Archive for March, 2009


Elouise Cobell, Indian land and Obama

   Posted by: buffalo_post    in Cobell vs. Salazar

Elouise Cobell had high hopes that President Barack Obama would change the landscape of the Cobell vs. Salazar suit — all for the better. But, that’s not the case anymore. Read her letter that was released by her team today:

 Why Indian Country Is Disappointed
    By Elouise Cobell

    As one of the many people in Indian Country, who looked to the Obama administration for change, I am deeply disappointed with what it is saying about our 13-year-old lawsuit over the government’s admittedly broken Indian Trust.
    Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has stated repeatedly he wants to see our class-action lawsuit settled.
    That claim was repeated last week by his spokeswoman Kendra Barkoff who told Indian Country Today the secretary “is sincere in trying to find a resolution to this case.”
    Yet she then went on to maintain there is a reason why we should not have heard from the government’s representatives on his wish for a settlement. “Given the fact that the matter is in litigation, any interaction needs to take place through legal counsel,” she said.
    The truth is that is not the way it has worked in the past when previous administrations made overtures to us about settlement.
    Although those efforts never produced any productive results, there were efforts by the political leaders of previous administrations to talk to us about resolving the case. And that includes the Bush administration, which did so only weeks after taking office.
 The talks must be at the highest level among people who have the authority to deal with the major, historic policy issues involved.

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Cracking down on eagle feather use

   Posted by: buffalo_post    in Obama and Natives, Uncategorized

The Fish and Wildlife Service arrested four men in Washington state last week. The men arrested allegedly had killed eagles. But Native craftsman and ceremonial people who also work with feathers are being targeted, according to sources associated with the Native American Church and powwow circuit. Read this FWS information on possession of eagle parts by Native people. — Jodi Rave

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A letter from Mark Trahant

   Posted by: buffalo_post    in Newspaper industry

As many newspapers around the country crash and burn (Rocky Mountain News in Denver shut down last week), I asked my colleague Mark Trahant if I could post this letter he just sent me. He said it’s OK. The hour-by-hour countdown is on for Mark. He is about to leave the Seattle Post Intelligencer newspaper, which is going out of business. Mark has been one of my greatest inspirations in journalism. He’s an outstanding  reporter and role model. I hope he finds a place in journalism once the chips fall. His contact information is included. I’m sure many people will want to keep up with him.

Read his letter:

Dear Jodi (you know all this, but thought you’d like to see the letter I am sending),

Ogden Nash once wrote:
I find it very difficult to enthuse
Over the current news.
Just when you think that at least the outlook is so black that it can grow no blacker, it worsens,
And that is why I do not like the news, because there has never been an era when so many things were going so right for so many of the wrong persons.

This poem wants me to adjust my Fedora, stick a press card in the crown, and shout out, “Give me rewrite!”
Rewrite Nash?
Yes, I agree with him that it’s difficult to enthuse over the current news. But this is not an era going so right for so many of the wrong persons. The idea should be flipped: Much is going wrong for the right persons; we’re in this mess together.

I am sending this note because in a few days this email address fades away – as does my time at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. I’m writing because I want to make sure you have my contact information. I also want you to know: I have had a blast. I never could have imagined three decades of so much professional fun. Every newspaper job I’ve had has been exciting and intellectually challenging. I’ve worked with great people and colorful characters. All along I’ve thought: “This is too good to be true. One of these days, they’ll stop paying me to do this.” Even though that date is quickly approaching, I can’t complain about a thing.

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