February 2007 Newsletter from
"This Day in North American Indian History"
by Phil Konstantin
Copyright © Phil Konstantin (1996-2010)

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Start of Phil Konstantin's February 2007 Newsletter - Part 1


Sorry about the delay in getting this out. This is going to
be an abbreviated edition of the newsletter.

I have been very busy on a couple of different projects. I
am helping to organize a satellite community for Cherokees
in San Diego. We will be having a membership drive meeting
on March 25, 2007 at De Anza Cove in San Diego. Chad Smith,
the Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, and many other
folks from tribal headquarters will be here to discuss all
kinds of things, and have a Cherokee potluck. Anyone
interested in things Cherokee is welcome to attend. In a
few days, you will be able to get all the info at our website
(one of the things I have been doing):

San Diego Cherokee Community

I am also about to start another job arranging mortgages
starting on Monday. If you are about to refinance, get a
loan, or buy a house, please free to contact me. I will
do everything I can to get you the best rate possible. No,
I am not quitting my TV job. The TV job is only part-time.
I have a link to my mortgage job in fine print at the
bottom of my main website. You can also get my mortgage
loan contact info at:


I'll try to write another newsleter later in the month.



Featured Link of the Month for February 2007

The Link Of The Month for February 2007 is "Red Nation
Celebration." According to their website, "established
in 1995, Red Nation Celebration (RNC) is a non profit
American Indian organization that premiere’s contemporary
and traditional American Indian performing arts of
diverse artistic disciplines to the mainstream media
and to the global communities to encourage understanding
of the cultural traditions, performing arts, community
and the advancement of Indigenous Nations.

Red Nation Celebration sponsors different events,
including a film festival. One of the things I hav
enjoyed on their website is looking at some of the
videos they have posted in their media center.

You can find it here:


The "Treaty For The Month" is all of the treaties mentioned
in the random historical information below. You can find
transcripts and see copies of the actual treaties by visiting
the link pages.

Guadalupe Hidalgo Treaty: Feb. 2, 1848 | 9 SAT. 929

TREATY WITH THE MIAMI, 1828. Feb. 11 1828. | 7 Stat., 309.


Addenda is made to the Holston River Treaty, Feb. 17, 1792. | 7 Stat.,
42. (Bottom of the page)

TREATY WITH THE CHOCTAW, Proclamation, Feb. 24, 1831. | 7 Stat., 333.


Here are some random historical events:

February 1, 1876: The Secretary of the Interior advises
the Secretary of War that any Indians who have not returned
to their reservations, now are under his jurisdiction.
The army can use any means to deal with the "hostiles.”
This primarily involves the plains Indians.

February 2, 1848: The Guadalupe Hidalgo Treaty is signed.
"It is the policy of the United States, in keeping with
treaty (9 SAT. 929) understanding and long established
custom, to provide certain necessary services and facilities
to Native American Indians."

February 3, 456: Maya King of Tikal (Guatemala) Siyaj Chan
K'awill II (Stormy Sky) dies according to Maya stele carvings.     

See my photos of Tikal here:

February 4, 1829: Mississippi’s House of Representatives
passes a law to “extend legal process into that part of the
state now occupied by the Chickasaw and Choctaw tribes of

February 5, 1847: The rebel Pueblo Indians, and Mexicans,
of Taos surrender to General Sterling Price. They hand
over rebel leader Pablo Montoya. He is tried, and shot on
February 7, 1847.

February 6, 1682: Rene Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle,
and a force of twenty-two French and thirty-one Indians
reach the juncture of the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers.
La Salle then sails down the Mississippi to see if it
empties into the Gulf of Mexico. The expedition contacts
many Indian tribes along the way. Based on this expedition,
La Salle claims the Mississippi Valley, and Louisiana, for
the French. La Salle reaches the Gulf of Mexico on
April 9, 1682.     

February 7, 1778: According to some sources, Daniel Boone
is captured by Shawnee warriors under Chief Blackfish near
the “Blue Licks” in Kentucky while making salt.

February 8, 1975: An election for amendments to the
Constitution of the Papago (Tohono O’odham) is held. Of
the 3,251 eligible voters, 1521 for the amendments,
690 vote against.

February 9, 1870: Louis Riel (fil) is elected President
of the Metis.

February 10, 1676: The Narragansetts attack Lancaster,
Massachusetts. This battle in ‘King Philip's War’ kills fifty settlers.
Twenty-four whites are taken prisoner. One of
the prisoners, Mary Rowlandson, escapes. She writes a
bestseller about her ordeal. Mary Rowlandson's "narrative"
is the first in a series of "true-life" stories published
by Indian captives. Participating in the raid is Chief

February 11, 1828: John Tipton, representing the United
States, and members of the Eel River Band of the Miami
Indians sign a treaty (7 stat. 309). Called the "Treaty
of Wyandot Village,” the Indians move to a reservation
and give up lands along Sugartree Creek. They receive
$10,000 in supplies.

February 12, 1848: As a part of the efforts to fight the
Cayuse who attacked the Whitman Mission in Oregon Country,
soldiers and militia have been reporting to The Dalles. By
today, 537 men have arrived.

February 13, 1684: According to some sources, an agreement
is reached by representatives of the Cusabu Indians for
the South Carolina colonies to acquire some land.

February 14, 1756: Several Delaware attack settlers in
Berks County, Pennsylvania. A dozen settlers, including
six children, are killed. Two of the settlers killed are
young women, sisters, who had a premonition of evil tidings
the previous day. One of the sisters dies in her father's
arms when he finds her in his burned farm.

February 15, 1805: A Mandan Chief is snowblinded according
to Lewis and Clark.

February 16, 1922: President Warren Harding issues an
Executive Order which will "withdraw from settlement, entry,
sale or other disposition" approximately 386.85 acres of
Zia Pueblo Indian lands in New Mexico, until March 5, 1924.
This order replaces Order Number 3351 issued on
November 6, 1920.

February 17, 1792: An addenda is made to the Holston River
Treaty. Payment for ceded land go from $1000 to $1500,
annually. The new treaty is signed in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania by six Cherokees, including Bloody Fellow. As
a part of the ceremony. President Washington gives Bloody
Fellow the new name of Iskagua (Clear Sky).

February 18, 1861: The Arapaho and Cheyenne sign a treaty
(12 stat. 1163) at Fort Wise in southeastern Colorado. The
United States is represented by Albert Boone and F.B. Culver.
It establishes a reservation bounded by Sand Creek and the
Arkansas River. The Indians think it allows them the right
to hunt freely outside of the reservation, but the treaty
contains no such clause. Only six of the forty-four Cheyenne
Chiefs are present to sign, Black Kettle being one. Other
than the Indians who sign on this date, no others ever sign
it. The validity of the treaty is contested for a long time.
The fort is renamed Fort Lyon.

February 19, 1889: Gabriel Dumont is a Metis Chief. He
actively participates in the Riel Rebellion. He receives
a government pardon for those actions.

February 20, 1863: Cherokee Chief John Ross has been
arrested by Union forces and taken to Washington, D.C. In
the interim, Stand Watie has been elected tribal chief at
the First Confederate Cherokee Conference. At Cow Skin
Prairie, Cherokees loyal to John Ross, revoked the treaty
with the South and pledged loyalty to the Union. They
removed Confederates from office, emancipated slaves,
and confirmed John Ross as principal chief.

February 21, 1861: The rich members of the Navajo tribe
(called the "Rico" leaders) meet with Colonel Edward Canby
at the new Fort Fauntleroy, in western New Mexico. The
meeting included such leaders as Manuelito, Delgadito,
Armijo, Barboncito, and Herrero Grande. During the meeting,
the Navajos choose Herrero Grande as the Head Chief of the
Navajos. The parley leads to a "treaty" where the Navajos
promised to live in peace with their non-Indian neighbors.
The fort later is renamed Fort Lyon, and then Fort Wingate.

February 22, 1637: Lieutenant Lion Gardiner is commander
of some of the forces at Fort Saybrook, Connecticut. He
leads some men out to get rid of the undergrowth which
might hide approaching Indians. They are attacked by
Pequots. Two of the settlers are killed in the fighting.

February 23, 1832: Chickasaw Chief Levi Colbert tells
President Jackson the Chickasaw are agreed to the removal
to Indian Territory (present day Oklahoma). He informs
the President they cannot reach an agreement with the
Choctaws on sharing lands, so the provisional treaty of
September 1, 1830 is void.

February 24, 1831: The Choctaw Dancing Rabbit Creek
treaty (11 Stat., 537) is ratified by the U.S. Senate. The
Choctaws leave Mississippi for Indian Territory (present
day Oklahoma). While many Choctaws are opposed to the treaty,
they lack organization. It is publicly proclaimed today.

