Environmental Developments

It is important to note that the major problem facing the world is not just climate change - largely caused by global warming - but a complex of interrelated issues encompassing climate change, pollution, other environmental degradation (such as deforestation and other ecological destruction), and over use of resources - all of which are related to increase of human population. One aspect of the over use of resources is that increasing world wide demand for oil has already surpassed increasing oil production (which likely has begun to decline, and, if not, is expected to do so soon) bringing inflation of almost everything. Although the recession has created a temporary reprieve, rising prices have already caused some economic, social and political crises (for example, the fall of the unpopular, repressive government in Kyrgyzstan in April was catalyzed by anger over high food and fuel prices). Unless a major switch to alternative energy and aggressive energy conservation are quickly initiated, oil prices are now projected to rise sharply, bringing considerable inflation. While the projection of future oil prices varies according to one's assumptions about what will happen concerning various factors, "International Energy Outlook 2009," Report #:DOE/EIA-0484(2009), May 27, 2009, http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/ieo/liquid_fuels.html, Chapter 2 - Liquid Fuels, projects "In the reference case, the average world oil price rises from $61 per barrel in 2009 to $110 per barrel in 2015 and $130 per barrel in 2030 ($189 per barrel in nominal terms)." In the high price case, oil prices would rise even higher, reaching $200 a day by 2030. With either/or a significant world economic downturn, and/or great movement on alternate energy and conservation, a low price case is possible, oil prices dropping slightly and leveling off to average $50 per barrel in 2030 ($73 per barrel in nominal terms). While rising global oil prices would produce some benefits, such as encouraging alternative energy development and conservation, the main impacts would be negative, particularly for indigenous people - with increased global warming and associated climate change from continued expansion of burning carbon dioxide producing fuels, and environmental degradation - with a pressure to expand oil and gas extraction (encompassing terribly polluting and ecologically damaging oil shale mining) and biofuel agriculture, raising food prices and increasing deforestation and environmental damage, including taking of, and heavy damage to - indigenous lands.

As a part of a contribution to a robust discussion at the COP15 climate negotiations in Copenhagen, the United Nations University partnered to organize the Indigenous Voices on Climate Change film festival in Copenhagen on 9th-13th December, 2009. This festival included compelling stories from indigenous communities across the world highlighting on-the-ground local evidence of the real impacts of and adaptations to climate change. Fifteen of the films screened at the festival can be viewed in the customized play-list at: http://ourworld.unu.edu/en/cop15-filmfestival/.

A report issued, in November, by Survival International, 'The most inconvenient truth of all: climate change and indigenous people', sets out four key climate change 'mitigation measures' that seriously threaten tribal people: 1. Biofuels: promoted as an alternative, 'green' source of energy to fossil fuels, much of the land allocated to grow them is the ancestral land of tribal people. If biofuels expansion continues as planned, millions of indigenous people worldwide stand to lose their land and livelihoods. 2. Hydro-electric power: A new boom in dam construction in the name of combating climate change is driving thousands of tribal people from their homes. 3. Forest conservation: Kenya's Ogle hunter-gatherers are being forced from the forests they have lived in for hundreds of years to 'reverse the ravages' of global warming (http://survival-international.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=b14580b05b832fb959c4ee444&id=3668946f83&e=CqQTrZoCrQ). 4. Carbon offsetting: Tribal peoples' forests now have a monetary value in the booming 'carbon credits' market. Indigenous people say this will lead to forced evictions and the 'theft of our land'. The report calls for tribal people to be fully involved in decisions that affect them, and for their land ownership rights to be upheld. Survival Director Stephen Corry said today, 'This report highlights 'the most inconvenient truth of all' - that the world's tribal people, who have done the least to cause climate change and are most affected by it, are now having their rights violated and land devastated in the name of attempts to stop it. Hiding behind the global push to prevent climate change, governments and companies are mounting a massive land grab. As usual, where money and vast profits are at stake, the world's indigenous people are being shamefully swept aside.' For more information go to: http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/5273.

The UN Climate Change meeting in Copenhagen in December failed to come up with an agreement on a new green house gas reduction, but with President Obama's leadership did reach an informal agreement to move toward a new treaty of which President Obama said, "all major economies have come together to accept their responsibility to take action to confront the threat of climate change." The agreement set a goal of limiting global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels by 2050, by making deep cuts in green house gas production and a system for monitoring and reporting progress toward national pollution-reduction goals that each nation would, or had already, set, a compromise on an issue over which China bargained hard. $30 billion by 2012, and $100 billion by 2020, are called upon to flow from wealthy nations to those countries most vulnerable to changes in climate, and called for the establishment of a "high-level panel" to assess financial contributions by rich nations to help poor countries adapt to climate change and limit their emissions. The agreement set a goal of being fully in place by 2015, with ongoing review. The agreement was primarily a general outline for action, with most of the details to be negotiated. While the nonbinding agreement was an advance in several respects, and a number of environmental groups called it a good beginning, it received much criticism. European nations stated that China, the U.S. and other major carbon emitters did not agree to sufficient emissions reductions. The African Union, and other less developed nations earlier had demanded more aid than the agreement called for (having walked out of the conference over that issue, at one point), but accepted the $30 and $100 billion figures. Many observes, including most of the less developed nations representatives, were concerned that the agreement was not legally binding, and did not come quickly into full operation. There was widespread comment that the lack of a formal agreement was a disappointing end to the two year process aimed at producing a comprehensive and enforceable action plan for addressing dangerous world wide climate changes, and many participants stated that the conference had not been well organized and run. There is a move in the international community to shift to a more streamlined process with a small group of nations developing an initial agreement document, for all nation ratification. (and modification). The details of how to pay for greenhouse gas emission reductions are a difficult issue to resolve. Economists estimate that by 2020 the cost of necessary reductions will be somewhere between $100 billion and over $1 trillion. The UN that developing nations will need between $500 and $600 billion from now until 2020 to develop needed non greenhouse gas producing, renewable energy resources, to stop relying on global warming causing fuels (See the following New York Times articles: John M. Broder, "Many Goals Remain Unmet in 5 Nations' Climate Deal," December 18, 2009, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/19/science/earth/19climate.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=5%20Nations%20Forge%20Pact%20on%20Climate;%20Goals%20Go%20Unmet&st=cse; Andrew C. Revkin and John Broder, "Grudging Accord on Climate, Along With Plenty of Discord," December 20, 2009; Neil Mac Farquhar, "Proposals Lag Behind Promise On Climate: Obstacles Apparent At Global Meeting," December 23, 2009; John M. Broder, "U.S. Officials Says Talks On Emissions Show Promise," January, 5, 2010; Elisabeth Rosenthal, "Biggest Obstacle to Climate Deal May Be How to Pay for It," October 15, 2009; Neil MacFarquhar, "UN Says Poor Nations Need $600 billion for New Energy," September 2, 2009). As of January 20, with the January 31 deadline in the nonbinding Copenhagen agreement approaching for countries to submit plans for reducing emissions, numerous major nations had yet to submit their plans, and only two dozen countries had submitted letters saying they agree with the accord. (John M. Broder, UN Official Says Climate Deal Is at Risk," The New York Times, January 21, 2010). However, most nations, and all major greenhouse gas producing nations, did submit their letters and plans by the January 31 deadline.

The Center for Biological Diversity Statement on President Obama's Climate Speech, December 18, 2009, Contact: Kassie Siegel, ksiegel@biologicaldiversity.org, states. "Just hours after touching down in Copenhagen, President Obama delivered a speech indicating that the U.S. negotiating position is unchanged. The United States has pledged to cut emissions by only about 3 percent below 1990 levels by 2020. According to a United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Secretariat document leaked yesterday, the emissions reductions promised by the United States and other countries would, even if fully realized, still result in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations exceeding 550 parts per million and a global temperature rise of over 3 degrees Celsius. This translates into a death sentence for small island nations, coral reefs, polar bears, and much of the world's biodiversity. And the 550 ppm and 3-degree prediction of the Secretariat is likely optimistic; independent scientists conclude the current proposals in Copenhagen would take us to over 750 ppm and 3.9 degrees of warming. Obama also conditioned U.S. support for a $100 billion fund to help the most vulnerable nations in the developing world cope with the impact of global warming "if - and only if - it is part of the broader accord" outlined by the United States. Kassie Siegel, director of the Climate Law Institute of the Center for Biological Diversity, had the following response to President Obama's speech: 'Obama offered only ultimatums to those countries most deeply affected by global warming: Accept our terms or we will block funding to help you survive the crisis we caused but for which we still refuse to take responsibility. Notably, in an apparent conscious renunciation of one of the most fundamental principals of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Obama replaced the phrase 'common but differentiated responsibilities' with the new phrase 'common but differentiated responses.' In short, under Obama, the United States apparently refuses to accept its unique responsibility as the largest cumulative greenhouse emitter on the planet. Given that Obama reaffirmed his position that the United States would commit to cutting CO2 emissions by only 3% below 1990 levels by 2020, any deal announced in Copenhagen cannot in any rational sense of the word be deemed a 'success.' The IPCC estimates that CO2 reductions of 25 to 40% below 1990 levels are needed by 2020 to avoid greater than 2 degrees of warming, while cuts of over 45 percent are likely needed to get on a trajectory for the only scientifically and ethically credible target of 350 ppm. For the United States to put on the negotiating table a take-it-or-leave-it proposal that, by all reasonable and rational accounts, would result in the death or displacement of millions of people and the extinctions of hundreds of thousands (perhaps millions) of species, is unacceptable. It is hard to image Obama the Candidate endorsing such position. But Obama the President is, when it comes to actual actions on climate, far closer to President Bush than Candidate Obama. The United States and the world need Candidate Obama back.'"

While there are concerns that cap and trade programs can only be effective in educing carbon emissions if they are done properly - and so far the European and U.N, programs are flawed - Care2 reported in August, via Gina Marie Cheeseman, "Will Cap and Trade Wreck the Economy?" that, "A recently released Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report looked at the economic effects of legislation to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The report concluded that the cap-and-trade provisions of the House bill, the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, would reduce the gross domestic product (GDP) by only one-fourth percent to three-fourths percent by 2020, and between one percent and three and one-half percent by 2050." The CBO study found the long-term cost to households would be less than the changes in Gross National Produce (GDP), but the cost of natural changes "that are likely to result from climate change…will affect agriculture, forestry, and fishing; the demand for energy; and the nation's infrastructure." The CBO director Douglas Elmendorf projected at a hearing of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, "Reducing the risk of climate change would come at some cost to the economy, Over the next few decades the economic losses from policies to avert climate change would exceed the economic gains in terms of climate change." He said, however, "those changes will be comparatively modest." Moreover, Elmendorf stated the House bill would have little impact on Americans standard of living. "Purchasing power, according to CBO projections, will drop 0.1 percent in 2010 and 0.8 percent in 2050, which averages out to $455 a year." At the same time, a report by the Economics for Equity and the Environment Network about the economics of limiting carbon dioxide levels to 350 parts per million (ppm), now recommended by scientists, said, "As greenhouse gas emissions grow, it is the cost of doing nothing that is becoming unbearable, not the cost of taking action."

The informal climate agreement initiated at the Copenhagen climate change meeting to reduce greenhouse gas pollution is generally holding, thus far. Most nations met the January 31 deadline for submitting greenhouse gas reduction targets, including the U.S., the 27 countries of the European Union, Japan, China, India and Brazil, all of whom restated their aim to reduce emissions by 2020. Some nations announced greenhouse emission reduction goals in absolute terms, others by reducing the rate of increase in relation to a business as usual projections (John M. Broder, "Most Countries Submit Emission Reduction Targets by Deadline," The New York Times, February 12, 2010, and John M. Broder, "Climate Goal Supported by India and China," The New York Times, February 10, 2010). A conference of leaders of virtually all of the world's major religions, at Windsor Castle in Britain, in November, was unanimous in agreeing to promote action to limit climate change, and more broadly promote sustainability. 31 plans for promoting a greener world were presented at the conference from the spectrum of religious groups representing the Baha'i Faith, Buddhism, Christianity, Daoism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Shintoism and Sikhism. Included in the plans were greening of thousands of religious buildings, increasing environmental education programs for children and youth, and promoting simpler, more environmentally conscious lifestyles based on divine teachings ("World religions pledge concrete action on climate change," One Country, July-November, 2009).

The World Meteorological Organization, in March, confirmed several earlier findings that the 2000-2009 decade was the warmest on record, since temperatures were first regularly recorded in the 1850s ("Past Decade Was Warmest on Record, Meteorological Agency Reports," The New York Times, March 26, 2010).

Kieth Bradsher, "China's Energy Use Threatens Goals on Warming," The New York Times, May 6, 2010, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/07/business/energy-environment/07energy.html?ref=world, reports, "Even as China has set ambitious goals for itself in clean-energy production and reduction of global warming gases, the country's surging demand for power from oil and coal has led to the largest six-month increase in the tonnage of human generated greenhouse gases ever by a single country." Coal-fired electricity and oil sales each climbed 24% percent in the first quarter of 2010, over levels of the opening quarter of 2009, following similar increases in the fourth quarter. Not only is production rising in China, but purchases of automobiles and household appliances have also been increasing. Concerned about the rising energy use and declining energy efficiency, the Chinese cabinet held a special meeting in early May to discuss the problem. Premier Wen Jiabao vowed tougher policies to insure energy conservation, including a requirement that companies must eliminate inefficient capacity for government approval of new projects, as China sought a way to meet the target of a 20% improvement in energy efficiency in its current five-year plan. Mr. Wen stated, "We can never break our pledge, stagger our resolution or weaken our efforts, no matter how difficult it is." Western experts say that it will be hard for China to meet its target, but that its leaders appear determined to do so.

