielder, the remains could be up to 2000 years old.... 
Fed Heads Shocked by Rez Living Conditions - Gallup Independent - 05 MAY 2004
   TUBA CITY — It was a historic day in Tuba City. Members of Congress met with Native leaders for the first time ever on a native nation.
   Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley Jr. and Hopi Chairman Wayne Taylor Jr. provided testimony before House Financial Services, Housing and Community Opportunity Subcommittee members.
   Those members of the subcommittee toured the Navajo Reservation and saw the widespread poverty.
   And they were shocked by what they saw....
Navajo Housing Decried: Lawmakers Tour Life on Reservation - Arizona Republic - 04 MAY 2004
   NAVAJO RESERVATION - Marie Keams, 49, humbly welcomed members of Congress into the two-room house south of Cameron where she raised seven children.
   One room held two beds, two couches, dressers and a wood stove. The other room had a propane stove and an U.S. flag taped over the door.
   No electricity. No running water. And the well outside is contaminated with oil, so Keams is forced to get her drinking water from the Cameron chapter house several miles away....
Navajos Win Key Victory in Coal Royalty Fight - Arizona Daily Sun - 01 MAY 2004
   A federal judge has handed a key victory to the Navajo Nation in its fight over lost coal royalties.
   Judge Emmet G. Sullivan rejected efforts by Peabody Energy to throw out legal claims by the tribe over the question of whether the company engaged in illegal acts in its apparently successful efforts to get a top federal official to approve a favorable royalty deal....
Display Says U.S. Has Worst Genocide - AP - Originally Published 09 APR 2004
   BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) - A display praising the merits of peacekeeping that cited the killing of native North Americans as the world's worst genocide shouldn't be considered a jab at the United States, Belgian defense officials said Thursday.
   Defense Ministry spokesman Gerard Vareng denied criticism that the display carried an anti-American message....
Judge Won't Dismiss Navajo Nation Suit Against Peabody - - 27 APR 2004
A federal judge has again refused to let the world's largest coal company off the hook for its role in the Navajo Nation's billion-dollar trust asset mismanagement claim.
   The tribe is suing Peabody Energy and the federal government over a coal lease approved during the Reagan administration. The suits allege that Peabody conspired with top Department of Interior officials to deny the tribe a high royalty rate on the coal deposit....
The Broken Circle — 30 Years Later: Residents Say Racism Still a Real Issue
Farmington Daily Times - 27 APR 2004
   FARMINGTON — A Native American civil rights movement incited by the brutal murder of three Navajo males at the hands of Anglo teenagers shook the city of Farmington in 1974.
   For the first time, Native American protesters said they were tired of being treated like lesser people by businesses, restaurants and the citizens of Farmington. But did it make a difference?...
What Did Navajos Want? - Farmington Daily Times - 24 APR 2004
   FARMINGTON — At the culmination of a civil rights protest march May 11, 1974, an estimated 1,500 Native Americans presented the mayor of Farmington with a list of 10 demands.
   The petition addressed basic problems in the community affecting Native Americans and called for an immediate response from the city’s leadership....
Renewing the West: Energy Summit Attracts More Grassroots Navajos Than Tribal Leaders 
Indian Country Today - 26 APR 2004
   ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.—When New Mexico Sen. Pete Domenici urged passage of the federal energy bill at the Western Governor’s Association banquet, Navajos seated in the center of the room, whose families had lived and died with the effects of uranium mining and coal development, fell silent. There was no applause here, no standing ovation.
   When Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, however, went to the podium at the North American Energy Summit at the Hyatt Hotel, Navajos cheered for the governor who met with Navajo grassroots organizations immediately after taking office....
Navajo Nation Negligent Towards Former Bennett Freeze Residents
Navajo Times Hard Copy - 26 APR 2004
   This dialogue is created on behalf of the people of the former Bennett Freeze Area. It will detail how the residents of the former Bennett Freeze are treated by chapters, how the Navajo tribal government is negligent in its duties, and challenges the responsible parties to step up on the issues at hand.