February 25, 1643: For the last two years there have been
several incidents sparked by both Indians and settlers which
have led to bloodshed in the area around modern New York
City. Presently, the only Indians in the area are some
peaceful Indians seeking refuge from the Mohawks. Through
tomorrow, New Amsterdam citizens, with the approval of
Dutch Director Kieft, and led by Maryn Adriaensen, attack
a peaceful Wecquaesgeek village at Corlaer's Hook near
the Pavonia settlements (near modern Jersey City). The
Dutch soldiers kill not only the warriors, but all of the
eighty Indians in the camp, including women and children.
This fight becomes known as the "Pavonia Massacre," and
it incites numerous reprisals. Adriaensen is exiled to
Holland for three years as punishment for leading the
attack when the population learns of the fight. He will
return, and receive a land grant from Director Kieft,
three years later. Some accounts say only thirty Indians
are killed.

February 26, 1881: According to Army records, 325 Sioux,
believed to be primarily from Sitting Bull's camp,
surrender to Major David Brotherton, Seventh infantry,
at Fort Buford, near the North Dakota-Montana line. 150
horses, and forty guns are turned in by the Indians.

See my pictures of Fort Buford at:

February 27, 1754: In a letter to Pennsylvania Governor
James Hamilton, the Pennsylvania Assembly assails the
European traders cheating the local Indians. The traders
are equated with the worst of European criminals.

February 28, 1704: Today, through tomorrow, in what is
the first American battle in "Queen Anne's War,” Deerfield,
in central Massachusetts, is attacked by Indians and
French under Major Hertel de Rouville. Of the almost 300
inhabitants, different historical accounts show between
forty-seven and fifty-six are killed, and as many as 180
people taken prisoner.   


That's it for now.

Have a great month.

Phil Konstantin

End of Phil Konstantin's February 2007 Newsletter - Part 1
Start of Phil Konstantin's February 2007 Newsletter - Part 2


I hope things are going well with you so far this month.

I mentioned in part 1 of the newsletter that I was starting a new job in
the mortgage business. It has been almost 30 years since I have done
this kind of work. Things have certainly changed. There are so many
different kinds of loans nowadays. It is going to take me some time to
get back up to speed. Fortunately, I am at a great company. They really
look after their employees and customers. I like the fact that their
customers are so important to them. SOme companies only worry about a
quick buck. This company wants to keep getting someone's business. So,
they say what they mean, and keep everyone up-to-date on what is
happening. My daughter Sarah has been working here for a couple of
years. She had been at one of those make-a-quick-buck places before
coming here. Just like me, she hated being asked to stretch the truth.
She has been so happy since she started working here.

You can also get my mortgage loan contact info at:



The Cherokee Nation is holding an election to determine if Freedmen
Cherokees should be allowed to be members of the tribe. The Freedmen
were the "African-American" slaves held by the Cherokees after they
moved to Indian territory (Oklahoma). After the Cherokees sided with the
Confederacy in the Civil War, they faced many changes from the victors.
Many treaties were canceled. The US government ordered the tribe to
grant Cherokee citizenship to those slaves who still lived in the
nation. For some time, some Cherokees felt the Freedmen were not valid
members of the tribe. Others disagreed. In any case, this issue is now
up for a vote. Below are two articles about the election and the vote:


In fight over Cherokee identity, tribe's past and future collide
By ADAM GELLER, The Associated Press
Feb 10, 2007 12:48 PM (1 day ago)

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. - When Lucy Allen sets out to tell her family's story,
she first finds an empty room with plenty of open table space.

Others, she knows, illustrate their ancestral legends by passing around
a single prized photograph or diagram of the family tree. But Allen
arrives wheeling two big black suitcases, each stuffed with enough
supporting evidence to do Perry Mason proud.

"This is my father," she begins, and directs long, thin fingers to a
vintage oval-framed photograph swaddled in a towel. A long time ago, the
man in the picture told his little girl she was born of Indians. They
were Cherokees, he said, proud people, descended from a regal line.

The girl loved those stories. But it wasn't until she had children of
her own, that Allen realized the tales might have dimensions she'd never
considered. And years later, a long-forgotten document proved her
suspicions right. It was just as her parents told her. Yes, she was
black. But there was Cherokee in her veins, too.

There was a catch, though, and it was bound to persist no matter how
clear the evidence might seem to Allen. She could call herself an
Indian. She and others like her could argue that, Indian blood or not,
they had as much right to the Cherokee Nation's identity as anyone else.

But Allen's "proof" could just as easily be cited to show her people
were not real Cherokees at all, but a human burden a defeated tribe had
been forced to shoulder.

A century past, Allen's ancestors had secured what they thought was a
permanent place in the tribe. Now, though, it was clear the only way she
could ever be acknowledged as Cherokee would be to take on the very
Cherokees who refused to count her as one of their own.

This begins as one woman's story, but it is much more. It is the story
of identity. Who are we? Who decides who we are? Each September, a crowd
gathers under the shade trees surrounding the
weathered brick of the old Cherokee Capitol, to celebrate the remarkably
resilient identity of the nation's largest Indian tribe.
It is a pride-filled afternoon, with speeches, and songs performed in
Cherokee by a children's choir.

But as they celebrate their identity, Cherokees acknowledge the brutal
history of efforts to extinguish it.

"We stand here today on the shoulders of our ancestors, who endured the
Trail of Tears and brought us to this place we call home," a speaker
told the crowd last fall in Tahlequah.

And yet while Cherokees are proud of their journey, there is one
chapter most aren't taught.

Long ago, as Cherokees struggled to remain independent of a white
government, they were masters of black slaves.

Cherokees and other tribes brought slaves with them, when the federal
government forced them to leave the Southeast and march to the Indian
Territory that would become Oklahoma. After the tribe backed the losing
side in the Civil War, the government demanded Cherokees free slaves and
make them citizens of the Cherokee Nation.

The people, dubbed freedmen, embraced citizenship. They voted in tribal
elections and ran for office. They served on the tribal council. They
started businesses and became teachers in schools for freedmen children.

What's difficult to know is how much - before and after slavery ended -
the lives of Cherokees and blacks intertwined and the lines between them

In the last 20 years, modern-day freedmen - descended from former
slaves, free blacks, and others - have tried to reclaim citizenship. The
resulting conflict provokes charges and countercharges that racism,
greed and dirty politics are all at play.

"Do you want non-Indians...using your Health Care Dollars?" warned an
e-mail circulated last summer by backers of a vote on citizenship.
"...getting your Cherokee Nation scholarship dollars?...making your
Housing wait list longer?...being made Indians?"

Now, the vote on citizenship is set - for March 3.

As they consider their decision, Cherokees have reason to be
suspicious. The federal government pays about three-quarters of the
tribal government's $350 million annual budget. But thanks to casinos,
Cherokees' power to generate wealth and provide benefits is increasing.

Meanwhile, dozens of groups of self-described lost Cherokees have
popped up, some claiming a right to recognition.

But Chad Smith, principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, says his
tribe's conflict over citizenship - similar to those confronting a
number of tribes - is not about politics or race.

"It's just a fundamental right of sovereignty...to not only determine
your own future, but to determine your own identity," he says.

The conflict, though, has drawn scrutiny to a part of history some
Cherokees would just as soon have set aside. Circe Sturm, a University
of Oklahoma professor, recalls how Cherokees tried to dissuade her when
she began studying the issue a decade ago.
"I think for some people it was sort of a shame about that being part of
history," she says. "There was a kind of discomfort attached to it in
many ways. It was like we've dealt with it and it's over."
Well, maybe to some it was over.

But that was a notion Lucy Allen and many others just couldn't abide.
After 20 years spent raising a family and following her husband in his
Army career, Lucy Allen discovered the blessing of time.
Before long, she was spending hours in historical archives, prospecting
for clues to back up her family's oft-told mythology.
"Once you start on this, if you get something, you're hooked," she

Oh, was she ever. Allen, now 74 and the widow of a career Army man,
quickly found her ancestors on Cherokee citizenship rolls from the early
1900s. The lists were compiled by the Dawes Commission - set up by a
Congress bent on breaking up Indians' collective lands and parceling
them out to tribal citizens. Many Indians were soon swindled out of
their land, or lost it to financial hardship.

The Commission, though, drew up two rolls. One listed Cherokees by
blood. The other, where Allen's ancestors were listed, was for freedmen
- a roll of blacks, regardless of whether they had Indian blood. Then,
in the early 1990s, nearly two decades after beginning her search, a
manila envelope from the National Archives arrived in Allen's Tulsa
mailbox. Papers inside offered a window back to a long forgotten

On that Thursday in 1901, a black farmer named William Martin - Allen's
great grandfather - headed for the colony of tents pitched by the Dawes
Commission along a creek two miles outside his hometown.
"How old would you be?" a mustachioed white official asked Martin, when
he reached the tribunal's table.

"Something over 40, I judge," replied Martin, son of a freed slave
woman. She, too, was questioned.