A study by researchers at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, published in Science a the beginning of March, shows that large amounts of methane, a far more climate change causing gas than carbon dioxide, are being released from the depths of the ocean along the East Siberian Arctic Shelf, west of the Bearing Straight, currently at a rate of about 7.7 million tons a year (Cornelia Dean, "Undersea Greenhouse Gas Gains New Notice in Study," The New York Times, Mach 5, 2010). The study, in its preliminary stages, did not yet project future rates of methane release. Huge amounts of methane are dissolved in the world's oceans. As the waters warm, they are less able to contain the methane, and other gasses, releasing them into the air, accelerating global warming and climate change. How rapidly this may happen as oceans warm is not yet known.

Deforestation world wide is still a major contributor to climate change, but has slowed from 20 million acres a year in the 1990's to 13 million acres a year in the 2000-2009 decade, with ambitious tree planting programs in Asia a major reason for the reduction, according to a report from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization ("Deforestation Continues, but More Slowly, Report Says," The New York Times, March 25, 2010). The government of Indonesia, in order to try to reduce illegal logging in Aceh, out of economic necessity, by unemployed former rebels, has been hiring hundreds of them as forest rangers (Peter Gelling, "Indonesia Tries to Recast Rebels as Forest Rangers," The New York Times, March 7, 2010). Indonesia, at the end of May, agreed to initiate a two year moratorium on cutting natural forests in its territory as part of a $2 billon deal, par to the UN carbon reduction program, under which wealthy nations pay developing countries to preserve forests. Commercial lumbering has made Indonesia the third largest emitter of greenhouse gasses, after China and the U.S. ("Indonesia Forest Clearing Moratorium," The New York Times, May 28, 2010),

Nancy Roberts, "Corporation Bows To People's Pressure; Orangutans Rest a Little Easier with Nestle Pledge" Care2, May 18, 2010, http://www.care2.com/causes/environment/blog/corporation-bows-to-peoples-pressure-orangutans-rest-a-little-easier-with-nestle-pledge/, reports, "Nestle announced, in Mid May, that it will cease buying palm oil from companies that contribute to the destruction of rainforests. The nonprofit Forest Trust said that it will work with Nestle to help the corporation rid its products of the palm oil that is unsustainably produced and also of paper and lumber products that similarly cause deforestation by vetting and monitoring the corporate giant's supply chain of vendors. The agreement follows a campaign by Greenpeace highlighting the irresponsibility of the corporation's sourcing, with an ad, showing a bored office worker what he is really consuming when he bites into a Kit Kat made from irresponsibly sourced palm oil."

The extent of over issuing of carbon pollution permits in the European Union Emissions Trading System during 2009 became clear with the release of CO2 emissions data in early March, which among other things indicated that some of the worst polluting industries benefited the most from the over issuance of permits. Earlier, the over abundance of permits allowed carbon emissions to rise, instead of curtailing them, but the recession reduced European carbon emissions, while many companies gained financially from the sale of permits. During 2009, emissions from factories and power plants covered by the European Union's Emissions Trading System fell by 11.3%. Meanwhile, many companies have held on to some of their surpluses of permits, which would make it easier for them to offset future emissions after the economy recovers. Environmental organizations are calling for a major reduction in the issuance of carbon permits (James Kanter, "Moment of Truth for Emission Permits in E.U.," The New York Times, March 31, 2010, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/01/business/energy-environment/01carbon.html?ref=world; and James Kanter, "In Europe, a Call for Tighter Caps on Greenhouse Gas Emissions," The New York Times, April 1, 2010, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/02/business/energy-environment/02carbon.html?ref=todayspaper).

John M Broder, "'Cap and Trade' Loses Its Standing as Energy Policy of Choice, " The New York Times, March 25, 2010, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/26/science/earth/26climate.html?scp=1&sq=Cap%20and%20Trade%20Loses%20Its%20Standing&st=cse, reports that cap and trade carbon pollution permit trading is no longer favored by the Obama Administration or key members of the U.S. Congress for fighting global warming, as it has become discredited in practice by the poor showing of the European system of carbon credit trading, to date, by concerns from the Wall Street crisis, and the Enron scandal, as well as the current congressional version of the plan becoming overly complex, and caught in partisan politics. President Obama dropped all mention of cap and trade in his current budget, and it has lost support in Congress. The energy bill being drafted in the Senate is expected to include a cap on greenhouse gas emissions only for utilities, possibly phasing in other industries well in the future. It is also reported to encompass a modest tax on gasoline, diesel fuel and aviation fuel, along with new incentives for oil and gas drilling, nuclear power plant construction, carbon capture and storage, and renewable energy sources like wind and solar. The House narrowly passed its initial version of the bill last June, and the Senate has since been laboriously attempting to develop its own climate measure. Senators, Maria Cantwell, Democrat of Washington, and Susan Collins , Republican of Maine, have proposed an alternative that they call cap and dividend, under which licenses to pollute would be auctioned to producers and wholesalers of fossil fuels, with three-quarters of the revenue returned to consumers in monthly checks to cover their higher energy costs. This plan, almost exactly what Mr. Obama proposed in the campaign and after first taking office - a 100% auction of permits and a large tax rebate to the public - would require every pollution permit to be auctioned rather than given away, and the bill was 39 pages long, compared with the 1,400 page Waxman-Markey bill, which originally included cap and trade.

The U.S. government took its first formal step to regulate global warming pollution, at the end of March, with the issuing of new tailpipe rules, jointly written by the Transportation Department and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), that would translate to a combined fuel economy average for new automobiles and light trucks of 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016. The rules are expected to cut emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases about 30% from 2012 to 2016. (John M. Broder, "U.S. Issues Limits on Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Cars," The New York Times, April 1, 2010, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/02/science/earth/02emit.html?ref=todayspaper). The U.S. Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is creating the NOAA Climate Service to track date related to climate change (John M. Broder, "A Federal Climate Service Is Created to Provide Data," The New York Times, February 9, 2010). EPA has proposed adding oil and gas industries and facilities that inject carbon dioxide into the ground to the greenhouse gas sources required to report their annual emissions to the government (John M. Broder, "E.P.A to Seek More Data On Emissions, The New York Times, February 24, 2010). In February, the U.S. Department of Energy announced its largest loan guarantee, contingent on environmental approval, to a solar energy project, $1.37 billion to Bright Source Energy to build Ivanpah Solar Generation System, intended to become the first utility scale solar steam powered electric generating plant in California - to be built in the Ivanpah Valley in the southern part of the state (Todd Woody, "U.S. Offers Solar Project A Crucial Loan Guarantee" The New York Times, February 23, 2010).

The controversial proposal to build the first off coast wind farm, Cape Wind, across 25 square miles, in Nantucket Sound, about 5 miles and more off Cape Cod, was approved by the U.S. department of the Interior after much debate and nine years of regulatory review, April 28. Proponents asserted this was a much needed major area for producing renewable electricity. Many opponents objected on aesthetic grounds, and tribal peoples objected on religious grounds, including that the wind farm would obstruct their viewing and greeting the rising Sun every morning. Opponents may still attempt to block the project in court. (Katharinre Q. Seelye, "Wind Farm Off Cape Cod Gets Approval," The New York Times, April 28, 2010, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/29/science/earth/29wind.html?ref=todayspaper).

Beth Buczynski, "Biomass Blunder: USDA Advocates Burning Wood For Electricity," Center for Biological Diversity, March 16, 2010, comments, "The Department of Agriculture has proposed regulations that would expand a massive, misguided subsidy program that encourages the harvest and burning of trees for energy. Burning wood for energy and heat is a very old, very dirty idea, and one that seems completely out of place in contrast to the promising growth of the solar and wind energy industries in the United States." The Center for Biological Diversity reports that "Dozens of large, dirty, wood-burning electricity facilities -- staggeringly inefficient -- are now being planned across the country. A single such facility would require increased logging on tens of thousands of acres of forest each year." The Department of Agriculture program is based on the flawed premise that burning of wood is carbon neutral, mistakenly counting electricity generated by burning trees and wood wastes, called "biomass", as renewable energy. "Unfortunately, biomass burning is far from carbon neutral. And while an area logged to fuel a biomass facility may ultimately grow back, it takes decades or even centuries for a forest to recapture as much carbon as is lost when it's logged. Even worse, areas being targeted for this preposterous plan include some of the country's most sacred old-growth trees, like Tongass National Forest in Alaska."

Calera, a California company, has developed a method for trapping the carbon dioxide emissions from coal and gas power plants and imbed them in cement. If it works on a mass scale it would turn cement production, which is a major source of carbon emissions, into a CO2 absorbing industry. Peabody Coal, the world's largest coal company, has invested $15 million in the project (Claire Cain Miller, "Mixing in Some Carbon," The New York Times, March 23, 2010). In Denmark, virtually all of the country's garbage is now burned as fuel in very efficient (lowering greenhouse gas emissions) and clean incinerators that filter out most toxic pollution, generating electricity. Denmark now has 29 such plants and is planning construction of ten more. Similar plants are on line and being built across Europe, with about 400 now in Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands. No such plants now operate in the U.S., although the EPA is strongly in favor of them. The primary reasons seem to be an abundance of cheap landfills and a negative public perception of incinerators (Elisabeth Rosenthal, "Europe Finds Clean Fuel in Trash; U.S. Sits Back," The New York Times, April 13, 2010). Maersk shipping of Denmark has reduced the speed of its cargo ships over the last two years, making shipping time longer, but reducing fuel cost and greenhouse gas emission by 30% (Elisabeth Rosenthal, "Slow and Steady Across the Sea Aids Profit and the Environment," The New York Times, February 17, 2010). A number of U.S. cities, particularly in California and the Pacific North West are changing building codes to require new buildings to have plug-ins for electric vehicles to recharge batteries and make other adjustments making it easier for people to operate electric vehicles (Todd Woody and Clifford Krauss, "Ready, Set, Charge: Cities Prepare for Life With the Electric Car, The New York Times, February 15, 2010). The Teamsters Union and environmentalists have teamed up in an effort to clean the air in seaports with more efficient trucks for short hauling. They are attempting to have trucking companies begin buying the expensive cleaner vehicles, rather than the current practice of having drivers supply their own vehicles. With less capital, drivers often cannot afford the more efficient trucks. With the U.S. government pushing port cities to clean up their air, and trucking a major cause of pollution - including of CO2 - there is some leverage for the Teamsters proposal. The Port of Los Angeles has shown some interest (Steven Greenhouse, "Clearing the Air at American Ports," The New York Times, February 26, 2010).

An explosion at a deepwater oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, Deepwater Horizon, in mid-April, was reported leaking 100,000 gallons a day, a week later, April 25, causing a growing 33 square mile oil slick, imperiling life in the gulf and along shore lines [but later reports have found the leak to be much larger, perhaps leaking 10 times as much oil as previously reported]. On May 2, the spill was much larger and approaching seafood producing and sensitive marsh coastline, while the rate of oil gushing from the undersea well may be increasing. It was unclear how soon the leak could be plugged, and the spill was already much worse and more extensive than the Exxon Valdiz spill in Alaska. [As of June 7, about one third of the huge leak was beginning to be siphoned off, but it appears that the leak can not be plugged until an evacuation well can be completed, which will probably not take place until August - and even that is not certain. There were also indications that the pipe below the ocean floor was damaged, and that the leak was coming from a hole in the ocean floor as well as from the pipe, and that it might be difficult to stop the leak with relief wells. Also more recent reports indicate that much more oil than originally reported has been leaking, perhaps 35,000 - 60,000 barrels of oil a day or more.] (Campbell Robertson and Leslie Kaufman, "Oil Leaks Could Take Months to Stop " The New York Times, April 25, 2010, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/26/us/26rig.html?ref=todayspaper; and Leslie Kaufman, "'Controlled Burn' Considered for Gulf Oil Spill, The New York Times, April 27, 2010, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/28/us/28spill.html?ref=todayspaper; and Campbell Robertson, "White House Takes a Bigger Role in the Oil Spill Cleanup," The New York Times, April 29, 2010. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/30/us/30gulf.html?ref=todayspaper; See the daily updates in the New York Times on the oil disaster: http://www.nytimes.com). Huge Amounts of oil are spreading well below the surface of the gulf, particularly along the sea bottom, threatening to do very serious long term damage to reefs and the entire ecology of the Gulf of Mexico (John Collins Rudolf, "Deep Underwater, Oil Threatens Reefs," The New York Times, June 1, 2010, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/02/us/02coral.html?ref=us). As June unfolded, oil began fouling marshland and beaches, in some cases because of improperly set up or maintained booms. Fishing and harvesting along the gulf may be largely destroyed for a long period, or even permanently. Large amounts of oil entering coastal wetlands kill the wetlands, speeding the loss of coastlands, which are barriers to storms and their ocean surges, as well as taking costal land. Many areas of the gulf are banned to fishing, and much wildlife has already been killed. Both the oil and the dispersants being used are causing air quality problems causing nausea, headaches and eye irritation - supposedly short term for many people, but potentially serious for people with respiratory problems. Large numbers of birds, turtles and other amphibians, sea animals and fish have already been killed, as of June 30, in what is already the worst environmental disaster in U.s. history. Many Indian fisher people and seafood harvesters, already badly impacted by Hurricane Katrina, face a major catastrophe. The 17,000 Houma people, who have recently been battered by receding coastline and major hurricanes, are now threatened with possible permanent total loss of livelihood (Kari Huus, "Houma and the Oil Spill," May 11, 2010, msnbc.com; and Terri Hansen, Gulf oil disaster propels tribes into crisis," Indian Country Today, June 9. 2010). President Barack Obama noted a role for tribes in restoration from the oil disaster in a national address from the Oval Office June 15, "Earlier, I asked Ray Mabus, the Secretary of the Navy, a former governor of Mississippi, and a son of the Gulf, to develop a long-term Gulf Coast Restoration Plan as soon as possible. The plan will be designed by states, local communities, tribes, fishermen, businesses, conservationists, and other Gulf residents. And BP will pay for the impact this spill has had on the region" (Rob Capriccioso ."Obama mentions tribes as part of oil spill restoration; chief testifies on mess," Indian Country Today, June 18, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/national/96574864.html).