   I am actively involved with the Naataanii area community situated on the western fringes of Tolani Lake Chapter. My people advocate rebuilding our community and taking control of our future by our own will–not those established by foreign governments or outsiders....
Human Bones Found Near Wupatki - Arizona Daily Sun - 26 APR 2004
   Human bones were uncovered Thursday near Wupatki National Monument, and preliminary findings indicate that the bones might be those of a prehistoric ancestor of the Hopi Tribe.
   Ken Frederick, spokesperson for the U.S. Forest Service, said that a National Park Service ranger found the bones on an area of Forest Service land near the southern edge of Wupatki....
Saving Dook'osliid: Leaders Join Medicine Men Against Snow Bowl Plan
Navajo TImes - 24 APR 2004
   WINDOW ROCK - President Joe Shirley Jr. made a commitment late Tuesday evening to do everything in his power to oppose the proposed expansion of the Snow Bowl Ski Resort and use of reclaimed water Dook'osliid....
   "If they expand, that is desecration for our way of life," said an emotionally charged Shirley. "That's genocide. That's putting us aside. If we're going to make a point on our sovereign way of life we need to come together. We need to be together.
   "There ought to be all 300,000 of us defending that peak," he said....
   "(Northern Arizona University) professors found that the reclaimed water has organic contaminants, pharmaceuticals and non-ions," Cora Max-Phillips, Shirley's staff assistant, said. "The medicine you swallow flushes out of your system and that remains in the water."
   She said the components found in the water would not only affect the environment but animals. Max-Phillips said there are hormones in the pharmaceuticals.
   "Who puts a price on nature?" Max-Phillips said. "To us that mountain is priceless."...
Navajo Council Hears Message on the Wind: It's Earth Day. Be Sure to Honor Your Mother 
Gallup Independent - 24 APR 2004
   WINDOW ROCK — When the Diné Medicine Men Association met in Window Rock earlier this month to air their opposition to use of reclaimed "sewer water" to make snow on the sacred San Francisco Peaks, it rained and snowed above the nation's capital. Thursday as the Navajo Nation Council took up an amendment to the Navajo version of the Clean Air Act, the power of the wind was felt in Window Rock. When delegates broke for lunch in the afternoon, they heard the howl of the wind at the Council Chamber doors and opened them only to be greeted by a blast of sand in the face. What was the message on the wind?...
Court Upholds Tribal Power It Once Denied - NY Times - 24 APR 2004
   WASHINGTON, April 19 - The Supreme Court ruled Monday that Indian tribes have the authority to prosecute members of other tribes for crimes committed on their reservations. And because tribes act as sovereign nations in such prosecutions, the court said, ordinary principles of double jeopardy do not apply and do not bar the federal government from bringing a subsequent prosecution for the same offense....
Navajo President: Using Reclaimed Water on Sacred Peaks is the Same as Genocide
Gallup Independent - 16 APR 2004
   FORT DEFIANCE — Using reclaimed wastewater on the San Francisco Peaks' Snowbowl amounts to desecration of a sacred Holy site of the Navajos, said Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley Jr. By allowing this desecration "the United States of America will commit genocide."
   Somewhere between bond issues and the Bush budget, the president found time to deliver this comment and others in writing on behalf of the Nation to Coconino National Forest asking for an extension of the public comment period and meaningful consultation on the proposed Arizona Snowbowl Facilities Improvement plan....
Nonprofit Advocacy - GuideStar Newsletter - 06 JAN 2004 issue
   There's a myth that nonprofits are barred from acting as advocates. Not true. Although some forms of advocacy—such as lobbying—are restricted, speaking out and acting for change are integral parts of the missions of many nonprofits. One site working to help nonprofits advocate wisely and effectively is NPAction, an online reference service hosted by OMB Watch....
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