"What is your father's name?"

"Joe Martin."

.. "Was Joe Martin an Indian and a citizen of the Cherokee Nation?" the
questioner asked Martin's mother.

"Yes sir."

The aged transcript was the link, Allen says, connecting her to Capt.
Joseph L. Martin, a Confederate officer and Cherokee lord of a legendary
100,000-acre ranch. He owned 103 black slaves. And one, it seemed, had
born him a son - Allen's great grandfather.

As Allen studied the documents it became clear, "I'm more than my Dad
ever told me. They're telling me his (William Martin's) daddy was a
chief. Oh yeah, I'm sticking my chest out, because I'm pretty proud."

Indian lineage Allen unearthed on her father's side was at least as
rich. But since the early 1980s, her request for a Certificate of Degree
of Indian Blood - issued only to those who can prove a link to someone
on the comission's "by blood" rolls - has been rejected eight times,
Allen says.

Rejection stings, she says, and others agree.

Around Ruth Adair Nash's dining table in Bartlesville, discussion
quickly fans indignation. Nash and brother Everett Adair say their
genealogical sleuthing has turned up clear evidence that they are
descendants of Cherokees.

So Nash bridles at the suggestion that she claims blood just to get
tribal benefits. Sure, they want access to benefits, she says. They are
determined to have them precisely because the Cherokee Nation has
continually denied them, she says.

"They don't want this to be true," Nash says, waving copies of
genealogical records.

"It's because we're black. And when you're black - get back!"
Johnny Toomer, a forklift driver in Muskogee, sees it a little
differently, his view framed by working alongside Cherokees. They look
at his high cheekbones and dark eyes set against mocha skin, and tell
him he must be right.

"Johnny," they say, "you can see the Indian in you!"

"Well," Toomer answers, "seeing it and proving it is quite a different
Allen continued digging.

It took her to a meeting of freedmen descendants in 2003, where a man
named David Cornsilk rose to speak. Cornsilk, 6-foot-2 and green-eyed,
jokes that he's often mistaken for white, though he is Cherokee by
blood. He worked years ago in the Cherokee Nation office that registers
citizens and now is a store manager.

But as an unpaid "lay advocate," he's poured himself into battling for
freedmen descendants, convinced his tribe must honor its commitments.

When Allen approached, Cornsilk had recently lost a case in the
Cherokee Nation's top court - which resolves disagreements over tribal
law - on behalf of another woman seeking citizenship. It was the latest
in a series of court setbacks for freedmen, dating to the 1980s.

Still, when "Lucy walked up to me and said, `What can I do?'," Cornsilk
recalls, "I said, well, let's sue them."

Lucy Allen v. Cherokee Nation Tribal Council, filed in 2004, asked the
court to strike down a law making citizenship contingent on "proof of
Cherokee blood."

The issue, as framed by Cornsilk, was even older than the old Cherokee
Capitol, where the judges heard the case.

"We as a people must look back to where we have been to know where we
are today," Cornsilk argued.

"I apologize to you for being emotional about it. It's not my ego, it's
my heart. It's what's been done in the name of David Cornsilk and all of
the Cherokee people to these Cherokee people."

But tribal lawyers argued that Cherokees - who approved a Constitution
in 1975 reserving membership for "citizens as proven by reference to the
Dawes Commission Rolls" - had already made clear freedmen should not be
counted among them.

"It's not unreasonable to require someone to be Cherokee to be a
citizen of the Cherokee Nation," Richard Osburn, an attorney for the
tribe, told the court.

Seven months later, a divided court issued its ruling.

"If the Freedmen's citizenship rights existed on the very night before
the 1975 Constitution was approved, then they must necessarily survive
today," Justice Stacy Leeds wrote for the 2-1 majority, last March.

"The Cherokee Nation is much more than just a group of families with a
common ancestry."

Allen, celebrating the answer she'd been waiting for, drove with her
sons to Tahlequah to register as new citizens.

But the court's decision alarmed many others.

"It really shook me up," says John Ketcher, a respected former deputy
chief. "We're not just going to sit here and twiddle our thumbs and let
it happen."

To Ketcher and others, the freedmen's quest for citizenship looks like a
cash-grab - for tribal health care benefits, scholarships and other
perks - by people who have little true interest in the Cherokees.

Growing up in Indian country, speaking Cherokee as his first language,
Ketcher says he never saw a black person until he was 10, leaving him
skeptical that freedmen descendants are part of the Cherokee community.

"I think they want some of the goodies that are coming our way," he

Many Cherokees share that sentiment, says Cara Cowan Watts, a tribal

"A lot of our citizens, they never ask for anything from the tribe, so
they see that as a personal affront," Cowan Watts says.

"I didn't hear of freedmen until this whole issue came up," she says.

"I didn't hear of them or meet them."

Tribal officials reject criticism that the controversy stems from

Cherokees are one of the most racially tolerant Indian tribes, "and
being portrayed as something else...is hurtful," says Mike Miller, a
spokesmen for the tribe.

After the Allen ruling, critics collected more than 3,000 signatures
demanding that Cherokee voters be allowed to decide. Smith, the chief,
has called a vote for March 3.

Earlier this month, a group of freedmen asked a federal judge to stop
the vote from taking place. The court's response to that request - part
of an ongoing lawsuit by freedmen challenging the last tribal election
because they were excluded from voting - will be closely watched.

If the referendum goes ahead, conventional wisdom is that, even with
more than 1,500 new freedmen voters registered, they will be denied
citizenship again.

But the issue's complexity is evident in talk over cornbread and ham at
a meeting of the Victory Cherokee Organization, a community group
gathered above a storefront church in Collinsville. Chairman Danny
Stanley calls the issue settled, saying members are "pretty much 100
percent" against having freedmen in the tribe.

Some, though, say it isn't that simple.

If freedmen are barred from citizenship, what's to say that people
won't next try to bar those with limited Cherokee blood, Jewel Hendrix
wonders. Her sister, Mary Burr, agrees.

"I feel like you are (Cherokee) because you feel it in your heart, "
Burr says. "You know that you are."
So what makes a Cherokee?

Is it blood?

While some freedmen descendants surely have Indian blood, the majority
probably don't, says Daniel Littlefield Jr. of the University of
Arkansas at Little Rock, and author of a book, "The Cherokee Freedmen."

But, Littlefield says, blood should not matter.

Cherokees - who also count Shawnee and Delaware Indians and adopted
whites as citizens - continued adopting blacks as citizens well after a
treaty required it, making it hard to argue they were unwanted, he says.
Once free to participate, there is ample evidence that black freedmen
did just that.

Is being Cherokee about sharing a culture?

Long before the Civil War, Cherokee masters and black slaves crafted
relationships that confounded stereotypes, says Tia Miles, a professor
at the University of Michigan. Her book "Ties that Bind: The Story of an
Afro-Cherokee Family in Slavery" examines those incongruities.

Cherokees and blacks prayed side-by-side. Slaves were teachers to
Cherokee children. They danced together, staged races together. They
spent so much time together, that it frustrated white missionaries bent
on keeping them apart, Miles says.

Did Cherokees and blacks regard each other as family, friends, lovers?

It's hard to know with certainty.

"Yes, there was a line between who was enslaved and who was free and
there was a line between who was Cherokee and who was black and who was
white," Miles says. "And yet, Cherokee people were much more willing to
bend that line than white slaveholders were in the South, and to cross
that line."

It's mostly over the last 100 years, after Jim Crow laws tried to
separate races, that the intertwining of Cherokee and black unraveled,
she says.

Today, one of the most striking things about Indian country is the

Some prominent Cherokees of the past were products of intermarriage,
and now a fair number of those who count themselves as Cherokee have
fair skin or blue eyes or blonde hair - and limited Indian blood.

Just 6,000 of the Cherokee Nation's 260,000 citizens speak Cherokee. If
the language goes, John Ketcher worries what will become of his tribe.

Still, he allows, there's long been something about being Cherokee
that's defies quantifying.

On a drive out of town, he points the way down a country road and past
an old one-room schoolhouse. Just beyond, a largely forgotten cemetery
tops a bluff. There rests John Ross, a legendary chief. He'd almost
certainly be against granting citizenship to those without blood,
Ketcher says.

That is despite the fact that Ross was just 1/8 Cherokee.
"Even though he was very little Cherokee, he was more a full-blood then
some of our full-bloods," Ketcher says, with a sigh. "I think it's
probably what's in the heart, eventually, you know."
The Cherokee Nation - most of its land gone and its people spread
across thousands of miles - has rebuilt itself, in part, by redefining

"We basically have changed from a nation of territory to a nation of
people," says Smith, the chief.

Now the Nation will decide which people belong.

But freedmen descendants, prepared for the prospect that their newly
won citizenship could be revoked, say history has already made that
decision and they will accept no other.