President Obama announced, at the beginning of March, that the U.S. will allow expansion of oil drilling in Alaska, the Atlantic U.S. coast and the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, with environmental restrictions (John M. Broder, "Obama To Open Offshore Areas To Oil Drilling, The New York Times, March 3, 2010). However, as a result of the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, President Obama declared a temporary new off shore oil drilling moratorium in May, until a detailed safety review of under sea oil drilling could be completed. Never-the-less, additional off shore oil drilling permits were granted by the U.S. Department of the Interior after the moratorium was announced. Alaska Natives and conservation groups represented by Earthjustice initiated a legal effort, in late January, to stop oil exploration vessels from invading the Arctic Ocean's fragile Chukchi Sea this summer. The coalition brought suit challenging a drilling permit granted to Shell Oil by the U.S. Minerals Management Service, demanding that the MMS take a closer look at potential environmental harms - as required by law. For details go to: http://action.earthjustice.org/ct/G7M9_C61VTxd/.

An administrative law judge of the Department of the Interior, January 7, vacated a life-of-mine permit OSM issued December 22, 2008, that would have allowed Peabody Western Coal Co. to expand its permit area on Black Mesa, where more than 5,000 acres of coal remain unmined. The mining operation has been controversial, in part because uses large amounts of water that environmentalists say is emptying the main aquifer that supplies water to the Hopi and others in the area (Carol Berry, "Department of the Interior judge vacates a controversial permit," Indian Country Today, January 11, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/81166812.html).

A new study by Elizabeth Weatherhead, Et al, accepted for publication in the journal Global Environmental Change, integrates Inuit weather interpretations based on wind direction and speed, cloud formations, animal behaviors, the stars, sun and moon, with scientific evidence obtained from ice cores, weather satellites and computer models, in developing an understanding of changing arctic weather and climate conditions (Terri Hansen, "Hard scientific weather data meets traditional Inuit knowledge," Indian Country Today, April 18, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/national/hawaiialaska/91040629.html).

The National Parks Conservation Association reported, February 19, that Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer and British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell signed an agreement in Vancouver, BC that promises to protect the Transboundary Flathead River Valley from all types of mining and oil and gas extraction--forever. The agreement's signing follows several key milestones including: a decision by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee to send a fact finding mission to the area to investigate proposed mining operations, a visit to the Flathead River last summer by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, and an announcement by Montana Senators Max Baucus (D-MT) and Jon Tester (D-MT) to permanently protect all federal lands in the U.S. portion of the valley from future oil and gas extraction. For more information contact the National Parks Conservation Association, 1300 19th Street, NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20036 (800)628-7275, TakeAction@npca.org, http://act.npca.org/ct/opdlkzn1hXvx/facebook.

California has established a statewide network to keep track of greenhouse gas emissions (Todd Woody, "California Sets Up Statewide Network to Monitor Global Warming Gases," The New York Times, February 3, 2010. Arizona, citing financial difficulties, in February, withdrew from an effort by western U.S. states to control greenhouse gas emission with a cap and trade system, with mandatory limits. Instead, Arizona will support initiatives expanding solar, other renewable, and nuclear and energy. The other states of the Western Climate Initiative, California, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Washington, are scheduled to begin a limited carbon trading system in 2012. The first U.S. regional cap and trade system comprising 10 Northeast and Middle Atlantic states aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in its region by 10% no later than 1018.

Beth Buczynski, "Can Wastewater Save California's Parched Farmland?, Care2, March 29, 2010, http://www.care2.com/causes/environment/blog/can-wasterwater-save-californias-farmland/," reports, "According to California's Department of Water Resources, the state may face a fourth year of serious drought in 2010. " Precipitation and runoff has been below average since fall of 2006, bringing water in reservoirs that supply the states irrigation system to low levels that could sharply limit farming, that in recent years has produced half the U.S. fruits and vegetables. While the future is unclear, it appears that climate change is causing a drier California, and western U.S. generally. A possible aid to California farmers, and the stat' population in general, is a new saltwater conversion technology about to be tested by Westlands Water District and Ag-Water New Sky, LLC, (AGNS). They are developing an integrated drainage water treatment facility in California's Central Valley that converts high salinity wastewater into fresh water for irrigation and financially valuable CO2-negative products derived from the waste salts. When in full operation, the plant will desalinate approximately 240,000 gallons of drainage water per day, sending it to approximately 600 family-owned farms, averaging 900 acres in size, through the Central Valley Project and a network of 1,034 miles of underground pipe. The project will also convert approximately five tons a day of waste brine salts into carbon-neutral and carbon-negative chemicals such as acid, caustic soda and solid carbonates like limestone and soda ash. In addition, the project will capture approximately 2.8 tons of CO2 daily. Meanwhile, other interesting projects include one in Hopewell, Va., where algae is being used to clean nitrogen from wastewater in the town instead of conventionally engineered solutions, while also producing bio fuel and green coal residue. Likewise the U.S. Navy is investigating a method for transforming ocean water into jet fuel as a way to supply the U.S. military in the face of dwindling global oil supplies.

The climate change connected drought, which has hit much of the western United States, has had a direct impact upon Navajo Nation. For one thing, the drying out is bringing a return to increasing sand storms, reminiscent of the 1930s dust bowl era. An example of the difficulties is Navajo Rancher Robert Diller, last July, having to spend considerable time in his tractor during a ceremony, digging other attendees and their cars out of the sand, instead of attending the ceremony. The Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals at Northern Arizona University reports that the past five years have seen several of the hottest years on record as the Colorado Plateau region of Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona had an unprecedented 14 large dust storms in 2009, and the dunes that make up a third of the Navajo reservation have shifted considerably. In normal years, enough rain falls to transform the dunes into ideal grazing for Navajo sheep and cattle. But with every 1.8 degrees increase in temperatures, about two inches of water evaporate. As temperatures rise and evaporation increases, tumbleweeds, invasive plants with a shallow root system move in, crowding out native deep-rooted plants. The animals and people with a reliance on those plants for sustenance can no longer find them. As the dunes become free of vegetation to anchor the soil, the once-vegetated dunes become desolate heaps of sand that become mobile, shifting significantly in strong winds. Runaway dunes bury homes, corrals, feeding stations, pasturelands, and sometimes obliterate entire roads. The greatest impacts of active sand dunes in this region are on tribal people, whose reservation land is either on, or downwind of, the largest areas of sand dunes. The fine dust creates breathing problems, increasing asthma for young people, and the need of some elders to have to use oxygen. Dust storms also can cause and exacerbate respiratory problems, and heart and lung disease. Sand particles can clog air passages, and cause the person who breathes them to choke. Increases in airborne dust also enhance other problems, as dust may carry hazardous particles left over from nuclear testing, as well as spreading infectious disease. Physicians for Social Responsibility reports that the incidence of coccidioidomycosis, also known as valley fever, a fungal disease endemic to the southwestern United States, will increase due to increased airborne dust and sandstorms. The lack of rain in 2009 caused other problems on the Navajo reservation. Navajo officials declared a water crisis, and trucked 60,000 gallons of water from Winslow into the Teesto chapter. The water shortage and reduced grazing possibilities forced many ranchers to sell some or all of their herds. For more information about the USGS Navajo Studies, go to: http://geomaps.wr.usgs.gov/navajo (Terri Hansen, "Climate change, drought transforming Navajo's dunescape to a dust bowl, Indian Country Today, Nov 27, 2009, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/76233607.html).

The Hoh tribe of Washington State, on its one square mile reservation on the Pacific Coast and a rising river, is suffering continuing flooding, worse than previously experienced. Increased flooding likely is due to a combination of factors, including global warming, logging upriver and cyclical weather patterns that have brought heavy rains. And as the ocean is rising the tribe will have to move. Already, several homes have been abandoned, other structures have permanent sandbags. The tribe will move most of the reservation to higher ground, and new land has been purchased for the expansion. Before they begin building homes though, the Hoh are waiting for Congress to pass a bill that places 37 acres of national park land in a trust for the tribe. Congress is expected to vote on the measure by the end of the year. The tribe would not be able to develop that land, but the grant would mean that tribe members will continue to live on one piece of land and help the Hoh obtain funding for new housing. (Patrick Oppmann, "Constant flooding forces out Pacific Northwest tribe," CNN, April 23, 2010, http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/04/21/hoh.reservation.flooding/index.html).

The " State of the Birds: 2010 Report on Climate Change," released by the U.S. Department of Interior, March 11, finds that Climate change threatens to further imperil hundreds of species of migratory birds, already under stress from habitat loss, invasive species and other environmental threats. The new report follows a comprehensive study released a year ago showing that nearly one-third of the nation's 800 bird species were already endangered, threatened or in significant decline. The report, a collaboration of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and experts from the nation's leading conservation organizations, finds that climate changes will have an increasingly destructive effect on bird species in all habitats, with oceanic and Hawaiian birds under the greatest threat. Meanwhile, the Obama administration and the Department of the Interior are taking considerable steps to address climate change. In Anchorage, Alaska, for instance, the Interior Department opened the first of eight new e regional Climate Science Centers that will involve scientists from all of Interior's Bureaus and partners to research climate change impacts, work with land, natural and cultural resource managers to design adaptation strategies, and engage the public through education initiatives. The Climate Science Centers are to help support a network of new "Landscape Conservation Cooperatives" that will engage federal agencies, tribal, state, and local governmental and non-governmental partners, and the public in crafting practical, landscape-level strategies for managing climate change impacts on land, natural and cultural resources within the eight regions.

Extreme weather consistent with climate change continues to be evident in many parts of the world. In Mongolia, tribal and other people have been suffering from major impacts of climate change, particularly this winter which was unusually cold and harsh with long periods of snow, following upon an extreme drought last summer, bringing about the deaths of about 17% of the country's live stock (according to U.N. reports), with another 500,000 facing possible death in mid May. Many of Mongolia's 800,000 herders are now bankrupt, unable to repay loans for the fodder they had to buy because of the drought. The result has been a large number of herders leaving their traditional ways of living and moving to the cities. With a third of the nation's economy in herding, this is a disaster for the entire Mongolian economy. "The last serious zuds, three consecutive harsh winters between 1999 and 2002, sent thousands of destitute nomads streaming into the capital, Ulan Bator. A decade later, their tattered yurts still crowd bleak neighborhoods on the city's fringe as the former herders struggle to fit into the modern world. The United Nations estimates that the current disaster may prompt as many as 20,000 herders to abandon their nomadic life and flee to the city." Many herders have no urban skills, and end up falling into poverty, often breaking the law to try to survive. Moreover, with a great many desperate nomads selling off their remaining animals to survive, the price of meat fell by 50% half over the last few months. With the government already struggling to address the needs of the third of the population that lives in poverty, the climate disaster of the past year is especially challenging, as many Mongolians, fiercely proud of their millenniums-old nomadic ways, face the possibility that their traditional life ways are no longer sustainable. The situation has become more dire from widespread environmental degradation that has been taking place with climate change. A recent World Bank study found that hundreds of rivers and lakes had disappeared in Mongolia, and the diversity of plant species had plummeted by a third since 1997, although researchers partly blamed the proliferation of goats since the shift from a "socialist" to a democratic government brought an end to strict limits on the amount of livestock that could be grazed, brining an tripling in livestock to 40 million on the land since the 1990 revolution (Andrew Jacobs, "Winter Leaves Mongolians a Harvest of Carcasses," The New York Times, May 19, 2010, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/20/world/asia/20mongolia.html?ref=world).

Ignacio Ochoa of Fundacion Nahual reported, June 2, "There have been several articles reporting the damage from the Volcan de Pacaya and the floods caused by Agatha, but as always, they cannot articulate the level of destruction in the entire territory of Guatemala. So, I too ask for prayers and solidarity for the people of Guatemala. These five days of torrential rains and floods have been classified as the worst in the history of Central America. In 1998, we had Hurricane Mitch and in 2005, Hurricane Stan. The President of Guatemala, Mr. Alvaro Colom declared a state of emergency in Guatemala and today's official report states 76,391 people are homeless." Ochoa updated, June 5, "By June 4th, the tallies of the damage were increasing as the official reports from the National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction (CONRED in Spanish) unveiled its data. President Alvaro Colom announced new totals yesterday [June 4]: 231,048 people affected; 69,002 damnificados; 152,632 people evacuated; 92,936 people living in shelters; and 31,012 houses destroyed." He noted that the losses from the storm would have been worse, if the volcano eruption had not already bought some evacuations and put people on the alert. On May 31, Ochoa wrote, "The road from Antigua to Ciudad Vieja was destroyed, and a residential area, two kilometers square in size, reaching to San Miguel Escobar, is completely buried under a mountain of mud and trees that came down from the Volcan de Agua. Luxury condominiums for sale in the area between the village of San Pedro Las Huertas in Antigua and San Miguel Escobar in Ciudad Vieja are completely under mud as well. In the Sacatepeque municipios of Pastores, Jocotenango and San Juan Alotenango, hundreds of families are now living in shelters due to the Guacalate River overflowing. In all of the sixteen municipios of Sacatepequez, some roads connected to the villages as well as infrastructure were destroyed. Nationally, the destruction of highways, bridges, and houses caused by Agatha is unprecedented in Guatemala's history of natural disasters. Heavy rains caused landslides that blocked major roads, and the rains are causing rivers to overflow everywhere in Guatemala. On the 29th of May, The Motagua River, the longest river in Guatemala (from El Quiche to Izabal) started to damage all of the Pueblos of the North East part of Guatemala and hit Izabal Department, destroying the entire Banana Plantation Valley. Ten thousand families are isolated there and are at high risk of contracting water-borne diseases. On the 30th of May, the Atlantic Coast Municipalities of Los Amates, Rio Dulce and San Jose de Morales are reporting hundreds of people missing and half of their population have their houses under water. Today, May 31, thousands of people in the Atlantic Coast Region who survived the night are being evacuated by local efforts coordinated by the Mayors of Los Amates and San Jose de Morales. They are joined by private families who own helicopters, boats and motor boats in their efforts to rescue people and to provide emergency food, clothing, medicine and shelters. The Motagua River is still growing due to the rains in Honduras and people from Izabal are expecting the worst tonight." On June 1 Ocho said, "Fundacion Nahual, Common Hope and other local NGOs will have a meeting this Saturday [June 5] to hear the plans of CONRED, the Governor and mayors; from there, we will figure out the best ways for us to help. The Head of the Public Health Area, Dr. Francisco Bermudez, asked us for several items they need if donations could come. Friends of Nahual can help us purchase donations by writing a check to: University of San Diego (check can be made to this for a tax deductible contribution), Center for Community Service-Learning, 5998 Alcala Park, San Diego, CA 92110, Memo: Nahual Foundation." For more information contact Ignacio Ochoa, Fundación Nahual, 2a Avenida Norte 6 B, Antigua Guatemala, Sacatepéquez. Guatemala, Office: (502)7832-0167, Cell: (502)5985-4954, ochoa.ignacio@gmail.com, www.fundacion-nahual.org. In late June, Asociacion Nahual reported it had set up a more permanent method for channeling aid, and was improving aid, reconstruction and development infrastructure, particularly assisting building participatory community development council structures. Ochoa commented, "The most effective way to improve the development council system is to create an informed citizenry through an expansion of training programs across the country. As demonstrated by the Asociacion Nahual in Sacatepéquez, informed citizens can improve the representation of real community needs in the system by: 1) increasing the number of actively participating community members and community development councils (COCODEs), and 2) increasing the pressure on municipal governments to follow the law." For more information go to: www.icfdn.org and www.fundacion-nahual.org.

