by Winter Rabbit | 9/12/2008 10:08:00 PM
Let’s play “let’s pretend” and the issue is the events that led up to Milk Creek in 1879. Who would have listened to the Indian agent Nathan C. Meeker in this current election, and who would have listened to Chief Colorow who had told Major Thomas T. Thornburgh that there would be bloodshed if they crossed into the Ute's reservation in this current election? Let’s start off with what’s current, remembering that polar bears aren’t the only ones who have had to relocate.

…but the Arctic is the scene for a new kind of international gold rush…

Arctic a potential conflict zone, Europe warned

BRUSSELS, Belgium - European Union leaders will receive a stark warning next week of potential conflict with Russia over energy resources at the North Pole as global warning melts the ice cap and aggravates international security threats.
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Would Senator Joe Biden, who serves as Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee and who apparently has been listening to the needs of Indian Country have listened to Nathan C. Meeker, the Indian Agent who died at Milk Creek in 1879?

Winning the Peace in Iraq

In July 2002, eight months before the Iraq war, Chairman Biden convened hearings to begin the national dialogue in Iraq. Together with Senator Richard Lugar, he proposed an alternative to the "use of force" resolution proposed by the Administration that would have limited the rationale for war, made international participation and legitimacy more important, and required detailed planning to secure the peace. Since the invasion of Iraq, he has provided constructive criticism of the Bush Administration and made specific recommendations to help U.S. policy succeed. His widely-praised plan to keep Iraq together by giving its main groups breathing room in their own regions would allow most of our troops to responsibly withdraw by the end of 2009. Senator Biden has traveled to Iraq eight times.

Preventing Genocide

Through his work on the Foreign Relations Committee, Biden has sought to promote the use of American power to stop dictators who commit crimes against humanity or genocide. In the 1990s, Biden was among the first to call for active American leadership to end Serbian aggression in Bosnia, and likewise urged U.S. action in Kosovo to stop Slobodon Milosevic's genocidal actions there. He has urged strong U.S. and international action to prevent genocide in Darfur, and authored legislation to engage NATO and provide additional sanctions to pressure the Sudanese regime.

Meeker lied to the army and and lied to the Utes. Indian agent Meeker told Major Thomas T. Thornburgh that there would be no fighting as long as they did not go past Milk Creek. Based on his experience and knowledge of foreign policy, would he have based his decision on an Indian Agent, or on the warning from Chief Colorow? Furthermore, would he have respected the Ute’s tribal sovereignty?

Jodi Rave: Biden touts Indian Country priorities

"On Sunday, Democratic vice-presidential nominee Sen. Joe Biden said an Obama-Biden administration would increase federal prosecutions in Indian Country and strengthen tribal court jurisdiction over crimes occurring within reservation borders, regardless of the race of the criminal.

“There will be a much, much, much heightened sensitivity to legitimate causes within reservations that, quite frankly, we've just been taking advantage,” said Biden, author of the 1994 Crime Bill. Tribal justice systems “should have greater say. I tried to get that in the original crime bill when I wrote it. I find it absolutely fascinating that we have this dual jurisdiction.”

- snip -

“Indian or not, no one has the right to raise his hand to a woman in anything other than self defense,” he said. “And as federal prosecutors, when that crime involves someone who is not a member of an Indian nation, we will see to it that it is prosecuted. We will change the culture by doing that.”"

Now, what about Palin?

Attorneys: Gov. Palin's record on Alaska Natives

1. Palin has attacked Alaska Native Subsistence Fishing

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2. Palin has attacked Alaska Native Subsistence Hunting

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3. Palin has attacked Alaska Tribal Sovereignty

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4. Palin has attacked Alaska Native Languages

Source PDF file p.25

Native Alaskans

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Palin opposed subsistence preference.

“When asked about hunting and fishing rights, Palin said she did not want to amend the state constitution to allow preferences for certain Alaskans. ‘I’m pro subsistence for all Alaskans,’ she said, adding that she would seek to manage resources to provide ‘abundance.’”