If Cherokees reject her, Allen says she'll go back in court.

"I'm not quitting. I'm still in for the fight," she says.
"We might not ever see anything. But we're looking out for our children
now - and they wouldn't know where to begin."


Who’s Cherokee, who’s not
By CARA COWAN, Tribal Council

After reading several articles on the Freedmen issue in the Claremore
Progress, Cherokee voters need to make sure they are getting the correct
information before voting on this issue.

The Cherokee Nation uses the Dawes Rolls (accurate or not) to determine
if someone is a descendant of Cherokee, Shawnee or Delaware by blood as
well as their blood quantum (Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood). The
Dawes Rolls, also, include two lesser known census, the Freedmen and
Inter-Married White Rolls, of non-Indians living in the tribe.

Currently, Freedmen are citizens of the Cherokee Nation with full rights
including voting, access to Indian Health Care, scholarships and the
many other tribal services due to a decision by the Cherokee Nation
Supreme Court (was the Justice Appeals Tribunal).
Although non-Indian folks have been included on the Dawes Rolls as
Indian, we know many more Indians were left off and most blood quantum
are incorrect. Unless the Dawes Rolls are going to be thrown out in
entirety and our Rolls opened up to anyone, [Descendants of Freedmen
Association spokesperson Marilyn] Vann's arguments are misleading.

For example, Vann uses herself as an example. If her Freedman ancestor
had a father enrolled by Cherokee blood on the Dawes Rolls and can prove
it, she will still be a Cherokee citizen even if the Cherokee people
decide not to include Freedman as Cherokee citizens on March 3. The
reason she would still be a citizen is she can prove she is Cherokee by
blood from the Dawes Rolls. If Ms. Vann chooses not to apply using her
ancestor who is Cherokee by blood, she is denying herself tribal
citizenship by choice.

For those claiming their families were unable to be properly registered
as Indian on the rolls due to delays, the Dawes Rolls were taken from
1898 to 1914 which gave folks about 16 years to establish their
citizenship as Cherokees in northeastern Oklahoma .
To my knowledge, no one has ever been denied citizenship in the Cherokee
Nation as long as they can prove lineal ancestry to the Cherokee,
Delaware or Shawnee by blood Dawes Rolls.

The right to decide our citizenship is fundamental to our tribal
sovereignty and the power of the Cherokee people. The Initiative
Petition was completed by the rules of a healthy and functioning

This is a difficult and very personal issue. I am asking each and every
Cherokee voter get registered to vote, take time to research the issue
for yourself and get out and vote on Saturday, March 3rd.


Schaghticoke challenges Cason's legal authority

KENT, Conn. - The Schaghticoke Tribal Nation has challenged Interior
Department Associate Deputy Secretary James Cason's authority to act as
''the decision-maker'' in overturning the tribe's federal
acknowledgement in October 2005.

In the latest twist in the Schaghticokes' decades-long quest for federal
recognition, attorneys filed a motion Jan. 23 in U.S. District Court in
New Haven, claiming that Cason violated both the Appointments Clause of
the Constitution and the Vacancies Reform Act when on Oct. 12, 2005, he
issued a Reconsidered Final Determination reversing the BIA's January
2004 positive federal acknowledgement decision.

Cason was functioning as an Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs but
was not appointed by the president or confirmed by Congress, and
therefore exceeded his authority by issuing decisions that only a
''principal officer of the United States'' can lawfully render;
therefore, the RFD is void, STN's attorneys wrote.

Cason also reversed that day the federal status of the Eastern Pequots,
whose federal recognition had been issued two years earlier.

Interior's Inspector General's office could not comment on what the
implications would be concerning Cason's other high-level regulatory
decisions, if the Schaghticokes' claims are upheld.

The motion is part of the tribe's appeal of the reversal of its
recognition. The appeal alleges, among other things, that the RFD was
arbitrary and capricious, a violation of the tribe's due process rights
and the product of unlawful political influence and congressional
interference. It asks the court to restore the tribe's recognition.
Interior and its officials are named as defendants.

The appeal is ''the Tribe's remaining hope to regain the federal
recognition that was wrongly taken from it in the RFD. It is no
exaggeration to say that the Tribe is fighting for its very existence.
What happened to this Tribe, including the circumstances in which it
lost its prior positive recognition are, at a minimum, unusual and
deserving of careful review. The Tribe has alleged since its federal
recognition first came under attack that various political officials
acted improperly to reverse that recognition. This improper delegation
of authority to Mr. Cason is one more part of the story of the illegal
handling of the Tribe's recognition. The Court should hear the full
story of the Tribe's fate,'' one of the attorneys said.

The Schaghticokes' claims have ''no merit,'' said Connecticut Attorney
General Richard Blumenthal, who led the state's relentless opposition to
the tribe's federal recognition.

''They are yet another attempt to deflect attention from the real issue:
the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation's woefully insufficient evidence in
support of its petition for federal recognition. I am confident that the
BIA's final decision denying the group federal recognition will stand,''
Blumenthal said.

On Aug. 2, 2001, Norton named Cason ''associate deputy secretary'' - a
title that does not appear on Interior's organizational chart on its Web
site at www.doi.gov. In February 2005, when the duly appointed and
confirmed ASIA David Anderson resigned, Norton issued an order
relegating all of the ASIA responsibilities, duties and functions to

''Information obtained by the Tribe - including the recent depositions
of former Secretary Norton and Mr. Cason ... makes plain that, in this
capacity as Associate Deputy Secretary, James Cason at all relevant
times performed duties that rendered him a 'principal officer' of the
United States. As such, he is required by the Constitution and case law
to have been a PAS [presidential appointee, Senate confirmation]
appointee. He was not,'' the attorneys wrote.

The tribe's attorneys declined to release transcripts of Cason's and
Norton's depositions, but Blumenthal included excerpts in a brief he
filed opposing the tribe's request to take testimony from other Interior

The tribe's attorneys said ''it was no accident'' that Cason was
appointed outside of the PAS process - he did so to avoid Senate
scrutiny. Cason failed to win Senate confirmation in 1989 when former
President George H.W. Bush nominated him as Assistant Secretary for
Natural Resources Environment in the Agriculture Department. His
inability to win Senate confirmation related to his actions in
Interior's Land and Minerals Management and Bureau of Land Management
during the 1980s.

''Mr. Cason's decisions at the Department of the Interior were uniformly
bad when measured against any reasonable standard of public interest and
fairness to the public which owns the public lands,'' said R. Max
Peterson, the chief of the U.S. Forest Service during the Reagan years,
in an article called ''Leave No Tree Behind'' posted on www.counter
punch.org in August 2003.

Interior's Deputy Inspector General Mary Kendall could not comment on
the merits of the Schaghticokes' claims because the issue is in

''But as a lawyer, not speaking on behalf of the IG's office, I think
these are very, very interesting legal issues,'' Kendall said.

If the tribe's arguments are upheld, what would it mean for all the
other high-level decisions Cason has made? Should they stand? Should
they be reviewed or vacated?

''I can't go there,'' Kendall said.

Inspector General Earl Devaney's office has investigated both the
tribe's positive recognition process and Cason's roles in Interior.

Devaney investigated the BIA's Schaghticoke recognition process in 2004
at the request of Connecticut Sen. Christopher Dodd, a Democrat who
recently announced he is running for president in 2008. Connecticut
officials had accused the BIA and the tribe of political influence,
corruption and ''bending the rules.'' The investigation exonerated both
the BIA and the tribe of any wrongdoing. The recognition decision was
''highly controversial,'' but the process had been honest and
transparent, Devaney said. Connecticut officials then accused the IG's
office of corruption and ''whitewashing'' the investigation.

The IG scrutinized Cason's actions during an 18-month investigation of
former Deputy Secretary J. Steven Griles, who was notified by the
Justice Department in January that he was likely to be indicted for
lying under oath about his relationship with the criminal former
lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

The investigation involved allegations that Griles and ''DOI officials''
had steered $1.6 million in Bureau of Land Management contracts to
Griles' former clients. Griles had assigned Cason to screen all matters
relating to the contracts from which he had ostensibly recused himself.

The investigation was not able to pin down any ethical violations, but
issued a scathing indictment of Interior's ''cowardly and disingenuous''
failure ''to provide rigorous ethics advice to the political

The investigation was impeded by the shape-shifting nature of Griles'
former oil and gas industry clients who ''continually merge, change
names, and develop subsidiary companies,'' and by ''an unanticipated
lack of personal and institutional memory, conflicting recollections;
poor record keeping'' and other deficiencies.