In the United States this winter the East received round after round of heavy storms, bringing record snow, and sometimes rain, accumulations, with power out and other damage in some areas, and also flooding, which also hit, or threatened, places across the Midwest that received unusually heavy snowfalls. Record winter storms left households vulnerable and in dire need on South Dakota Indian reservations, with heat, food and water in short supply, and volunteers responding with assistance from as far away as the San Francisco Bay. Among the hardest hit, was the Cheyenne River Reservation with power out for up to several weeks in many parts of the reservation, beginning with a snow storm in December knocking down some 5,000 power poles, followed by an ice storm Jan. 22 knocking down an additional 3,000 power lines on the reservation. As of February, some homes had been without power since November. Dialysis patients were evacuated as soon as possible to motels for long periods. Groups worked to get home propane tanks filled for heat and bring basic food and water supplies up to the reservation from Omaha, according to Bay Area organizer Honey Lee Cottrell. Similar extreme and long lasting difficulties were reported by the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe, Flandreau-Santee Sioux Tribe, Lower Brule Sioux Tribe, Cheyenne River Oglala Sioux Tribe, Rosebud Sioux Tribe, Pine Ridge Sioux Tribe, Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate and Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. The storms created wide spread conditions beyond what the Red Cross and the Governors office could initially handle. To a lesser degree, the Navajo Nation also suffered from extremely heavy snows this winter, and had to set up emergency procedures around its reservation (For example, see in The New York Times: Robert D. McFadden, "A Storm Part Crippling And Part Enchanting," February 7, 2010; John M. Broder, "Climate Fight Is Heating Up In Deep Freeze," February 11, 2010: Russ Buettner, "Rain and Wind Created a Storm Ferocious and Fatal," March 15, 2010; and James Barron, "Another Day of Rain Sets Records and Halts Traffic," March 31, 2010; and Don Baumgart, "Major storm recovery effort underway for SD reservations," Indian Country Today, February 8, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/83646472.html). In late April, what was called the worst storm since Hurricane Katrina ravaged parts of Mississippi and Alabama with high winds and tornados (Terry R. Cassreino, "Mississippi Assessing Damage by Tornado," The New York Times, April 25, 2010, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/26/us/26tornado.html?ref=todayspaper). In May, deadly flooding caused evacuations in Nashville, TN (William Harless and Joseph Berger, "Deadly Flooding Forces Evacuations in Nashville," The New York Times, May 4, 2010), while also in late spring a huge downpour in Arkansas raised a normally placid river many feet to weep away people in a campground. In early April record rainfall in the Rio de Janeiro area of Brazil caused deadly mudslides that killed a least 95 people (Bradley Brooks, "Brazil: Record rainfall in Rio unleashes deadly landslide," San Francisco Chronicle, April 7, 2010). Earlier, in the Brazilian Amazon, the heaviest rains in years brought flooding (personal report). During what is usually the beginning of the dry season, Eastern Uganda was hit in late February and early March with very heavy rains, setting off mudslides which early reports stated left a minimum of 83 dead and over 300 known missing (Josh Kron, "Mudslides Bury Villages in Eastern Uganda After Several Hours of Torrential Rain," The New York Times, March 3, 2010). A very strong storm battered eastern India, in mid-April, killing at least 122 people and leaving 100,000 homeless, according to early reports (Jim Yardley, "Deadly Storm Strikes Eastern India," The New York Times, April 15, 2010, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/16/world/asia/16india.html?ref=todayspaper).

Climate change is bringing uncertainty to agriculture and harvesting. This year, unseasonably warm weather ended the maple season of harvesting sap from trees early, in southern Vermont, greatly reducing the yield, in one reported instance, to a third the normal amount of syrup (Katie Zezima, "Spring Came Too Early For the Syrup," The New York Times, March 27, 2010). On the Northern California coast, fog, which nurtures the growth and maintenance of redwood trees, has been lessoning over the last century by about one-third ("Around the Redwoods, The Fog Is Dissipating," The New York Times, February 16, 2010). A U.S. Department of Interior Report finds that climate change is placing additional stress on hundreds of migratory bird species already threatened by other environmental factors ("Climate Change Adds to Bird Stress, The New York Times, March 3, 2010). The California Department of Food and Agriculture quarantined 162 square miles of the Napa Valley, in March, in order to try to arrest the spread of the latest threat to grapes and other fruit, the European grapevine moth (Malia Wollan, "Grapevine Moth Forces Quarantine for Part of Napa Valley," The New York Times, March 13, 2010). Several U.S. federal agencies announced a $78.5 million plan, in February, to help Great Lakes states attempt to keep approaching Asian carp out of the Great Lakes. The voracious fish species can totally take over a water environment. At least one Midwest governor said the help was appreciated, but the plans were inadequate to keep the carp out of the lakes (Monica Davey, "U.S. Officials Plan $78.5 million Effort to Keep Dangerous Carp Out of Great Lakes," The New York Times, February 9, 2010).

Dave R., "Copenhagen and Us: Cap and dividend puts the people back in charge. Can we handle it?" Care2, December 13, 2009, http://www.care2.com/causes/global-warming/blog/cap-and-dividend/, suggests, "While the climate talks in Copenhagen capture headlines this week, and the world wonders if the US will commit to emissions targets, I have been wondering how we will deliver on whatever promises we do make." "Cap and Trade?… a poorly designed cap and trade scheme could lead to market manipulation and speculation in carbon credits and pollution permits that transfers much of the money to Wall Street type firms. And giving away virtually all of the permits (as has been proposed) won't increase the cost of energy, and so won't motivate changes in underlying demand. A carbon tax? Well it certainly factors the cost of climate change into all the stuff we consume, which will change behavior, but trusting the government to spend the money wisely on investing in new energy policies (rather than pork) and keeping the economy on track requires a large leap of faith, whether you believe in big government or not So I was intrigued to see that Senator Cantwell just unveiled an alternate climate bill for the US called the CLEAR (Carbon Limits and Energy for America's Renewal) act, which would create emissions caps but give the proceeds of tradable emissions rights to consumers, in the form of a rebate." "As the Wall Street Journal reported: '2,000-3,000 of the nation's largest emitters would be able to buy and sell emission credits auctioned by the government, with credit values rising as mandated greenhouse gas levels fall. Seventy-five percent of auction revenues would be recycled into monthly tax-free checks to the public to help pay for rising energy costs. (Cantwell) estimates between 2012 and 2030, for the average family, those checks could average $1,100 a year for a total of around $21,000 for the period.'" "Without question, the current version of the proposed CLEAR act is far too brief...and of course the devil is in the details. But this direction seems to tackle the problem while overcoming concerns that trouble legislators on both sides of the aisle."

James Kanter, "Russia's Carbon Credit's Seen as Barrier to Warming Curb," The New York Times, December 8 2009, warns that Russia's unearned windfall of carbon credits, under the Kyoto agreement, because of that nation's collapsed heavy industry in the 1980's, may so reduce the price of carbon credits, or make the price unpredictable, as to make the current system ineffective in reducing carbon emissions. Many environmental groups warn, that even a properly structured and operating may not be sufficient to reduce C02 production adequately, and that other means of cutting greenhouse gasses are necessary to employ. The European Carbon Credit trading system now has additional problems (aside from issuing too many carbon credit permits, as previously reported). The European Court of First Instance ruled that Poland and Estonia may challenge the emissions limits for their nations set by the European Union Emission Trading System. While this could just provide a judicial assurance of fairness of the system, there is the possibility that decisions on the merits of these, and future, cases could lead to the creation of an overabundance of carbon credits, making the market for them ineffective in reducing carbon emissions (James Kanter, "Europe Loses a Ruling on Carbon Quotas," The New York Times, September 24, 2009). The French Constitutional Council, in December, blocked a carbon tax saying the law contained too many exceptions for polluters, broke with previous practices, and threatened to make tax collection unfair (James Kanter, "Ruling Blocks Carbon Tax in France, Calling It Too Easy on Polluters," The New York Times, December 31, 2009).

The International Energy Agency's annual, World Energy Outlook, published in early November, that while the recession was likely to have brought about a 3% decline in global carbon emissions in 2009, without an agreement on their reduction, world CO2 emissions were projected to rise 40% by 2030, more than half in China, as global electricity demand was seen as increasing by 76% (with coal use growing by 2% a year, to reach 44% of global energy production), while global oil consumption was projected to increase 1% a year, reaching 105 million barrels a day by 2030 - compared with 85 million barrels a day in 2008. Most of the energy use growth was seen as occurring in developing nations. Conservation and increased used of green energy would reduce both total energy and greenhouse gas emissions. (Jad Mouwad, "Gloomy Energy Report Sets Stage for Climate Negotiations," The New York Times, November 11, 2009). The National Academy of Sciences reported, in late October, that burning of fossil Fuels brings about premature deaths from air pollution and costs about $120 billion a year in health costs in the United States (Matthew L. Wald, "Fossil Fuels Hidden Cost Is in Billions, Study Says," The New York Times, October 20, 2009).

Care2, in October, Dave R., "Panic! at the Citgo: Running Out of Oil, and Why 450 is the New 350," http://www.care2.com/causes/global-warming/blog/panic-at-the-citgo-running-out-of-oil-and-why-450-is-the-new-350/, informs The International Energy Agency (IEA) [with energy using countries on energy supply and policy] issued their annual World Energy Outlook, and despite a drop in 2009 demand due to the global recession, the numbers look grim. As Nobuo Tanaka, Executive Director of the IEA put it; '...a continuation of current trends in energy use puts the world on track for a rise in temperature of up to 6°C and poses serious threats to global energy security.'" "According to a report in the Guardian, the Agency may have deliberately overstated world oil supplies," overstating the chances of finding new oil reserves while under estimating the rate of decline in oil production in existing fields, as the point (or peak) of maximum world oil production is likely already past, while consumption and demand continue to rise. "The IEA also looked at the alternative scenario needed to hold greenhouse gasses to 450 ppm, which is generally considered the maximum upper limit to avoid irreversible and possibly cataclysmic change (we are currently at 385) [though the scientific consensus is that the safe maximum is actually 350 ppm]. What would need to happen? By 2030, a third of the world's power needs to come from renewables and/or nuclear, 60% of cars need to be plug in or hybrid, and we need to invest nearly $10 Trillion globally in energy efficiency." "The IEA didn't even bother figuring out what it would take to reduce total ghg back to 350 ppm, a 'do no harm' target which seems to be completely out of reach." "The IEA estimates that carbon should eventually carry a cost of around $50 per ton, which translates to $20 per barrel of oil. If we continue on our current path, however, demand will likely drive up oil prices by at least $50 per barrel, sending over $4 trillion dollars to OPEC members in the next 20 years, just for the oil. And the cost of climate change? The NRDC estimates that in the U.S. alone, it will be $300 Billion a year by 2030. Many put the global figure in the Trillions. So whether for the planet or the pocketbook, it's time to wake up. Things simply will not stay the way they are. We can either start spending on clean energy and efficiency now, or pay even more for the privilege of using up more fossil fuel and polluting the planet, with dire consequences. Why does this seem like a difficult choice?" Meanwhile, at least in the midst of the recession, in the U.S. reduced demand for gas and other oil products combined with the rise of biofuels has lowered the pressure to build new oil refiners, which have been shutting down for decades, five in 2009 (Jad Mouawad, "Chilly climate for Oil Refiners: Plunging Gasoline Demand and a Shift Toward Biofuels," The New York Times, December 24, 2009).

The United States has a growing dependence on oil from tar sands in Canada, which are causing tremendous environmental destruction, [including serious water pollution causing rare cancers among an Indian population, previously reported in these pages] (Clifford Krauss and Elisabeth Rosenthal, "Mired in Canada's Oil Sands: Despite Pollution Risks, U.S. Dependence Grows, The New York Times, May 19, 2010).

Climate Frontlines reported, September 18, "Melting landfast ice, accelerated erosion: Alaskan villages endangered" [Posting 16], http://www.climatefrontlines.org/en-GB/node/520, that, "Coastal villages in Alaska (USA) are reeling from the erosion caused by unprecedented warming trends due to climate change," "One of the most impacted areas is Shishmaref, a traditional Inupiat village in the Bering Straits with a population of just over 600 people. The village is located on Sarichef Island, a barrier island in the Chukchi Sea. In the past, sea ice would form in the fall, creating a blockade of ice along the shore, which acted as a protective barrier against sea storms. This protective sea ice, which used to be in place by October or November, no longer forms solidly. Its absence allows powerful waves to undercut the banks that are already weakened by an increased melting of permafrost. The later freezing of the sea ice is an indication of warmer temperatures in the ocean." As a result, storms have caused considerable erosion and flooding, destroying a number of buildings. "The main road to the airport and landfill has been eroded in several places and the road is now dangerously close to the sea. Yearly storms continue to erode the shoreline at an average rate of retreat of 1 to 1.5 meters per year. Almost $23 million has been spent to construct seawalls that will provide only temporary protection to what is left of Shishmaref. In July 2002, residents voted to relocate the community. However, numerous problems have slowed this process, including reluctance of the state and federal governments to give monetary support for vital infrastructure or to take the lead in the relocation project. In 2008, the community learned that the site chosen for relocation was not suitable due to permafrost issues. So efforts had to begin anew. The place they now think would be the most suitable is near Ear Mountain close to the village of Wales. It is possible that a sustainable community can be created there utilizing geothermal potential and wind power for energy. However, some people say they will never leave Sarichef Island. But how will they fare, as no services will be available once everyone relocates?"