What about McCain?

McCain, Bennet Freeze & Forced Removal of Navajo: '74 - '96

Just what was one method of forced removal McCain used to bring about this?

ACSA study reveals that after assembling a team of "pro-Peabody Western Coal" Indians and obtaining a false "Hopi-Navajo" Tribal Counsel designation by the Bureau of Indian Affairs for these paid Tribal representatives, in the period 1974-1996, Senator McCain was able to get large bands of the Dineh-Navajo relocated off their lands, so that Peabody Western could mine the coal under their farms at nominal expense. Common Cause has suggested McCain was indirectly compensated by street name cash contributions to his Federal Election Fund during three Presidential runs, and through family business with Las Vegas Casinos who benefited from the coal driven power he supplied.

In 1974 the U.S. Government legally endorsed genocide when Congress passed Public Law 93-531, which enabled Peabody Coal Company to strip mine Black Mesa by ripping the traditional Navajo and Hopi peoples from the land.

Let’s talk about the Bennet Freeze.

I am too biased for Biden, since I am an adult studder and the fact he reminds me way too much of my deceased father – n- law, to really say any more. I’ve said all I will about Palin in the manner I have already. However, let me offer why I think the Democrat Party’s energy plan is better, which would be better in terms of respecting tribal sovereignty.

I think, “On whose land will you drill?” when I hear “Drill, Baby Drill!” And, “Drill, Baby Drill!” comes from individuals who never once realized that a Tribal Nation is a Nation within a Nation’s boundaries, like France or England would be. McCain and Palin just don't get it.

Which Candidate Best Supports Native American Concerns (Updated & Edited)?

I want the next president and congress to have solid, working knowledge of the issues surrounding and including tribal sovereignty, and to uphold the promises that have been made to the tribes. Adding to that broad topic, I want the next president and congress to have a comprehensive, alternative, and clean energy plan that they are willing to implement. Please allow me to explain how it relates specifically to tribal sovereignty in my opinion.

Natural energy resources reside mainly on Indigenous lands which the states and the government yet seek to acquire. Overall, Indigenous tribes have not drained the natural resources from their land like the states and the government have used and exploited theirs. Otherwise, why is "most of the world's remaining natural resources -- minerals, freshwater, potential energy sources and more - (are) found within indigenous peoples' territories."

Concluding our game of "let's pretend," Nathan C. Meeker, the Indian Agent who died at Milk Creek in 1879, lied to the army and lied to the Utes. Indian agent Meeker told Major Thomas T. Thornburgh that there would be no fighting as long as they did not go past Milk Creek. Adding to that, Chief Colorow had told them there would be bloodshed if they crossed into the reservation. Milk Creek was the reservation’s boundary. Yet, Meeker deceived Major Thomas T. Thornburgh, saying the Ute were “friendly,” after he said that at first they would fight (Read more about it in Peter R Decker’s “The Utes Must Go!” pp.120 -144.) Major Thomas T. Thornburgh was under a false impression. So, when his troops needed water and he based his decision to take his entire command five miles into the reservation to get water, instead of going alone with a small group of men to get water, his decision was based on false information that resulted in bloodshed and genocide.


At the agency, the situation had become more and more critical. Tom and Billy Morgan, pioneer ranchers had come to the agency to horse race with the Utes, but thinking more of their scalps than they did of a horse race, they warned Mr. Meeker and returned home.

Mr. Meeker, ignoring the warning, plowed up the race track in order to avoid future danger of the Ute morals. By doing it, he signed the death warrants of himself and every male employee at the agency, for on September 30th, the second day of the Milk Creek battle, the Indians opened the impending attack.