Cason's authority to act without a presidential nomination and Senate
confirmation also raised a red flag years before the tribe's current
claims. In response to a query from Committee on Energy and Natural
Resources Chairman Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., in 2002, the Government
Accountability Office reported that Cason at that time was not making
high level regulatory decisions and, therefore, was not ''a de facto
officer'' of the United States subject to presidential appointment and
Senate confirmation.


in-@ndnlanguage.com, 818.406.3555
American and Canadian Indian tribes using the most advanced tools and
methods to save their languages and culture

Banning, CA. (December 7th, 2006) - Over 47 tribes and tribal
organizations are now using a protected US Department of Defense
technology to put the beautiful sound of their language back into the
homes of tribal members.

Many American and Canadian Indian languages were lost from the 1930s to
the 1970s, when generations of Indians were sent to U.S. and Canadian
Government boarding schools where they were not allowed to speak their
native languages. Native students of that era who spoke their language
were severely punished. "My mother was part of that boarding school era
where Indian kids were made to be ashamed to be Indian," said Cherokee
businessman, Don Thornton. Now Thornton uses the handheld Phraselator, a
U.S. Government translation technology to help revitalize the native
languages that were decimated during that era.

The revolutionary Phraselator® P2, developed by defense contractor
Voxtec International in the aftermath of 9/11, is a handheld unit that
allows the user to instantly translate spoken English words and phrases
into any Native language." Over $12 million went into product research
and development, funded by DARPA, the research group that developed
innovative technologies such as GPS, virtual reality and the internet
itself. The Phraselator was created to heighten communication in combat
zones to save lives on both sides of the conflict.

Phraselator® P2 holds tens of thousands of phrases, words, stories and
songs in one machine. “You speak preprogrammed English phrases into it
and it translates instantly to Native languages. It’s like an entire
language program in the palm of your hand," said Thornton. “You don’t
need to be a linguist to operate it or program it,” said Thornton, “The
system is so simple to use I can teach anyone to use it in ten seconds.
We sell tools for the average tribal member who wants to learn their
language. There are no contracts to sign and no issues with ownership of
the recordings.” Since early 2005, over 45 American Indian tribes have
begun recording their languages onto the hi-tech machines. Many are
among the last speakers of their languages."

“We are working on combining Phraselator with a program of the Total
Physical Response”, said Thornton. “It’s a stress-free,
classroom-proven method to learn language. It’s a method that produces
speakers”. “Language is acoustical”, said Bertha Segal Cook, a
world-renowned TPR teacher and lecturer, “When we learn language as a
child we hear the sounds many times, then we understand it and we

Thornton Media, Inc., based in Banning, CA (www.ndnlanguage.com) is the
only language tool company in the world devoted to Native languages. TMI
is nearly sold out on its line of kids language toys. 85 percent of
their clients re-order within one year. They have traveled mainly to
reservations in California, Oklahoma, Montana, North Carolina, Alaska
and Canada to record among the last native speakers of their languages.
During their journeys, many heart-warming stories were told.

After I played with it I cried. This will help save our language," said
Jane Dumas, a Kumeyaay elder from Southern California. "I have been
waiting for such a tool all my life. Phraselator® P2 is what I need,"
said Terry Brokie, a Gros Vente language teacher in Montana. "I would
recommend anyone working with languages to get a Phraselator. It could
possibly save a language," said Ken Tuffy Helpeson, a Nakota language
teacher in Montana. "This is a very interesting tool with tremendous
potential. It has the ability to focus on our language and how precise
it is," said Keith Weasel Head, from the Kainai Board of Education in
Alberta, Canada.

Quinton Roman Nose, Director of Education for the Cheyenne and Arapaho
Tribe of Oklahoma and a Board Member of the National Indian Education
Association calls the revitalization of native languages “a top
priority” of NIEA in 2006. Both NIEA and The National Congress of
American Indians are sponsoring new legislation to fund native language

"It's ironic," said Thornton, "that this tool, created by the US
Government may help to save the languages that they attempted to wipe
out for generations. With Phraselator® P2 tribes can now have full
control over their languages without the help of outsiders. TMI don't
own a database of the recordings of any tribe. The only one I own was
recorded by my grandma, Lucinda Robbins, a master speaker of Cherokee."
For more information, please contact Kara at 818.284.1707 Thornton
Media, Inc.

Don Thornton (Cherokee) has been referred to by the Native American
Times as Indian Country’s “hi-tech guru”. He has worked as a filmmaker
in Southern California for 20 years and founded TMI in 1995 to create
positive images of American Indians. Thornton is also a former Indian
journalist who also worked in social services for many years. He created
and ran the cutting-edge American Indian Clubhouse in Los Angeles (from
1993 - 96), an after-school program for Indian kids in LA, which the
National Indian Review referred to as a "bright shining light in urban
Indian Country." An interest in neuroscience and Cherokee led Thornton
to adapt hi-tech language products to Native languages including a line
of children’s toys and Indian language cartoons.




The Stanford University Patient Education Research Center has a new
on-line workshop and study for people living with type 2 diabetes. Due
to the high rates of Diabetes among Native Americans, Stanford is
offering workshops for Native Americans.

This will allow participants to receive free diabetes self-management
materials, receive free lab tests, done entirely over the Internet.
Stanford University has been funded by the National Institutes of Health
and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to examine an Internet based
diabetes self-management program. There is no cost associated with
participating in the study.

I have included information about this program below. Please let me know
if you have any questions, and please feel free to pass the information
along to anyone you think could benefit from the program.

Thanks so much for your help.

Thanks, Valarie Jernigan
Stanford Patient Education Center, Stanford University School of
Medicine   1-800-366-2624


If you have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you are invited to take
part in this free online workshop and study sponsored by the Stanford
University School of Medicine. Recruitment and enrollment is now open,
go to http://indiandiabetes.stanford.edu

Due to the high rates of diabetes among Native Americans, a special
workshop will be offered for Native Americans, which will be led by
Native American moderators representing different tribal groups from
across the United States.

This online workshop teaches you the skills needed in the day-to-day
management of diabetes as well as maintaining or increasing life's
activities. Qualified participants will be randomly assigned to either
participate in the workshop immediately or placed on the waiting list to
participate within 6 months. Participants will complete 4 online
questionnaires about their health over 18 months to determine the
effectiveness of the program.

This six-week program is done entirely on the Internet - you choose the
days and times that are most convenient for you. You don’t have to be
a computer whiz to join; all levels of computer users are welcome. You
will need access to the Internet and have an active email account to
join. Participation involves logging on 2-3 times a week for six weeks,
for a total of 1-2 hours a week.

If you have questions, please email diab-@med.stanford.edu
or call Valarie, Kate, Diana, or Katy toll free at 1-800-366-2624

Pre-registration is required and enrollment is limited. To
register, visit us at: http://indiandiabetes.stanford.edu    or
email us at diab-@med.stanford.edu, for more information.


A 13-part television series called "Indian Pride" will air on PBS
stations nationwide in February. Produced by Prairie Public
Television, the series examines issues relevant to modern-day Native
Ameri cans.

Topics include tribal sovereignty, treaties, spirituality, education
and more. "This unprecedented series is the first venture of its kind
to be produced for a mass United States audience," said producer Bob
Dambach. "Previous attempts to tell the story of A meri can Indian
culture have been limited to one or two-part episodes that have only
been able to provide a small glimpse of the rich history and culture
of our Native peoples."

Each 30-minute episode includes three distinct segments:
Mini-documentaries shot on location on reservations and around other
parts of Indian country; In-studio discussions of current issues by
nationally-known A meri can Indian guests; Original and cultural
performances featuring artists and storytellers.



My name is Bethany Gregg and I'm writing on
behalf of the Johns Hopkins University-Center
for Talented Youth (CTY). We are seeking
outstanding graduate and undergraduate students
to work in our summer programs, and are
contacting organizations that attract student
leaders from across the higher education
community in the hopes that you will share
information about summer employment at CTY with
your membership. Our goal is a highly qualified
staff that reflects the diversity of our society
and thus creates the best quality academic experience for our

CTY's summer programs serve academically
talented elementary, middle, and high school
students from across the country and around the
world. Our residential programs, offered at
twenty sites on the East and West Coasts and at
two sites abroad, allow students to live on a
college campus and take a challenging course in
writing, humanities, math, science, computer
science or engineering. We also offer day
programs at several locations in the
Baltimore/Washington and Los Angeles metro
areas. Positions available in the summer
programs include teaching assistant, resident
assistant, and health assistant, among others.
All positions are salaried, and room and board
are provided at our residential locations.

More details are in the electronic posting
below. I hope you will take the time to forward
the posting below to the listserv for your
organization or to any students you may feel are
interested. This is a wonderful opportunity to
gain professional experience, work with bright
and motivated young people, and meet colleagues
from around the country and around the world. If
you have any questions, please do not hesitate
to get in touch with us via email at
ctysu-@jhu.edu or by calling 410-735-6185.


Bethany Gregg
Assistant Program Manager

Summer 2007

Johns Hopkins University - Center for Talented Youth (CTY)

We are seeking enthusiastic staff to work in our
summer programs. CTY offers intense 3-week
academic programs for highly talented
elementary, middle, and high school students
from across the country and around the world.