"Responding to Climate Change through Rituals and Spirituality" [Posting 17], Climate Frontlines, http://www.climatefrontlines.org/en-GB/node/534, notes, "Several recent submissions to the Forum have underlined the ritual and spiritual dimensions of climate change adaptation. In 2008, unusually heavy rain fell during the period needed to dry the land before burning, says Patau Rubis, a Bidayuh from Sarawak, Malaysia (Asia). New weeds grew quickly over the farms, making it impossible to burn and threatened to ruin the year's harvest. In response, a Bidayuh-Krokong village held Gawae Pinganga, an almost-forgotten ritual to ask the 'Pinyanga', the village's spirit guardians, for a dry season. The last time such assistance had been asked of 'Pinyanga' was during World War II and the elders were uncertain as to the exact composition of the offering." "The rains stopped for seven days within the week after the ceremony." "In recent times, North Nandi Forest area has experienced seasonal variation due to climate change, writes Scolasticah Ndegwa from Kenya (Africa). This has affected the livelihoods of the Nandi community, the majority of whom practice agriculture that depends on the seasons. The new situation makes it hard for farmers to predict the right time to farm. As a result, the locals have been forced to violate their traditions and taboos. While previously the Nandi community had a tradition of not eating fish, today they are obliged to adopt new strategies like aquaculture and apiculture. In the past the Nyando River basin experienced long rains from March to June with very short rain spells in November, reports Dan Ong'or of the Uhai Lake Forum in Kenya (Africa). This trend has been rather irregular in recent years with floods occurring in August instead of April. Dry periods have increased in length and farm harvests are dwindling. The Wakesi community traditionally offers sacrifices to the gods for rain. These offerings are made under trees as they are associated with rain. The Baobab is one tree under which offerings are often made. During the development of a recent participatory action plan carried out by the Uhai Lake Forum in collaboration with the African Center for Technology Studies, the community revealed that they are increasingly offering sacrifices to the gods for rain. It appears climate change is catalyzing these practices."

A geophysical survey team was involved, in September, in investigating the potential of the nearby geothermal resource in the remote community of Akutan, Alaska, which currently uses expensive and polluting, particularly with carbon emissions, diesel to provide electricity. If a significant resource is identified this would potentially allow the Eastern Aleutian region to realize a clean, inexpensive and reliable source of energy production ("Alaska's geothermal project could fuel the region's economic sustainability," Indian Country Today, September 30, 2009, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/national/61465317.html). It should be noted however, that while many geothermal projects have been operating safely and successfully, recently two new geothermal developments, in Germany (Nicholas Kulish and James Glanz, "German Geothermal Project Induces Second Thoughts After Earth Rumbles," September 11, 2009) and California, were aborted because they appeared to be increasing earthquake activity. Once again, in dealing with energy and environmental issues, it is important that care has to be taken in including all relevant factors (which are often many), and looking carefully at local conditions, in making decisions - most often balancing a number of concerns, and continually reviewing the results, as not all effects and side effects can be predicted, even with careful study and analysis.

Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley signed an agreement, January 15, with Navajo Tribal Utility Authority (NTUA) and others involved to begin development of a wind power generating project at Big Boquillas, on the Navajo Reservation, that would initially generate 85 megawatts of electricity, and eventually, possibly many times that, with 10% of the power to go to NTUA and the rest to communities in Northern New Mexico and Arizona (Bill Donovan, "Wind project at Big Bo gets go-ahead," Navajo Times, January 28, 2010).

The Onondaga Nation and its environmental partners, Onondaga County Executive Joanne Mahoney, the Partnership for Onondaga Creek, and Atlantic States Legal Foundation were honored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency with the Environmental Quality Award, the highest recognition presented to the public, April 23 at a ceremony in New York, for their efforts to restore and protect the environment with the "Greening Syracuse's Combined Sewer Overflow Long Term Control Plan" to provide "a just and sustainable solution" to Onondaga County's combined sewer overflow problem. "Syracuse, like other older cities, has a century-old combined system in which storm water runoff runs into the sewer system. For decades untreated sewage and runoff was pumped directly into Onondaga Creek. The creek flows through Onondaga Nation territory and into Onondaga Lake, which is considered sacred by the nation. Onondaga County is under court-order to reduce the CSOs flowing into Onondaga Creek and Harbor Brook, another nearby waterway. The county's prior plans relied on expensive end-of-pipe "swirler" plants to disinfect sewage before dumping it into the creek, but that method failed to treat for either nitrogen or phosphorous. The plan intended to locate treatment plants in low income, mostly African-American neighborhoods in what some felt was a blatant act of environmental racism. And it proposed installing a 12-foot-diameter concrete pipe along a 1.5-mile route that would disrupt the neighborhood." The coalition developed an alternative featuring underground storage and green infrastructure with hundreds or perhaps thousands of small projects to decrease the amount of impervious surfaces such as sidewalks, streets, parking lots and rooftops, and constructing such things as permeable pavements in parks, parking lots and basketball courts, vegetated rooftops, rain gardens, cisterns, tree plantings and constructed wetlands to manage storm water runoff, and allow polluted water to seep below the surface and be filtered underground. The plan was approved by the Onondaga County legislature and is in the process of being implemented (Gale Courey Toensing, "Onondaga Nation and environmental partners win prestigious EPA award," Indian Country Today, May 20, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/home/content/93777889.htm).

A number of new "green" products have been developed. Chief Rufus Davis of the Adai Indian Nation of Louisiana has invented a hydroelectric generator to turn the flow of waste water into electricity and a "street energy" generator to produce electricity from the movement of vehicles along a street (Lucinda Hughes-Juan, "Tribal leader invents renewable energy products," Indian Country Today, Business 2010). Hawai'i is a laboratory for green energy development with a variety of different kinds of projects spread across its islands, from the more standard wind and photovoltaic cells, to geothermal, biomass, algae powered fuel cells and ocean wave generated power. All of this is hoped to be a base for meeting the state's goal of shifting to 40% renewable non-climate change causing energy, and away from having its electricity produced 77% by imported oil, 14% from imported coal, and currently only 9% renewable energy (Felicity Barrenger, "Hawai'i Tries Green Tools In Remaking Power Grid," The New York Times, September 15, 2009). Sweden is encouraging people to aid in combat growing warming in making food choices, by having labeling list the carbon emissions involved in producing food items (Elisabeth Rosenthal, "Sweden Looks to Diet to Cut Global Warming," The New York Times, October 23, 2009). A "clean coal" experiment at the Mountaineer power plant in West Virginia is underway to see if the coal powered plant can successfully bury much of its CO2 emissions in the ground. The hope is that the gas will remain deep underground for millennia. Up until now there has been no such thing as clean coal, only more or less dirty (Mathew L. Wald, "Refitted to Buru Emissions, Plant Draws Attention," The New York Times, September 22, 2009).

A report in the November 9 issue of Nature found that since the 1980s the Earth's oceans have been becoming less able to absorb carbon dioxide, increasing the percentage of carbon emissions that remain in the atmosphere, causing global warming (Sindya N. Bhanoo, "Study finds oceans becoming less able to absorb CO2," The San Francisco Chronicle, November 9, 2009).

The World Meteorological Organization, released a new study, in December, showing that the period from the beginning of 2000 to the end of 2009 has been the warmest decade on record, with the decades of the '90s and 80's in second and third place as global warming continues. Preliminary data indicates that 2009 was the fifth warmest year, since records began being kept. All of the five warmest years on record occurred from 2000-2009 (Andrew C. Revkin and James Kanter, "New Data Shows Warming Increased in Last Decade," The New York Times, December 9, 2009). NASA announced a similar finding in January (John M. Broder, "Past Decade Was Warmest Ever, NASA Finds," The New York Times, January 22, 2010). However, the last few years have surprisingly warmed at a slower rate than the preceding years, despite continued rise in the amount of greenhouse gasses in the air. A recent National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration study shows that at least a good part of the reason for the slowing of warming is because of a reduction of water vapor in the stratosphere, which has a greenhouse effect. This appears to be a short term phenomenon, so that the slowing of heating following from it will likely only be temporary (Sindya N Bhando, "Less Water Vapor Slows Earth's Warming Trends, Researchers Say," The New York Times, January 29, 2010).

There is a mixed report in the January 27 issue of Geophysical Research Letters finding that the hole in Earth's ozone layer is slowly mending, thanks to the great reduction in the production of fluorocarbons and other ozone layer destroying gasses, as a result of international cooperation. The good news is that the closing of the hole, and of the increase in the ozone layer as a whole, is that the excess of ultraviolet radiation, damaging to all life, caused by the reduction of the protective ozone layer of the atmosphere, is slowly being reduced. The problem is that the repair of the ozone layer is likely to contribute to global warming. The development of the hole led to the formation of moist, brighter-than-usual clouds that shielded the Antarctic region from the warming induced by greenhouse gas emissions over the last two decades. Paper coauthor Ken Carslaw, a professor of atmospheric science at the University of Leeds, states, "The recovery of the hole will reverse that. Essentially, it will accelerate warming in certain parts of the Southern Hemisphere" (Sindya N. Bhnoo, "The Ozone Hole Is Mending. Now for the 'But.'" The New York Times, January 25, 2010, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/26/science/earth/26ozone.html?ref=todayspaper).

Nancy Roberts, "Climate Change Refugees: Plants, Animals and Insects Will Need to Keep Moving," December 25, 2009, on Care2, http://www.care2.com/causes/global-warming/blog/climate-change-refugees-plants-animals-and-insects-will-need-to-keep-moving/, informs, "A newly released study tries to quantify the rate at which global warming is moving across the world, and shows that the average ecosystem will need to shift a quarter of a mile each year in order to stay in its ideal temperature range. Scientists at a group of institutions in California note that creatures in flatter areas, including coasts and deserts, will have to move even farther, up to a kilometer a year, in order to stay ahead. Of course, plants and animals have been adapting to changes in their environment for thousands of years, through both evolution and migration. However the newly released models show that many species in as many as one-third of the habitats studied will be unable to keep up with the projected rates of change. An even more serious issue, and one that cannot be ascribed to natural forces, is the fragmentation of so many natural habitats by human activity. Many animals and plants seeking cooler areas will be blocked by fences, roads, farms, and other barriers. The study's authors note that the provision and expansion of wildlife corridors and reserves and other assistance to plants and animals may be required to preserve as much of the planet's biodiversity as possible. " Moreover, "An article five years ago in the New Scientist notes that some animals' gene pools may be adversely affected by climate change, which will further harm their ability to adapt." "The fight against climate change must include emissions reduction, global warming mitigation and adaptation. Reduction and mitigation are up to us humans, but adaptation will be necessary for all living things."

In Bolivia Climate change is evident in the melting glaciers no longer providing water in many localities that they once supplied plentifully. In many villages once plentiful water sources have now dried up (Elisabeth Rosenthal, "In Bolivia Water and Ice Tell A Story of Changing Climate," The New York Times, December 14, 2009). In Tanzania, the Ice on the summit of Mt, Kilimanjaro, that for millennia has supplied water to an entire region, has lost 26% of its mass since 2000. Analysis of drilling cores shows that melting on this scale has not occurred for 11,700 years. It is not clear how much of the loss is directly from rising temperatures, and how much from reduced rains (Sindya N. Bhanoo, "Mt. Kilmanjaro's Ice Cap Continues Its Rapid Retreat, but the Cause is Debated," The New York Times, November 3, 2009). To point out the need to for action to fight global warming and end the threat of the complete melting of some glaciers and massive melting of the rest, the cabinet of Nepal held a meeting on the slopes of Mt Everest, in November. In January, the predictions of the rapid total melting of the Himalayan glaciers in the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report was found to have been overstated. The source for that finding had no evidential support, and had projected a faster rater of melting than current studies, which suggest that only the smaller glaciers in the Himalayas will totally disappear (Elisabeth Rosenthal, "UN Panel's Glacier Warning Is Criticized as Exaggerated," The New York Times, January 19, 2010).

Climate Frontlines, "Melting landfast ice, accelerated erosion: Alaskan villages endangered" [Posting 16], peoples@climatefrontlines.org, http://www.climatefrontlines.org/en-GB/node/520, reports, "Coastal villages in Alaska (USA) are reeling from the erosion caused by unprecedented warming trends due to climate change, explains Sharon McClintock. One of the most impacted areas is Shishmaref, a traditional Inupiat village in the Bering Straits with a population of just over 600 people. The village is located on Sarichef Island, a barrier island in the Chukchi Sea. In the past, sea ice would form in the fall, creating a blockade of ice along the shore which acted as a protective barrier against sea storms. This protective sea ice, which used to be in place by October or November, no longer forms solidly. Its absence allows powerful waves to undercut the banks that are already weakened by an increased melting of permafrost." "During a massive storm in 1973, nine meters of land was lost. In 1974, the village experienced a storm of major proportions and high water partially flooded the airport, prompting declaration of a national disaster. In 1997, a severe storm eroded some 45 meters of the north shore, forcing the relocation of fourteen homes. Five additional homes were relocated in 2002. The teacher housing is in a precarious location near the bluff. The fear that the next storm will leave them homeless convinced long time and well-liked teachers to leave Shishmaref. This has been a huge loss to the community. The sewage lagoon, roads, water supply, Laundromat, community store, and fuel tanks are at risk of damage or loss. The main road to the airport and landfill has been eroded in several places and the road is now dangerously close to the sea. Yearly storms continue to erode the shoreline at an average rate of retreat of 1 to 1.5 meters per year. Almost $23 million has been spent to construct seawalls that will provide only temporary protection to what is left of Shishmaref. In July 2002, residents voted to relocate the community. However, numerous problems have slowed this process, including reluctance of the state and federal governments to give monetary support for vital infrastructure or to take the lead in the relocation project. In 2008, the community learned that the site chosen for relocation was not suitable due to permafrost issues. So efforts had to begin anew. The place they now think would be the most suitable is near Ear Mountain close to the village of Wales. It is possible that a sustainable community can be created there utilizing geothermal potential and wind power for energy. However, some people say they will never leave Sarichef Island. But how will they fare, as no services will be available once everyone relocates?"