The question in this imaginary situation has been who would have listened to the Indian agent Nathan C. Meeker, and who would have listened to Chief Colorow who had told them there would be bloodshed if they crossed into the reservation. McCain, who was key in the forceful removal of the Navajo I think would have listened to Meeker as would have Palin, who has attacked Alaska Tribal Sovereignty. I at least have a reasonable hope with a healthy dose of skepticism that Obama and Biden would have listened to Chief Colorow and found a peaceful solution. I have neither hope nor any reason whatsoever to believe McCain or Palin would have found a peaceful solution.

Two more things, and I'm editing myself on the first.

Last Alaska language speaker dies

A woman believed to be the last native speaker of the Eyak language in the north-western US state of Alaska has died at the age of 89.

Marie Smith Jones was a champion of indigenous rights and conservation. She died at her home in Anchorage.

She helped the University of Alaska compile an Eyak dictionary, so that future generations would have the chance to resurrect it.


Palin has refused to accord proper respect to Alaska Native languages and voters by refusing to provide language assistance to Yup’ik speaking Alaska Native voters. As a result, Palin was just ordered by a special three-judge panel of federal judges to provide various forms of voter assistance to Yup’ik voters residing in southwest Alaska. Nick v. Bethel, No. 3:07-cv-0098-TMB (D. Ak.) (Order entered July 30, 2008). Citing years of State neglect, Palin was ordered to provide trained poll workers who are bilingual in English and Yup’ik; sample ballots in written Yup’ik; a written Yup’ik glossary of election terms; consultation with local Tribes to ensure the accuracy of Yup’ik translations; a Yup’ik language coordinator; and pre-election and post-election reports to the court to track the State’s efforts.

So, a special three-judge panel of federal judges had to order Palin “to provide trained poll workers who are bilingual in English and Yup'ik; sample ballots in written Yup'ik,” and so on. Why do you think that is???

In light of the above and what has been mentioned, Biden is superior on issues affecting Indigenous People if by nothing but the fact he is not Palin, bias or not.

Headlined on 9/11/08: An Alaska Native speaks out on Palin, Oil, and Alaska

I am writing this letter to raise awareness about the ongoing colonization and violation of human rights being carried out against Alaska Native peoples in the name of unsustainable progress, with a particular emphasis on the role of Sarah Palin and the Republican leadership. My hope is that it helps to elevate truth about the nature of Alaskan politics in relation to Alaska Native peoples and that it lays a framework for our path to justice.

Ever since the Russian claim to Alaska and the subsequent sale to the United States through the Treaty of Cession in 1867, the attitude and treatment towards Alaska Native peoples has been fairly consistent. We were initially referred to as less than human “uncivilized tribes”, so we were excluded from any dialogues and decisions regarding our lands, lives, and status. The dominating attitude within the Unites States at the time was called Manifest Destiny; that God had given Americans this great land to take from the Indians because they were non-Christian and incapable of self-government. Over the years since that time, this framework for relating to Alaska Native peoples has become entrenched in the United States legislative and legal systems in an ongoing direct violation of our human rights.

Now for the second and last point.


The Utes had maintained a long history of peaceful relations with the white man, especially with John Wesley Powell who lived among them in 1868 and 1869. This changed when Nathan C. Meeker accepted the position as Indian agent to the White River Utes in 1878 in order to pay off a huge debt owed to Horace Greeley. Using the utopian community model developed by Greeley, Meeker attempted to make the White River Ute settlement into a Christian farming commune. After a year of attempting to culturally transform the Utes, the frustrated Indians revolted.

The answer to the question of who has the judgment that recognizes U.S. encroachment most often causes war and/or genocide clearly is denied by sincere utterances of McCain and Palin in the public domain. Furthermore, I think it’s conclusive that McCain and Palin would have heeded Meeker, while it’s highly likely that Obama and Biden would have heeded Chief Colorow and found a peaceful solution in this game of "let's pretend." Let us stop pretending however, to those who still pretend, that the devastating effects of colonization and genocide are not still with us and that they bear nothing in the present.