Residential site locations around the country
and around the world: California, Hawaii,
Massachusetts, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania,
and Rhode Island, as well as in China and Mexico.
Day Site locations in the Baltimore-Washington and Los Angeles areas.

Session 1: June 21-July 14
Session 2: July 14-August 4
Administrators work both sessions and work June 18-August 6

CTY staff work with exceptional students, make
contacts and friendships with dynamic colleagues, and gain valuable
experience in a rigorous academic setting.

Starting Salaries: (per three week session)
Resident Assistant - $1,150
Teaching Assistant - $1,050
Health Assistant - $1,250
Residential Program Assistant - $1,250
Instructors - $1,970 - $2,970
Administrative Positions - please see visit our
website ( www.cty.jhu.edu/summer/employment)

Room and board are provided at residential sites

Positions Available
(partial list - see website for others)

Resident Assistant
Resident assistants (RAs) are responsible for
the health and safety of the students in their
charge at all times other than when the students
are in class. RAs are also responsible for
planning and conducting student activities. RAs'
working hours are primarily the hours students
are not in class, RAs also work weekends.

Teaching Assistant
The primary responsibilities of teaching
assistants (TAs) are tutoring students,
assisting with the paperwork of a class,
teaching the class as requested by the
instructor, supervising evening study sessions,
helping with administrative tasks such as typing
and photocopying, and generally helping to
ensure that the class runs smoothly.

Health Assistant
Health Assistants (HAs) work with the site nurse
and site director on site health care issues.
They participate in the day to day operation of
the site infirmary, keep track of
studentsmedications and medical appointments,
and accompany students on emergency room or physician visits.

Residential Program Assistant
Residential Program Assistants (RPAs) are
responsible for providing general assistance at
their sites both in the office and with the
residential program. Specific tasks and
responsibilities can and do change according to each days demands.

Program Assistants (Day Site Only)
The primary responsibilities of program
assistants (PAs) are tutoring students;
assisting with the class paperwork; teaching the
class as requested by the instructor; helping
with administrative tasks such as typing and
photocopying, and generally helping to ensure that the class runs
Summer programs instructors are responsible for
teaching an appropriately challenging and
rigorous course to approximately 15 18 highly
able students (12 14 in Young Students classes).



News stories:

The Racist Mascot from Urbana-Champaign

Should Chief Illiniwek be allowed to perform?

12 Southern New Mexican Rock Art Sites are Placed on The National

O'odham Tash in Casa Grande

Crow Canyon Archaeological Center Scholarships Available for American
Indian Teens

Touring Romero Ruin (Tucson)

Replicas, and the Ethics of Purchasing Artifacts:

American Indians Urge Oklahoma State Lawmakers to Oppose 'English Only'

Paving road to Chaco fraught with pitfalls

Don't Pave Road To Chaco Canyon

Freedmen members file for injunction

First Americans Arrived Recently, Settled Pacific Coast, DNA Study Says

Birds of prey scare pigeons, rodents away from Ruins

Archaeology trumps oil, gas

POWER OF THE PUEBLO A visit to Acoma Pueblo

Rock art likely safe from paint prank

Ancient and modern pottery at Amerind

Early Mesoamerican Village Located in Central Mexico

Non-recognized 'Cherokee tribes' flourish


Complaint Filed Against U.S. Department of Interior Seeking Treaty
Benefits for Black Indians and Freedmen

Rockslide at Mesa Verde Damages Square Tower House Ruin

Small Pueblo Found in Albuquerque Bosque



Sunday Column for 2-18, 2007
“The New Iraq is the Old Pine Ridge”

Sam Hurst

Another bomb in Baghdad . Another dead American soldier. Another
sixty dead Iraqis. Having found no weapons of mass destruction,
having turned the back alleys of Baghdad into an epicenter of terrorism,
having popped the cork on a religious civil war, President Bush has
reached deep into America ’s psyche to conjure up one last justification
for invasion that flatters our self-image. We invaded Iraq to overthrow
tyranny and build a democracy.

Certainly the creation of a democracy half way around the world is worth
half a trillion dollars, and the lives of 3,100 American soldiers. But
the crusade seems more and more futile each day. George Washington and
Thomas Jefferson never had to fight their way through roadside bombs, or
ancient religious rivalries. Can it be done?

Meanwhile, back on the Rez…

When President Bush says he’s prepared to stay in Iraq “until the job is
done”, those poor Iraqis have no idea just how long he means. But the
Lakotas do. The United States government has been “stabilizing” the
Great Sioux Nation and promoting democracy for 139 years.

Analogy is a dangerous form of argument, never precise. But sometimes
analogy can give us insights into our history, and in this case, it’s
worth considering: Maybe Iraq isn’t just the next Vietnam . Maybe Iraq
is the next Pine Ridge.

A good starting point is the recognition that the voice of our “better
angels”, is forever stumbling over the more powerful impulse of greed.
Oil in Iraq . Gold in the Black Hills . As a good friend likes to remind
me: “We didn’t invade Iraq because they grow broccoli.”

The face of American democracy first comes to nations like the Lakota
and Iraq in the form of invasion. Kill the radicals and train homegrown
police to secure the countryside. Build forts along the wagon routes.
(Fourteen American military bases have been built in Iraq .) Draw sharp
rhetorical edges. Warriors who refuse to move to the reservations are
“hostiles”. Iraqis who resist the invasion are “terrorists”.

Then we sign treaties, and send in a superintendent. Welcome to Iraq ,
Mr. Bremer. We dump wagonloads of money into economic development
scrawny cattle, plows, cheap blankets. Private contractors siphon off
most of the money. Welcome to Iraq , Halliburton.

Then we form constitutional governments, pick our favorite chiefs, and
sponsor elections. Dip your finger in purple ink, and make your mark
here. Divide up your land, modernize, grow wheat. It’s all for your own

We’ve been building constitutional government in Iraq for three years.
At Pine Ridge we’ve been at work since 1934. And here’s what we’ve got.
The impeachment of Cecelia Fire Thunder was a sham.

Last fall’s election was a disaster. Almost no one voted, and those who
did can’t agree who the legitimate President is, Unemployment is over
50%. The tribe is smothered by epidemics of obesity, diabetes,
alcoholism and domestic abuse. The budget for Indian Health Services is
cut year after year.

The Iraqis are gonna love American democracy.

Finally, we abandon the nation to poverty. There hasn’t been a full-time
BIA Superintendent on Pine Ridge for over a year. We cover our escape
with a self-righteous chorus of blame. You can hear it from the mouths
of conservative ranchers and liberal politicians, “Those Indians…those
Iraqis…they just aren’t ready for self-government. This mess is their

Former Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld was fond of saying; “At some
point, you’ve got to take your hand off the bicycle seat.” Those Iraqis
are such children. If they only had training wheels.

Hillary Clinton promises the voters of New Hampshire ; Our soldiers
“won’t baby-sit a sectarian civil war.” This is the bi-partisan language
of the Great White Father.

Don’t get me wrong. A century of American intervention on Pine Ridge
has created a disaster, but it does not mean the Lakotas are without
leadership, community, cultural and spiritual vitality. The most
creative expressions of popular sovereignty come from people who have
returned to traditional political values­ consensus, council, and the
authority of elders. In New England we used to call it “town hall”
democracy. But you have to go off the paved roads to find democracy on
Pine Ridge.

And, how can I say this politely…We ain’t exactly welcome.

The Iraqis have deep reservoirs of civilization and common history that
may hold them back from a genocidal civil war. They may yet find a way
to come together to fight outside terrorists. But Americans have been so
busy busting down doors that we won’t understand Iraqi civilization even
if we stay another century. After all, we would have to learn the
language. We would have to study another religion without prejudice.
We’d have to Iraqis control their own oil. We’d have to grasp the
possibility that the American Way isn’t the only way to popular

Republicans are posturing to blame the Democrats for losing Iraq . But
we lost Iraq four years ago. We lost Iraq when President Bush concluded
that Iraqi democracy could be built with American tanks and machine
guns. It can’t be done today any more than it could be done in a century
after Wounded Knee .

Just ask the Lakotas.