Brazil is paying some farmers to preserve trees. Whether this will be effective in stopping deforestation depends on a number of factors, including, are the payments large enough, do they cover enough forested areas, and do they apply only to legitimate forests, and not to such things as palm oil plantations on deforested land (Elisabeth Rosenthal, "In Brazil, Paying Farmers To Let Trees Stand," The New York Times, September 22, 2009). Four of the world's largest meat producers decided, in early October, to ban the purchase of cattle from newly deforested areas of Brazil's Amazon rain forest. The announcement was made at a conference organized by Greenpeace, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, by the cattle companies Bertin, JBS-Fribol, Marfrig and Minerva (Alexei Barrionuevo, "4 Giants in Cattle Industry Agree to Help Fight Deforestation," The New York Times, October 7, 2009). In Peru, pressure on local people to cut good charcoal producing wood for fuel is threatening to destroy the hurango trees that are a key element in stabilizing the area environment (Simone Romero, "Ecosystem in Peru Is Losing A Key Ally," The New York Times, November 8, 2009). Because of deforestation from lumbering and creation of palm oil plantations, leading to the drying out of peat bogs, that than leak large amounts of pollutants into streams and rivers, Indonesia is both the third greatest emitter of greenhouse gasses after China and the U.S., and suffering growing serious degradation of water to the point it is no longer drinkable by a great many who rely upon it. In November, Asia Pacific Resources International Limited, the mega paper and wood pulp company that has been a leader in deforesting Indonesia, proposed building a ring of industrial tree plantations around the core forest of the Kempar Peninsula, in order to preserve it. The company hi-hopes to receive carbon credits under the U.N, carbon trading program for doing so. Pressure from environmental and consumer groups world wide is having some impact on getting at least a few manufacturers to substitute other oil for palm oil in their products in an attempt to stop, or at least reduce, the rapid deforestation from growth of palm oil plantations in such places as Indonesia and Calisaya - who produce the vast majority of palm oil, and where palm oil plantation growth has caused by far the most deforestation in the last decade and year (Liz Gooch, "Success of Palm Oil Brings Plantations Under Pressure to Preserve Habitat,:" The New York Times, September 18, 2009).

The Pacific Island nation of the Federated States Micronesia, much of which will be covered if oceans rise sufficiently from global warming, has been challenging, at the Czech Republic Ministry of the Environment, plans by the Czech utility, CEZ Group, to refit a coal power plant at Punerov, saying that the refitted plant would continue to belch greenhouse gases (James Kanter, "A Pacific Island Challenge To European Air Pollution," The New York Times, January 19, 2010).

Gina Marie Cheeseman, "Obama Admin Might Require Federal Agencies to Consider Climate," Care2, January 3, 2010, http://www.care2.com/causes/global-warming/blog/obama-admin-might-require-federal-agencies-to-consider-climate/, tells us, "The Obama administration might issue an order to expand the range of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to include preventing global warming, according to the Los Angeles Times . The article stated that expanding NEPA 'could open up new avenues to challenge projects.' The LA Times article states that the Obama administration is 'poised to order all federal agencies to evaluate any major actions they take, such as building highways or logging national forests, to determine how they would contribute to and be affected by climate change, a step long sought by environmentalists.' Expanding NEPA would mean federal agencies must account for 'such factors as predicted rises in sea levels would affect proposed new roads along shorelines; or whether, because of temperature changes and species migration, clear-cutting a patch of forest would result in new types of trees replacing the originals.'" The Obama Administration is moving to have the federal government, the largest user of electricity and fuel in the nation, to become more energy efficient, saving money and reducing carbon emissions (John M. Broder, "U.S. Government Plans to Reduce Its Energy Use," The New York Times,, January 30, 2010). Massachusetts officials announced, January 29, new energy efficiency standards for utilities that would reduce electricity use state wide by 2.4% and natural gas use bt 1.15% annually for three years, primarily via $1.6 billion in incentives for customers to become more efficient in energy use. If successful, the effort could make Massachusetts the most energy efficient state, ahead of California (Leslie Kaufman, "Massachusetts Sets High Goals for Energy," The New York Times, January 30, 2010).

As of January, the limited legislation to combat climate change being considered by the U.S. Congress is in difficulty in the Senate, and congressional leaders are considering scaled down alternatives. The cap-and-trade system to limit emissions of climate-changing gases is now seen as unlikely to be able to pass this year, and job creating green energy production and conservation projects appear more politically possible. A bill Senate Majority leader, Senator Harry Reid, and some senior congressional Republicans support, would offer tax incentives to bus and truck fleets to switch to natural gas, a fuel that emits less carbon dioxide than diesel. Some energy industry leaders are lobbying for additional funding for so-called clean-coal research and energy efficiency measures for buildings. Senators, Maria Cantwell (D.-WA), and Susan Collins (R.-ME), have proposed a "cap and dividend" system under which power plants, steel mills, refineries and other major carbon emitters would have to pay for permits to pollute, with all of the money being rebated to consumers to compensate for the higher costs of energy and manufactured goods. Also, in the offing - and already in its first stages of development - does President Obama favor CO2 regulation by the EPA, opposed by many businesses, and less than a market-based cap-and-trade system. While Congress discusses the issues, White House officials continue to insist on a broad approach to climate and energy encompassing the whole economy, including a cap-and-trade system for carbon emissions, while supporting the EPA moving ahead on regulation of emissions of heat-trapping gases, which Republicans in Congress are attempting to derail. Just prior to the President's State of the Union address, a White House official predicted President Obama would restate his commitment to a bill that addresses global warming as well as pressing for measures to increase energy efficiency and clean-energy technology [which did occur]. The official stated the White House would support legislation providing incentives for oil and gas drilling and for construction of nuclear plants, along with measures assisting industries using a great deal of energy that are vulnerable to foreign competition. But to make good on his pledge to reduce global warming pollution by 17% percent over 2005 levels by 2020, the president will also insist that any legislation also contain some form of limit on emissions of greenhouse gases (John M. Broder and Clifford Krauss, "Advocates of Climate Bill Scale Down Their Goals," The New York Times, January 27, 2010, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/27/science/earth/27climate.html?ref=todayspaper).

If passing carbon credit legislation is too difficult, a suggestion for an alternative is a tax on carbon emissions linked to the Earth's temperature. The tax would begin small enough to be politically palatable. But if the majority of scientists are correct, and temperatures rise, then the tax on carbon would go up very steeply (John Tierney, "Trusting Nature as the Climate Referee," The New York Times, December 15, 2009).

For the first time, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is requiring disclosure to investors of any climate change related risk in investments (John Broder "SEC Adds Risk Related to Climate To Disclosure List," The New York Times, January 28, 2009).

Three climate change law suites against greenhouse gas polluting companies are now on going in the U.S. federal courts, following circuit courts of appeals rejecting motions to throw two of them out, and an increasing number of similar suites are anticipated. In one case, the Inupiat Eskimo village of Kivalina, consisting of 400 living on a small barrier island north of the Arctic Circle, is accusing two dozen fuel and utility companies of contributing significantly to the climate change that it claims is accelerating the island's erosion. The blocks of sea ice that used to protect the town's fragile coast from October to late spring are no longer present for most of the colder months high-winds seasons. The village is asking the energy companies, including Exxon, Mobil, and Shell Oil, to pay the costs of relocating the population to the mainland, which could cost as much as $400 million. In Connecticut, environmental lawyers are collaborating with attorneys general of eight states and the City of New York, in seeking a court order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In Mississippi, Gulf Coast property owners in the village of Kivalina claim that the potency of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 was increased by industry produced emissions that contribute to climate change. A U.S. District Court dismissed the suit, in October, but Kivalina is appealing the decision. In that case, the village alleges that the industry conspired "to suppress the awareness of the link" between emissions and climate change via "front groups, fake citizens organizations and bogus scientific bodies." This is very similar to charges in litigation against the tobacco industry that eventually resulted in industry settlements and increased government regulation. Legal experts comment that if these cases reach the discovery stage and turn up company memoranda and e-mails indicating corporate knowledge and cover up that their activities contribute to global warming, the impact is likely to be similar to that of the damaging disclosures in the tobacco cases (John R. Schwartz, "Courts as Battlefields in Climate Fights," The New York Times, January 26, 2010, (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/27/business/energy-environment/27lawsuits.html?ref=todayspaper; Mathew L. Wald, "States Can Sue Utilities Over Emissions," The New York Times, September 22, 2009).

While the green energy economy is developing in the United States, its growth - and green jobs that come with it - is being slowed by several factors. First, the green energy component of the economic stimulus bill were only beginning to come on line as 2009 neared its end. Many companies are reluctant to invest in more green energy before Congress passes climate change limiting legislation. Also, the revamp of the U.S. power grid, necessary to make much of new wind and solar energy practical, is only in its first planning stages. Meanwhile, the Obama administration proposed new tax credits, in August, intended to encourage green energy growth (Steven Green, "Elusive Goal of Greening U.S. Energy," The New York Times, December 3, 2009). There have also been environmental and aesthetic objections to some renewable power developments. A proposal in Congress to establish two new national monuments in the Mojave Desert is delaying 13 projected solar power stations, and if passed, would end those projects (Todd Woody, "Desert Vistas vs. Solar Power: Preservation of Mojave Faces Off With Plans For Renewable Energy," The New York Times, December 22, 2009). Perhaps the most notable ongoing battles over whether to allow wind farm development, is the dispute over whether to build a large wind farm off Cape Cod, in which the objectors include the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe of Cape Cod and Aquinnah Wampanoag nation of Martha's Vineyard who say the 24 square mile wind power facility would disturb their burial grounds and limit their view of the sunrise (Abby Goodnough, "For Controversial Wind Farm of Cape Cod, Latest Hurdle Is Spiritual," The New York Times, January5, 2010). Electric car development is being slowed by the lag in development of stations to charge and exchange batteries. Several auto makers plan to sell fully electric cars this year, and some will undoubtedly sell, including to municipalities, that are to operate locally and can sit for a few hours to be recharged. But for continuous and long distance use, large volume sales will have to wait until sufficient number of stations to exchange batteries and do recharging are available. Even increasing plug in points for recharging, for example on parking meters and in motel and other parking lots, will be a big boost for electric vehicle use. As electric vehicle use grows, and reduces gasoline and biofuel consumption, electric generation will have to expand (Rick Bunkley, "Plug-In Cars Are Almost Here, But Charging Stations Lag," The New York Times, October 22, 2009; Jad Mouawad and Kate Gilbraith, "Study Says Big Impact of Plug-In-Hybrid Will Be Decades Away," The New York Times, December 15, 2009). However, In Denmark, with the support of tax breaks, and Israel, efforts are being made to greatly expand electric car use by increasing wind generation and upgrading the power grid, providing numerous recharging points, and stations that can quickly change batteries (Nelson D. Schwartz, "Denmark, Ambitious Plan for Electric Cars," The New York Times, December 2, 2009, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/02/business/energy-environment/02electric.html?_r=1). The growth of eclectic energy gadgets, from increased computer use to electric fences and virtual fences, particularly in households, is increasing electric energy demand, increasing the push for more coal and other nonrenewable fuel powered generation plants, while making more necessary development of, including regulations requiring, more efficient energy using devices (Jad Mouawad and Kate Galbraith, "Plugged-In Age Feeds Hunger For Electricity," The New York Times, September 20, 2009). Among those around the world hurt by and objecting to climate change limiting policy, farmers in Australia protested before parliament, in January, upset by state regulations that bar them from clearing more than a certain amount of wild vegetation from their land to plant crops ("Farmers Protest Climate Policy," The New York Times, January 5. 2010). Good policy always involves finding the best achievable balance of all the factors and interests involved.

The Southern Ute Tribe of Colorado is a major investor in Solix Biofuels, an experimental business to produce fuel poil from algae, in a process that takes carbon dioxide out of the air, and does not displace farm land. The tibe has built a plant on its land next to a natural gas facility that provides carbon dioxide waste streams (Kirk Johnson, "A New Test For Business And Biofuel: Tribe and Professor Hav Plans for Algae," The New York Times, August 17, 2009). The Navajo Nation has established the Navajo Green Economy Commmission to seek appropriate state, federal and other funding for the Navajo Green Economy Fund and networking with state, national and intetnational groups to advocate and build Navajo green economy strategies and projects, while working with the Navajo Nation divisions and entities to develop and fund such projects, particularly small scale green economic developments (IGR committee confirms Bavajo Green Economy commissioners," Indian Country Today, February 17, 2010).

The Center for Biological Diversity's Endangered Species Action Fund, at the beginning of December, filed an emergency suit against the EPA for refusing to rein in dangerous pesticides that are poisoning the entire Arctic food chain and seriously threatening polar bear cubs. In addition, the Center has identified more than 1,000 U.S. plants and animals that currently are going extinct because of government negligence, listing delays, and lack of real protections.

Committees in both the House and Senate, last summer, passed national renewable electricity standards (RES) requiring utilities to generate an increasing amount of energy from clean, renewable sources such as the sun and wind. In addition, the full House passed an RES for the second year in a row, this time as part of a comprehensive climate and energy bill. The Union of Concerned Scientists is calling for stronger RES legislation (Union of Concerned Scientists, http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/what_you_can_do/CE-Summer-09.html).

