Columbus Day Protests
"500 Native Activists once again marched in Denver to protest the observance of Columbus Day. Many were arrested during this act which decried the honoring of a man who brought disease, unimaginable torture and mass genocide to this continent.
Denver is targeted because Colorado was the first state to celebrate Columbus Day. Native Peoples, along with others who understand the insensitivity of this issue, want to change the Federally Recognized holiday to Indigenous People's Day.
After years of protesting, little has been accomplished. Minnesota doesn't recognize Columbus Day, and South Dakota changed the name to "Native American Day".
People just don't get it......... But they will......
Vernon Bellecourt Dead at 75
Vernon Bellecourt, WaBun-Inini (Man of Dawn), died Oct. 13 in Minneapolis from complications of diabetes and an E coli infection of the lungs.
Bellecourt, was a White Earth Band of Chippewa Indians tribal member, had served on the tribal council and was Minneapolis-area vice president of the National Congress of American Indians and was president of the National Coalition on Racism in Sports and Media. He was arrested in Cleveland during the 1997 World Series and again in 1998 during protests against the Cleveland Indians' mascot, Chief Wahoo.
Clyde Bellecourt, Vernon's brother, helped found AIM (American Indian Movement) in 1968 and Vernon soon became involved in that, taking part in the Occupation of Wounded Knee and was active in the campaign to free Leonard Peltier.
Bellecourt had recently returned from Venezuela where he had successfully obtained another year's heating oil for 27 tribes from the People of Venezuela and CITGO.
He will be buried on his birthday, Oct. 17, on the White Earth Chippewa Reservation in northwestern Minnesota.
Ojibwe Woman Convicted Of Illegal Downloading
A 30-year-old Native woman from Minnesota was found guilty of downloading and sharing copyrighted music over the Internet.
Jammie Thomas, a single mother of two, was ordered to pay $222,000 to record labels for 24 songs.
Record labels blame the Internet for dwindling sales of CDs.
Congressional Black Caucus Rallies Against Cherokee Nation
On September 28, during the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's annual legislative conference, a panel to address the Cherokee Freedmen's dilemma was convened by Democrat Rep. Diane Watson and Rep. John Conyers of Michigan.
According to an article written by Jerry Reynolds for Indian Country Today
"Two hours of strong language against Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chad Smith and a number of Cherokee citizens went unanswered.
" .......By the time the panel was over, Chief Chad Smith and the others had been accused of "of election-rigging, court-packing, visiting indignity on the tribe, criminality with casino funds, dictatorship, and racism."
A two-page response from Smith's office was barely allowed notice.
In March, citizens of the Cherokee Nation voted to require that citizens have ancestors on the Dawes Rolls. This decision stripped Freedman descendants from tribal citizenship. Currently Three courts are considering the issue, and the freedmen have been restored to tribal citizenship pending court decisions.
"Watson has introduced legislation that would strip the Cherokee of $300 million in federal funds and suspend the tribe's authority to operate a casino until the status of the Cherokee freedmen is settled to the satisfaction of Congress."
The Hill & Holler is now online. You can find it at www.hillnholler.com