Chief Illiniwek Will No Longer Perform NCAA to lift sanctions on Illini
URBANA—The University of Illinois today announced that Chief Illiniwek
will no longer perform at athletic events on the Urbana-Champaign
after this season’s last men’s home basketball game in Assembly Hall on
February 21. As a consequence, the University will immediately become
eligible to host post-season National Collegiate Athletic Association
(NCAA) championship events. In a February 15, 2007, letter to the
University, the NCAA stated that “[o]nce this action is taken, the
university will be immediately removed from the list of institutions
subject to the NCAA Executive Committee’s policy regarding Native
American mascots, nicknames and imagery at NCAA championship events.
Continued removal from the list is conditioned upon the university’s
future non-use of ‘Chief Illiniwek’ and the related Native American
imagery in connection with university athletics. “Assuming the
changes are affected and assuming such use does not reoccur, the
university will be in full compliance with the policy,” the letter
stated. “Accordingly, the policy will not preclude the university from
hosting or participating in NCAA championship events, should the
university be otherwise eligible.” The NCAA letter was signed by
Franklin, senior vice president for governance, membership, education
and research services. U. of I. Board of Trustees Chair Lawrence C.
Eppley said today’s announcement marks a critical step toward finishing
the work of the consensus process. “This step is in the best interest
the University and is consistent with the Board’s previously stated
of concluding this year its consensus process regarding Chief
Among our objectives was recognizing the goal of having high integrity
athletic programs and student athletes who have the opportunity to
compete at the highest levels,” Eppley said.
“We made and met many friends through the consensus process. And while
people differed on their opinions of the Chief, the overwhelming
majority of those voices put their love for the University ahead of
their opinion on the Chief,” Eppley said. “The Chief Illiniwek
inspired and thrilled members of the University of Illinois community
for 80 years,” Eppley said. “It was created, carried on, and enjoyed by
people with great respect for tradition, and we appreciate their
dedication and commitment. It will be important now to ensure the
accurate recounting and safekeeping of the tradition as an integral
of the history of the University. We also have the responsibility to
work together to capture and put to good use the goodwill created by
tradition and to maintain other great traditions like the Three-In-One
for decades to come.” The Chief Illiniwek tradition began in 1926 in
conjunction with the Marching Illini, the nation’s premier marching
band. Criticism of the tradition intensified in recent years, although
the symbol and iconic halftime performance remained popular among
and the public. The Board of Trustees’ consensus process for resolving
issues regarding Chief Illiniwek was underway when the NCAA Executive
Committee established its policy in August 2005. During two rounds of
appeals by the University to the NCAA over its policy, the NCAA
rescinded its objection to the names “Illini” and “Fighting Illini” but
retained Illinois on its non-compliant list because of the Chief
Illiniwek name, logo and the performance. The University exhausted the
NCAA appeals process last April and since then has been banned from
hosting NCAA championship events on the Urbana campus. ## For more
information, including a link to the NCAA letter, refer to the
website: www.uillinois.edu/chief


These two articles come from the Political Action Committee "INDN." They
support American Indian candidates for elected offices. They tend toward
Democrats, in my opinion. Ragardless of your political stance, they make
for interesting reading.

#1: INDN Legislators Blast Language Bill February 2007

Representatives Chuck Hoskin (Cherokee) and Scott BigHorse (Osage and
Cherokee), both candidates endorsed by INDN’s List and elected in
November, are speaking out against a bill making its way through the
Oklahoma legislature. The bill declares English the official language of
the state of Oklahoma and requires that all government business be
conducted in English.

"Oklahoma is a Choctaw word," said Rep. Hoskin. "Are we going to have to
change the name of all the towns, rivers, counties and other entities
that are named from Native American languages? Instead of shunning the
cultures that helped form our state we should embrace them."

"This bill would have a negative impact on the economy," commented Rep.
BigHorse. "It would decrease tourism and send a message to everyone
outside the state that Oklahoma does not embrace diversity.”

State leaders, both Indian and non-Indian, decry the bill as a
mean-spirited and bigoted throwback to the days when the American
government forced Indians to speak English in their homes and schools.
Not only is the bill discriminatory toward other cultures, but it serves
no practical purpose beyond political gain.

Rep. Jerry McPeak (Muscogee Creek), a friend of INDN’s List, is also a
leader in the fight. "This is a slap in the face to every Native
American nation in Oklahoma," said Rep. McPeak. "I'm embarrassed to be a
part of a Legislature that takes part in legislation like this. I am
sure that this piece of Legislation is nothing more than political
fluff, designed to scare people.”

“INDN’s List is convinced that racism and cultural discrimination in the
halls of state legislatures and in the policies of our government must
end if we are to move our country forward and create a country where
diversity is allowed to enrich our lives instead of divide us ,” said
Kalyn Free. “We supported Chuck, Scott, and all our candidates, because
they recognize this and are committed to fighting back.”

This is exactly why INDN’s List exists. These are Native voices in
positions of influence speaking out against divisiveness and
marginalization, while also clearly understanding the impact this sort
of legislation will have on society as a whole.


#2Republican Newspaper Attacks INDN's List -- Again February 14, 2007

The Daily Oklahoman, named the worst newspaper in America by the
Columbia Journalism Review, has again attacked INDN's List. On February
13th, the publication's Right-Wing Spin Page, masquerading as a credible
Editorial Page, attacked INDN’s List for its unparalleled success in
supporting the election of several American Indian Democrats to the
Oklahoma Legislature. This is the same editorial board that two years
ago, shortly after the birth of INDN's List, took issue with our
mission, complaining that "what (Free) learned from her campaign may
ultimately increase Native American representation in Congress and state
legislatures throughout the land." Imagine that! This country’s original
inhabitants participating in state and national politics!

The Oklahoman rightfully points out that all the Native American
candidates we endorsed did win and apparently, the Oklahoman just isn't
happy about it! In fact, they are so incensed that they refuse to use
our name, only referring to us as "A Tulsa-based Indian political
advocacy group" or the "aforementioned political group." The "news"paper
utilizes the age-old trick of not using the name of an organization you
don’t want people to learn more about or support. It’s quite childish
behavior for a supposed entity that seeks to report news.

Why go to all these extremes? Honestly, why is the Daily Oklahoman so
scared? Are they afraid of American Indians gaining political power in a
state with a long history of at best ignoring and at worst trampling on
the sovereignty of its Indian Nations, which apparently suits the Daily
Oklahoman just fine?

The aforementioned paper's biases are clear in its remark that "This
isn't your grandfather's tribe." Well Christy Gaylord, "This isn't your
Grandfather's Oklahoma anymore!" Oklahoma is a state where we all
determine, together and with our unique histories, what is best for us.

It seems the only campaign this Oklahoma City-based newspaper would like
to see Oklahoma Indians involved with is the "Discover Native Oklahoma
Campaign,” an effort to draw tourism to our great state.

We know, just like the Daily Oklahoman fears, that in order to make a
brighter future for the people we care about -- our children's children
-- we must chart a new course and that means having our voices heard in
the halls of power, from the courthouse to the statehouse.

And yes, our organization does only support Indians who are Democrats.
The reason for that is simple: The Democratic Party shares the same
values that American Indians hold so dear - making our elders, our
children, those less fortunate, and those who need a helping hand, our

Daily Oklahoman, you may as well go ahead and state it: You don't like
INDN's List because our mission is to support American Indian candidates
who want to put Oklahoma and America on a new course, a path that no
longer tolerates Republican extremism, a path that will roll back the
tax breaks for the wealthy, punish corporations who outsource our jobs,
and hold accountable anyone who exploits working men and women. You have
made one thing crystal clear: In your eyes, the only Good Indian
Politician is a Republican Indian Politician. But, hey, you feel that
way about all politicians so none of us should be all that surprised.

Click here to contribute to the


Humor & Interesting Things:

From Ed Clark:

Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert Says
[No, really?]

Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers
[ That'll stop 'em.]

Miners Refuse to Work after Death
[No-good-for-nothing lazy so-and-sos!]

Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant
[See if that works any better than a fair trial!]

War Dims Hope for Peace
[I can see where it might have that effect!]

If Strike Isn't Settled Quickly, It May Last Awhile
[You think?]

Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures
[Who would have thought!]

Enfield ( London ) Couple Slain; Police Suspect Homicide
[They may be on to something!]

Red Tape Holds Up New Bridges!
[You mean there's something stronger than duct tape?]

Man Struck By Lightning: Faces Battery Charge
[he probably IS the battery charge!]

New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group
[Weren't they fat enough?!]

Kids Make Nutritious Snacks
[Taste like chicken?]

Local High School Dropouts Cut In Half
[Chainsaw Massacre all over again!]

Hospitals are Sued by 7 Foot Doctors
[Boy, are they tall!]

And the winner is....
Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead.


Jo Eager sent me this:

Click on birthday calculator

It tells you how many hours and how many seconds you have been alive on
this earth and when you were probably conceived.   How cool is that?

This is really cool!   After you've finished reading the info, click
again, and see what the moon looked like the nite you were born.   



From my neice Marsha:

Five (5) lessons to m ake you think about the way we treat people.

1 - First Important Lesson - Cleaning Lady.

During my second month of college, our professor
gave us a pop quiz. I was a conscientious student
and had breezed through the questions until I read
the last one:

"What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?"

Surely this was some kind of joke. I had seen the
cleaning woman several times. She was tall,
dark-haired and in her 50s, but how would I know her name?