Care2 reported, October 10, that with the support of numerous environmental groups, President Obama's Ocean Policy Task Force has issued science-based recommendations for a national policy to govern, protect, maintain and restore ocean habitat. This is the first time the U.S. has had a common vision for governing the 4.4 million square miles of America's marine waters. If adopted, implemented and funded, the recommendations would usher in a new era of ocean and inland waters management based on environmental stewardship. Rather than the hodgepodge of agencies and laws that currently govern oceans, coasts and the Great Lakes, there would be a unified policy and administrative coordination aimed at restoring and maintaining the health of these critical ecosystems. For more information go to: http://www.care2.com/go/z/e/AFQEZ/zJVa/JroH.

Alaska Natives and conservation groups represented by Earthjustice initiated a legal effort, in late January, to stop oil exploration vessels from invading the Arctic Ocean's fragile Chukchi Sea this summer. The coalition brought suit challenging a drilling permit granted to Shell Oil by the U.S. Minerals Management Service, demanding that the MMS take a closer look at potential environmental harms - as required by law. For details go to: http://action.earthjustice.org/ct/G7M9_C61VTxd/.

Alexi Barrionuevo, "Brazil: Judge Suspends Awarding of Dam Contracts," The New York Times, April 14, 2010, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/15/world/americas/15briefs-Brazilbrf.html?ref=todayspaper, reported that on April 14, a Brazilian judge, Antonio Carlos Almeida Campelo, agreed with a federal prosecutor in Para State, and suspended an auction scheduled for April 20 to award construction contracts for a huge hydroelectric dam in the Amazon that environmentalists say would devastate indigenous communities along the Xingu River, on thee grounds that awarding the contracts would violate environmental laws.

In Mexico, long term studies by a group at the University of Florida have shown that DDT and other pesticie exposure in Yaqui communities since the 1950s is causing Yaqui girls to be unable to lactate and thus breast feed, because of their mother's long term exposure. The pesticides contain EDCs, enoccrine disrupting chemicals (Terri Hanson, "Pesticide exposure deprives Yaqui girls of breastfeeding - ever," Indian Country Today, March 17, 2010).

In Costa Rica, Jaguar corridors have been extablished, that are kept free of development to allow the big cats to continue their natural migration. The same has been done for other animals elsewhere in Latin America, Africa and Asia (Elisabeth Rosenthal, "Helping Jaguars Survive by Easing Their Commute," The New York Times, May 12, 2010).

The Center for Biological Diversity reported, December 22. "Just months after federal scientists declared that the loggerhead sea turtle is spiraling toward extinction, the Obama administration tripled the number of sea turtles that can be caught by industrial fleets off the Hawaiian coast and increased the catch in the Gulf of Mexico by 700%." Worldwide, 200,000 loggerhead and 50,000 leatherback sea turtles are caught annually. For more go to: http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/dia/track.jsp?v=2&c=tdTdUY9ir2zcxkMvNldx7Z9BhdjxwCfy.

As Europe has been tightening its rules on products, and recycling is often expensive, more trash is being smuggled from Europe to poor nations, despite some policing. Lack of controls on all kinds of emissions in industrial areas of Thailand are causing many health and environmental problems. In some areas rain is so acid local residents stay out of it to avoid being burned and have hair fall out. Water is highly polluted bringing high cancer rates and destruction of aquatic and other habitat (Thomas Fuller, "In Industrial Thailand, Health and Business Collide," The New York Times, December 19, 2009). In Korea a $19.2 billion government project to control and redirect four major rivers, officially to prevent flooding and bring environmentally sound development, are opposed by strong opposition, including a law suit, on claims that the project is a huge boondoggle that will be an environmental disaster (Choe Sang-Hung, "Ambitious River Project Meets a Sea of Opposition," The New York Times, December 14, 2009).

Nicholas Haysom and Sean Kane, "Negotiating Natural Resources for Peace: Ownership, Control and Wealth-Sharing," Center for Humanitarian Dialogue, November 3, 2009, http://m1e.net/c?50573564-z2xKUDhgGgq.Y%404747997-hhO3A9gzmJ87M, posits, "Natural-resources can be a major cause of internal strife if mismanaged or shared unfairly. This is especially the case in divided societies where the uneven geographic distribution of natural resources corresponds to ethnic or religious divides. In an increasing number of countries, natural-resources have become a focus of efforts to end civil wars and establish new national compacts. In this context, the challenge is to balance the tensions that arise between strong local feelings of ownership over "their resources" against the overall importance of natural resources to national development." "This trend makes it important to broaden knowledge and understanding of governing arrangements for natural-resources, a subject which has not traditionally received extensive treatment in constitutions and peace agreements."

Andrés Barreda, Laura Carlsen, Michael Collins, "National Assembly of Environmentally Affected Groups Warns of an 'Environmental Disaster' in Mexico," Americas UPDATER, April 7, 2010, http://americas.irc-online.org/updater/6715, comments, "Created as a response to the environmental destruction that is alive in all the communities and cities in Mexico, the Fifth National Assembly of Environmentally Affected Groups brought together Mexicans from throughout the country. While many groups focused on specific problems affecting their community or region, several issues representing crisis situations emerged again and again."

"Biodiversity Report from Americas Program of CIP-October 2009," http://americas.irc-online.org/am/6513, included the following. "Genetically modified (GM) corn is contaminating the non-GM corn in Uruguay, according to a study titled "Inter Pollination Between Genetically Modified and Non-Genetically Modified Commercial Corn in Uruguay" carried out by researchers from the departments of Agronomy, Chemistry, and Sciences at the University of the Republic." "The authors of the study maintained that the results demonstrate the failure of the government's policy in promoting so-called 'regulated co-existence' between GM crops and their non-GM counterparts. According to this policy, a distance of 250 meters between GM and non-GM crops is sufficient to avoid GM pollen fertilization of non-GM crops. The study documents various cases of GM contamination in crops that were planted at a distance further than the government suggested 250 meters. In addition to GM corn, Uruguay also has GM soy and since its approval by authorities in 1996, the area of agricultural land planted with the GM soy has rapidly expanded. The period between the planting season of 2000-2001 and 2007-2008 the area of agricultural lands planted with GM soy grew from 10,000 ha to 462,000 ha (more than 1.14 million acres). Today, GM soy makes up 75% of the country's summer crops and is the number one crop in terms of expansion, reports the environmentalist organization Latin America Pesticide Action Network (RAPAL-Uruguay). 'The model based on the use of GM seeds-direct seeding and the use of a wide range of agro-toxins-has created major impacts at every level,' according to RAPAL-Uruguay. 'Some of the social impacts have been created by the intense concentration of and transfer to foreign ownership of the land. The price of land has risen, provoking the eviction and disappearance of small farmers from their lands. Among the environmental impacts are soil erosion and degradation as well as its contamination, inducing the growing bee and fish mortality rates. The increase in the use of agro-toxins has been between 300% and 500%.'" For More Information go to: http://bioseguridad.blogspot.com/search/label/Uruguay.

Lucía Aguirre, "Nicaragua: Food Sovereignty Does Not Exist Without Native Seeds," "Biodiversity Report from Americas Program of CIP-October 2009," http://americas.irc-online.org/am/6513, finds, "In Nicaragua, the campaign Seeds of Identity (Semillas de Identidad) develops and promotes information on and technology for local development based on the sustainable use of biodiversity and the exchange of traditional knowledge with an eye on counteracting monopolies, dependence, and the loss of native seeds. Seeds of Identity, the product of collaboration among various NGOs, also has as one of its objectives the creation of a public debate with different sectors of society on the issue of genetic resources and GM crops." "Approximately 20,000 Nicaraguan families are already working to rescue the many varieties of native seeds and 80% of agricultural land that is planted with basic grains is utilizing native and domesticated foreign seeds." "More than 160 seed banks already exist in the country, attended by 3,000 campesino families, and they guarantee the seeds for use during the different agricultural cycles." For More Information go to: http://semillasdeidentidad.blogspot.com/.

"Bolivia: International Climate Justice Tribunal," "Biodiversity Report from Americas Program of CIP-October 2009," http://americas.irc-online.org/am/6513, informs. "This October, the Bolivian city of Cochabamaba will be the seat of the First Hearing of the International Climate Justice Tribunal held before the ALBA (Alternativa Bolivariana para América Latina y el Caribe) countries meet for their 7th Summit. The initiative will "morally" sanction those responsible for climate crimes and their conclusions will be presented before the United Nations according to a report by Radio Mundo Real. The tribunal was born out of an agreement made during the IV Continental Summit of the Indigenous Peoples and Nations of the Abya Yala (IV Cumbre Continental de Pueblos y Nacionalidades Indígenas del Abya Yala) held in Puno, Peru in May 2009. In its First Hearing, the Tribunal will receive complaints against the Doe Run and Miner Volcán de Perú corporations, the Face Profafor organization, the governments of South America that develop the megaprojects that fall under the Initiative for the Integration of Regional Infrastructure in South America (IIRSA), and a company that produces ethanol in the Cauca river valley in Colombia. 'Face Profafor is a project of the European company Face and the Ecuadorian government that has taken over extensive areas for the planting of pines and other exotic species within the framework of 'carbon credits,' resulting in impacts on the local communities,' states the Andean Coordination of Indigenous Organizations (Coordinadora Andina de Organizaciones Indígenas) that participated in the creation of the tribunal. 'The production of ethanol in the Cauca river valley in Colombia is similar due to the massive cultivation of sugar cane to produce biofuels. Both fall under the category of 'false solutions' to climate change. Instead of reversing global warming they incur major impacts on biodiversity and the rights of the people.'"

"Biodiversity Report from Americas Program of CIP-November 2009," http://americas.irc-online.org, included, "Mexico: Government Approves Genetically Modified Corn Cultivation," reporting, "In October the Mexican government approved requests from U.S. biotechnology companies Monsanto, Dow Agrosciences, and Pioneer to cultivate "experimental" GM corn. The approved cultivation, that will cover a total of 120,000 square meters, will be located in the states of Sinaloa, Sonora, Tamaulipas, Coahuila, and Durango. This act puts an end to the moratorium on GM corn cultivation that governed the country for 10 years. The moratorium had been established in response to demands made by scientists and environmentalists who warned that in Mexico, being the center of corn origins and diversity, GM corn pollen could irreversibly contaminate other corn cultivations. The surreptitious and illegal presence of GM corn in Mexico has been documented since 2001. The consensus among experts is that this contamination is due to corn imports from the United States that have massively increased due to NAFTA. The approval has caused angry protests from a variety of sectors, from academics and scientists to campesinos, indigenous peoples, and environmentalists." For more information go to: http://bioseguridad.blogspot.com/search/label/Mexico."

"Condemnation of "Sustainable" Palm Oil," "Biodiversity Report from Americas Program of CIP-November 2009," http://americas.irc-online.org, reports "The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) is a forum that gathers agro-industrial companies involved in the production of oil palms (used for biodiesel among other things) and civil society sectors that aim to develop criteria for its sustainable production and grant a "green" certification to those operations that comply with such criteria. One of the Roundtable's principle members is the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), one of the most well-funded and influential environmental groups in the world. But a growing number of activist groups are denouncing the Roundtable as a public relations plot to paint an unsustainable industry "green" and are demanding that the WWF leave the RSPO." "The Rainforest Rescue campaign recently published an open letter to the RSPO and WWF. It has already been signed by dozens of organizations from countries like Mexico, Paraguay, Spain, Italy, and Switzerland. The signatories include the Latin America Network against Tree Monocultures (Red Latino Americana contra los Monocultivos de Arboles)," saying, "Palm oil monocultures … are one of the main causes of deforestation and, as a result, of climate change as well. They destroy subsistence systems and the food sovereignty of millions of small agriculturalists, indigenous peoples, and other communities. They require agrochemical products that poison the workers and surrounding communities, and they contaminate the soil, water, and biodiversity in addition to exhausting fresh water supplies and the soil. Palm oil monocultures are not and can never be sustainable and the 'certification' serves as a means to perpetuate and expand this destructive industry." "The letter makes references to the specific case of Colombia where the palm oil company Daabon, a member of the RSPO, is described by the European press as a 'responsible company' despite the fact that they illegally displaced small farmers from their lands, engaged in logging, and polluted the Caribbean with palm oil spills.' Among the demands of the signatories are: agrarian reform to return land to local communities, guarantees of food sovereignty and the restoration of biodiverse agriculture and ecosystems, and a resolution to land conflicts, respect for human rights, and reparations for the multiple damages caused. Complete text of the open letter: http://www.ecoportal.net/content/view/full/89436."

"Americas Program Biodiversity Report-April 2010," http://www.cipamericas.org/archives/2080, includes, "ECUADOR: Fight Against Oil Exploitation in the Amazon," reports, "The Ecuadorian government shone in front of the entire world with their proposal to not touch the petroleum that sits below the Yasuní National Park in exchange for economic compensation from the international community. Today civil society is defending that proposal from the government itself, which seems to be willing to change its decision and proceed with authorizing oil exploitation in the Yasuní. Not far from the Yasuní the government is already handing out concessions on areas of great biodiversity to petroleum corporations, like the one called Block 20, also known as Pungarayacu. The concession is 146,000 hectares and includes populated areas and protected zones like Sumaco, which is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve." "Ecuador: Warning About Neoliberal NGOs," warns, "The actions of rich and influential foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Ecuador and their close collaborative relationships with the government and transnational corporations causes uneasiness among local environmentalist groups." "'Large conservation NGOs exist that, with or without knowing, intervene in the territorial control of priority zones, geopolitically speaking (since large quantities of mineral resources, water, and biodiversity exist in them),' denounces Acción Ecológica in an open letter to organizations that work in defense of the environment, published Mar. 31, 2010. 'They do this by assuming the administration or management of protected areas. This is a typically neoliberal process by which the states are deemed incapable and these transnational conservation organizations present themselves as technical experts with the greatest capacity to plan and administer these zones, and even attracting more resources than many states for the same tasks.' Among the foreign conservation organizations active in Ecuador those that stand out include Conservation International, The Nature Conservancy, The World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). 'On many occasions these NGOs have accords with businesses and are the ones who determine which activities can be carried out in these zones: bio-prospecting, "sustainable" extraction of minerals and oil, control of aquifers and assigning rights of usage for water sources, development projects, or other plans that don't necessarily correspond to the objectives of strengthening and self-determination of the communities … They also intervene in the creation of legislation and in the design of public conservation policies, which permits them to legalize their actions.'