I handed in my paper, leaving the last question
blank. Just before class end ed, one student asked if
the last question would count toward our quiz grade.

"Absolutely," said the professor. "In your careers,
you will meet many people. All are significant. They
deserve your attention and care, even if all you do
is smile and say "hello."

I've never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her
name was Dorothy.

2. - Second Important Lesson - Pickup in the Rain

One night, at 11:3 0 p.m., an older African American
woman was standing on the side of an Alabama highway
trying to endure a lashing rainstorm. Her car had
broken down and she desperately needed a ride.
Soaking wet, she decided to flag down t he next car.
A young white man stopped to help her, generally
unheard of in those conflict-filled 60s.. The man
took her to safety, helped her get assistance and
put her into a taxicab.

She seemed to be in a big hurry, but wrote down his
address and thanked him. Seven days went by and a
knock came on the man's door. To his surprise, a
giant console color TV was delivered to his home. A
special note was attached..

It read:
"Thank you so much for assisting me on the highway
the other night. The rain drenched not only my
clothes, but also my spirits. Then you came along.
Because of you, I was able to make it to my dying
husband's bedside just before he passed away... God
bless you for helping me and unselfishly serving

Sincerely, Mrs. Nat King Cole.

3 - Third Important Lesson - Always remember those who serve.

In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less,
a 10-year-old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and
sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in front of him.

"How much is an ice cream sundae?" he asked.

"Fifty cents," replied the waitress.

The little boy pulled is hand out of his pocket and
studied the coins in it.

"Well, how much is a plain dish of ice cream?" he inquired.

By now more people were waiting for a table and the
waitress was growing impatient.

"Thirty-five cents," she brusquely replied.

The little boy again counted his coins.

"I'll have the plain ice cream ," he said.

The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on
the table and walked away. The boy finished the ice
cream, paid the cashier and left. When the waitress
came back, she began to cry as she wiped down the
table. There, placed neatly beside the empty dish,
were two nickels and five pennies..

You see, he couldn't have the sundae, because he had
to have enough left to leave her a tip.
4 - Fourth Important Lesson. - The obstacle in Our Path.

In ancient times, a King had a boulder placed on a
roadway. Then he hid himself and watched to see if
anyone would remove the huge rock. Some of the
king's wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by
and simply walked around it. Many loudly blamed the
King for not keeping the roads clear, but none did
anything about getting the stone out of the way

Then a peasant came along carrying a load of
vegetables. Upon approaching the boulder, the
peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the
stone to the side of the road. After much pushing
and straining, he finally succeeded. After the
peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed
a purse lying in the road where the boulder had
been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note
from the King indicating that the gold was for the
person who removed the boulder from the roadway. The
peasant learned what many of us never understand!

Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve our condition.

5 - Fifth Important Lesson - Giving When it Counts...

Many years ago, when I worked as a volunteer at a
hospital, I got to know a little girl named Liz who
was suffering from a rare & serious disease. Her only
chance of recovery appeared to be a blood
transfusion from her 5-year old brother, who had
miraculously survived the same disease and had
developed the antibodies needed to combat the
illness.. The doctor explained the situation to her
little brother, and asked the little boy if he would
be willing to give his blood to his sister.

I saw him hesitate for only a moment before taking a
deep breath and saying, "Yes I'll do it if it will
save her." As the transfusion progressed, he lay in
bed next to his sister and smiled, as we all did,
seeing the color returning to her cheek. Then his
face grew pale and his smile faded.

He looked up at t he doctor and asked with a
trembling voice, "Will I start to die right away".

Being young, the little boy had misunderstood the
doctor; he thought he was going to have to give his
sister all of his blood in order to save her.


This came from an old CHP buddy, Jeff Tempest


Four retired policemen are walking down the street window shopping. Then
they turn a corner and see a sign that says "Policeman's Bar" over the
doorway of an entry into an establishment that doesn't look all that
well kept up. They look at each other then go in. On the inside, they
realize in this case, they could judge the 'book by it's cover'.

The old bartender says in a voice that carries across the room, "Come on
in and let me pour one for you! What'll it be,
gentlemen?" There seems to be a fully stocked bar so the men all ask
for a martini. In short time the bartender serves up
4 iced martinis - shaken not stirred and says, "That'll be 40 cents for
the round, please."

The four ex-cops stare at the bartender for a moment then look at each
other-they can't believe their good luck. They pay the 40 cents, finish
their martinis and order another round. Again, four excellent martinis
are produced with the bartender again
saying, "That's 40 more cents, please."

They pay the 40 cents but their curiosity is more than they can stand.
They've each had two martinis and so far they've spent
less than a dollar. Finally one of the men says, "How can you afford to
serve martinis as good as these for a dime a piece?"

The bartender replies, "No doubt you've noticed the decor in here. And
the outside ain't nothin' to write home about. I don't waste money on
that stuff. But, here's my story.

I'm a retired sheriff's deputy and I always wanted to own a bar. Last
year I hit the lottery for $45 million and decided to open this place
for real cops. Every drink costs a dime, wine, liquor, beer, all the

"Wow. That's quite a story." says one of the men. The four of them
sipped at their martinis and couldn't help but notice three other guys
at the end of the bar who didn't have a drink in front of them and
hadn't ordered anything the whole time they were there.

One man finished his martini and, gestured at the three at the end of
the bar without drinks and asks the bartender, "What's with them?"

The bartender says, "Oh, those are retired California Highway Patrolmen.
They're waiting for happy hour."   "Drink's are half price then."


That's it for now. There may be more before the end of the month.

Have a great month.

Phil Konstantin

End of Phil Konstantin's February 2007 Newsletter - Part 2

Monthly Newsletter

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Four of the five books I have worked on. I either wrote, co-wrote, or contributed to each of these beeks

This is the cover to my first book. 
Click here to got more info, or to order a copy. Click on the cover to order a copy or to get more info.
This Day in North American Indian History
This Day in North American Indian History is a one-of-a-kind, vastly entertaining and informative book covering over 5000 years of North American Indian history, culture, and lore. Wide-ranging, it covers over 4,000 important events involving the native peoples of North America in a unique day-by-day format.

The thousands of entries in This Day in North American Indian History weave a compelling and comprehensive mosaic of North American Indian history spanning more than five millennia-every entry an exciting opening into the fascinating but little- known history of American Indians.

Over 100 photographs and illustrations - This book has 480 pages, weighs 2.2 pounds and is 8" by 9.5" in size. The Dates, Names and "Moons" section of these pages are based on the book.

This is the cover to my 4th book. 
Click here to got more info, or to order a copy or to get more info.
This is the cover to my 4th book. Click here to got more info, or to order a copy or to get more info."

Native American History For Dummies

I wrote six of the twenty-four chapters in this book. I am credited with being the technical editor. Book Description:
Native American History For Dummies introduces readers to the thousand-year-plus history of the first inhabitants of North America and explains their influence on the European settlement of the continent. Covering the history and customs of the scores of tribes that once populated the land, this friendly guide features vivid studies of the lives of such icons as Pocahontas, Sitting Bull, and Sacagawea; discusses warfare and famous battles, offering new perspectives from both battle lines; and includes new archaeological and forensic evidence, as well as oral histories that show events from the perspective of these indigenous peoples. The authors worked in concert with Native American authorities, institutions, and historical experts to provide a wide range of insight and information.
This is the cover to my 3rd book. 
Click here to got more info, or to order a copy or to get more info.
This is the cover to my 3rd book. Click here to got more info, or to order a copy or to get more info
Treaties With American Indians I wrote an article and several appendix items for this book.
Clips from a review on Amazon.com: *Starred Review* In the 93 years from 1778 until 1871, there were more than 400 treaties negotiated by Indian agents and government officials. Editor Fixico and more than 150 contributors have crafted a three volume comprehensive tool that will soon become essential for anyone interested in the topic. A resource section with lists of ?Alternate Tribal Names and Spellings,? ?Tribal Name Meanings,? (<---- I wrote this part) Treaties by Tribe,? and ?Common Treaty Names? and a bibliography and comprehensive index are repeated in each volume. This impressive set has a place in any academic library that supports a Native American studies or American history curriculum. It is the most comprehensive source of information on Canadian-Indian treaties and U.S.-Indian treaties. Also available as an e-book.

"The Wacky World of Laws"
It was just released in May 2009.
The Wacky World of Laws. Click on the cover to order a copy or to get more info.

The Wacky World of Laws is a compilation of U.S. and International Laws that are out of the ordinary. With the U.S. churning out 500,000 new laws every year and 2 million regulations annually, this book is the ideal go-to book fro everyone who wants a good laugh at the expense of our legal system. Law so often can be boring! Now with The Wacky World of Laws, you can be the hit of any water cooler conversation, and amaze your friends with precious legal nuggets.

I wrote most of this book. It is my fifth book.

(copyright, © Phil Konstantin, 2010)

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