"BRAZIL: Government Hopes to Dam the Xingu River," "Americas Program Biodiversity Report-April 2010," http://www.cipamericas.org/archives/2080 informs, "Indigenous peoples and environmental groups are launching a campaign against the plans of Brazilian President Luis Inacio "Lula" da Silva to construct hydroelectric dams on the Xingu River, which runs nearly 2,000 kilometers through the states of Mato Groso and Pará. More than half of the territory through which it passes is jungle protected by law. 'The National Congress of Brazil approved, without debate and without previous consultation with indigenous communities as envisioned in the constitution, the construction of Belo Monte as the first in a series of dam complexes,' informs Rainforest Rescue. 'The initially anticipated reservoirs are enormous. Only one of them covers an area of 6,140 km2. The government of Lula da Silva promised not to complete a project against the desires of the local population, which is not being respected. At the beginning of February 2010 the government of Brazil conceded provisional permission for work. The work can begin at any moment.' Rainforest Rescue alludes to studies that demonstrate that investments in conservation and energy efficiency would be more than sufficient to make the electricity that Belo Monte would generate unnecessary, at a cost much lower than constructing the dam. The government maintains that the project will cost less than three billion Euros, but two of the companies involved, CPFL and Alsthom, estimate that the real cost will be closer to 12 billion Euros. The dam is pivotal to the ambitious Accelerated Plan for Growth (Plan Acelerado de Crecimiento) of Lula's government (http://www.brasil.gov.br/pac/), which will provide funds for, among other things, the construction of massive energy and transportation (highway) projects that could have serious environmental and social impacts. 'Some 20,000 people from the districts of Altamira, Vitória do Xingu, and Brasil Novo would have to abandon their lands and be resettled," says the organization. "The harm to fish and the fluvial exchange would be in addition to all the incalculable environmental damages. Emissions of methane, a very strong greenhouse gas, are another serious problem, as is an increase in diseases such as malaria and yellow fever. Due to similar dams constructed in Brazil in the past, the disastrous effects on the environment, human beings, and the climate are well known.'"

"Biodiversity Report from Americas Program of CIP - May 2010," http://www.cipamericas.org/archives/2442, includes, "Rainforest Rescue is seeking for support for a declaration to be sent to European governments requesting their support for the Yasuní Initiative, a proposal under which the government of Ecuador promises not to permit petroleum extraction in the Yasuní nature reserve in exchange for economic compensation." Rainforest Rescue states "The 'Yasuni' is one of the most biologically diverse places on earth and has world record number of species of amphibians, reptiles, bats and, above all, trees. The park gives shelter to a large number of threatened species that are native to the region. This earthly paradise is also home to indigenous people such as the Huaorani as well as the Tagaeri and Taromenane who live in voluntary isolation."

"'Responsible' Soy in trouble." "Biodiversity Report from Americas Program of CIP - May 2010," http://www.cipamericas.org/archives/2442, Updates, "The Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS), an agro-industry initiative to legitimize soy monocultures in South America, is on shaky ground now that one of its key members has withdrawn and the Dutch government is reconsidering its support." "But numerous sectors of civil society and NGOs have condemned this initiative since its inception. In April 2009, 90 organizations and activist networks signed a protest letter against the RTRS in which they declared emphatically that soy monocultures can never be sustainable or responsible. ABIOVE, the Brazilian Vegetable Oil Industry Association, withdrew from the Round Table at the beginning of April. A short time later it announced the creation of its own certification scheme, called Soja Plus, which is supposedly even more favorable to industry. Last year APROSOJA, the association of large soy producers of Brazil, withdrew due to disagreement with the Round Table's deforestation clause. As a result, the Round Table has practically no representation in Brazil, the main soy exporting-country in the world. The Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) reports that the Round Table received another very hard blow in April when the Dutch government decided not to invest 68 million Euros in a "sustainable business" proposal that included the RTRS. In the meantime, one of the members of the Round Table, the Argentinean agrofuel company Patagonia Bioenergy, hired the public relations firm Burson Marsteller to exert influence on the European Union so that its sustainability criteria will be more favorable to agrofuels. Burson Marsteller represented the military dictatorship that governed Argentina during the 1970s and 1980s.

"The WWF and Tree Monoculture Plantations," "Biodiversity Report from Americas Program of CIP - May 2010," http://www.cipamericas.org/archives/2442, reports, "The World Wildlife Fund (WWF), in addition to being the object of harsh criticism for its membership in the Round Table on Responsible Soy, is also under fire for giving its seal of approval to a United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization's (FAO) tree monoculture plantation certification scheme, which the World Rainforest Movement (WRM) considers fraudulent." "'Around the world, millions of hectares of productive land are quickly being converted to green deserts disguised as 'forests'", declared the Latin American Network Against Tree Monocultures in August 2009. "Local communities are displaced in order to make room for unending rows of identical trees - eucalyptus, pine, oil palm, rubber trees, jatropha (physic nut), and other species - which replace nearly all other forms of life in the zone. Cultivable land, crucial for the food sovereignty of local communities, is converted into monoculture tree plantations producing raw materials for export. Water resources are contaminated and exhausted by the plantations, while the earth is degraded".

(Carmelo Ruiz-Marrero. "Americas Program Biodiversity Report, June 2010," http://www.cipamericas.org/archives/2528, includes discussion of: "Costa Rica: The war against biodiversity is denounced," Brazil: Norway's duplicitous role," "Chile: Mobilization against GM crops," and "Bolivia: GM crops are not welcome").

Schools for Chiapas reports that Educating about the long term problems of Genetically (GMO) corn contaminations in Chiapas, Mexico is the center of a popular educational program of the ongoing Zapatista resistance to genetically modified crops, available from Schools for Chiapas, finds that compared to pesticide use in the absence of GE crops, farmers applied 318 million more pounds of pesticides over the last 13 years as a result of planting GE seeds. This summer, Schools for Chiapas is running trips to Chiapas where participants can help test for Genetically engineered corn. For more information contact Schools for Chiapas, 1631 Dale Street, San Diego, CA 92102 (619)232-2841, rosemary@schoolsforchiapas.org.

Survival International communicated, November 2, The United Kingdom's Advertising Standards Agency has banned the magazine advert placed by the Malaysian Palm Oil Council for being misleading, dealing a major blow to the credibility of Malaysia's palm oil industry. The advert claimed that Malaysian palm oil was 'sustainable' and contributed to 'the alleviation of poverty, especially amongst rural populations.' Members of the hunter-gatherer Penan tribe in Sarawak, in the Malaysian part of Borneo have welcomed the ban, saying, 'Oil palm plantations have not benefited us at all; they have only robbed us of our resources and land.' The Penan have been fighting to stop the forests they rely on being cut down to make way for oil palm plantations. Survival International is calling on the Malaysian government to halt plantations and logging on their land without their consent. For more information go to: http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/5164.

U.S. Government Developments

Much of the information on U.S. legislation, executive branch activity, federal Indian budgets and federal court decisions is from the memoranda of Hobbes, Straus, Dean and Walker, LLP., 2120 L Street NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037 (202)296-8834, http://www.hobbsstraus.com, made available to IPJ by Americans for Indian Opportunity.

Blackfeet Nation banker Eloise Cobell, Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, and Attorney General Eric Holder agreed to a $3.4 billion settlement of the 13 year old Cobell v. Salazar class-action suit, announced December 3. The settlement would compensate more than 300,000 Indian landholders in western states whose families have received inadequate or no payments on the grazing, oil, gas and recreational leases the federal government has held in trust, or administered on their behalf through "individual Indian money (IIM) accounts" for the past 122 years since the Dawes Act was approved by Congress. The agreement calls for $1.4 billion for individual Indian trust fund beneficiaries and $2 billion for a land consolidation program to be overseen by Interior to buy back fractionated trust lands. However, congress has to approve the settlement, and with the beginning of June, four deadlines have expired for Congress to pass an approval of the Cobell settlement, in December, February, April, and the end of May. Dennis Gingold, the lead lawyer for the Indians, said the May 31 deadline is likely to be the last, and the suit is set to go on in court, as District Judge James Robertson had stated that he did not want further extensions of the December settlement agreement. Gingold said, "If the settlement agreement expires, plaintiffs will resume intense litigation against Treasury and Interior on all matters relevant to the case, including the renewal of matters that remain unresolved and the refilling of motions that have been dismissed without prejudice as a necessary predicate to settlement." In June, the deadline for Congress completing the settlement was extended to July 9. On June 11, The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) sent a letter to the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs giving credence to a proposed amendment by Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) to the settlement legislation, part of HR 4213, The American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act of 2010, stalled in the Senate as of the end of June. The amendment, supported by statements by a number of Indian organizations and leaders critical of the settlement (for example, see Angelique EagleWoman, "The Cobell settlement is a great wrong to Indian people." in Dialoguing, below) would cap lawyers fees at $50 million (as opposed to current $100 million) and limit lead plaintiffs incentive awards for expenses at $15 million. Lawyers for Indian plaintiffs have expressed concern that any change would undo the settlement. NCAI, though critical of the settlement, has stated that it supports it. In June, with the retirement of Judge Robertson, a new judge was appointed to handle the Cobell case, Judge Thomas Hogan, who is expected to approach the case much as Robertson has. Meanwhile, Keepseagle v. Vilsack. concerning claims by thousands of tribal plaintiffs who contend that Department of Agriculture officials denied or delayed a number of farm and ranch loans and emergency assistance applications by Indians. A February decision by the Obama administration to provide an additional $1.25 billion to a class of black farmers who had similar claims as the Indian plaintiffs, and had previously, been paid $1 billion, has raised expectations for a settlement soon in Keepseagle, which began in 1999. An expert report prepared by Indian plaintiffs estimates that alleged discrimination in various USDA departments toward Native American farmers caused the farmers to be denied about $3 billion in credit, resulting in between $500 million and $1 billion in damages. At the White House Tribal Nations Conference in November, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack promised to resolve the situation. At a February Agriculture Subcommittee hearing, he again noted Keepseagle, testifying, that there was a wide gap between the parties on a settlement figure. Joseph Sellers, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said in early April that his Indian clients have been frustrated with the pace of talks, and settlement still seems elusive. Congressmen Dale Kildee (D-MI) and Tom Cole (R-OK), co-chairs of the House Native American Caucus, sent a letter in March to Vilsack, saying he should settle under similar terms as those in the African-American farmer deal. Indian plaintiffs agreed in December to a stay of their litigation as USDA officials signaled they wanted to talk. They then agreed to an extension in February until April 21. Just prior to that date, USDA requested more time, and the plaintiffs agreed, and the parties filed a joint motion to extend the negotiation settlement talks through May 26, with a status conference the same day and a status report due May 30 ("Government Settles Indian Trust Fund Suit ," Cultural Survival E-newsletter, December 2009 http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?et=1102878715713&s=5868&e=001qBXoNMr5lDvGKiyKQXo1UpU-oR8qyWJM3faBRTnvfQyEaJDDkqedemI1Y1fMppCNqbKlW9Q7KpubsbtIKa8uV7beC2_qdzhKq5sIGiYrVH91S-pj3Btrnf1Kbdlqm9oKbM0qQdfb7JazsHPIMt7vPww8F_y8IokNhC5iqmsbpy5erSUZt8ucv2uIYHk5pTRG2IKBqkvSVdN; and Rob Capriccioso, "Keepseagle in limbo," Indian Country Today, April 28, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/national/91907409.html, Rob Capriccioso, "Cobell deadline extended for fifth time, Indian Country Today, June 23, 2010; Rob Capriccioso, "NCAI sends cautious Cobell letter," Indian Country Today, June 23, 2010; and Rob Capriccioso, "New Cobell judge not expected to hamper settlement," Indian Country Today, June 9, 2010).

When President Obama signed health insurance reform into law. March 23, through one of its sets of provisions he was also approving permanent reauthorization of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, which despite numerous attempts in Congress, had not been reauthorized since 2001. The reauthorization includes many opportunities to move toward closing the wide health disparities between American Indians and Americans in general. One aspect of the reauthorization is moving away from a "treatment only" system toward more holistic prevention care that attacks the roots of epidemics in Indian country, such as obesity, diabetes, alcoholism and suicide ("In new health law, many opportunities," Indian Country Today, March 26, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/89263172.html).

President Obama, December 19, signed into law the Native American Apology Resolution, included in the FY2020 Defense appropriation Act, H.R. 3326, Section 8119. The resolution states that The "United States Apologizes on behalf of the people of the United States to all Native Peoples for the many instances of violence, maltreatment, and neglect inflicted on Native Peoples by citizens of the United States," and "urges the President to acknowledge the wrongs of the United states against Indian tribes in the history o the United States in order to bring healing to the land." The resolution states that nothing in it authorizes, supports or settles any legal claim against the U.S.

Two pieces of legislation have been proceeding that might expand or extend tribal bonding authority. President Obama signed the HIRE Act, HR 2847, P.L. 11-147, March 18, new jobs legislation that includes extending the authorization for Highway Trust Program Fund programs and gives issuers of several municipal bonds the option of allowing them to function in a similar manner as bonds in the Build America Program, while removing the requirement that such bonds be issued by January 1, 2011. The House, March 25, approved HR 4849, the Small Business and Infrastructure Act, which would provide for an extension of the Build America Bonds Program through 2013, and would allow Tribal governments to issue private-activity bonds for water and sewage supply facilities while waving some restrictions. In addition, on March 31, the Department of the Treasury held a tribal consultation video conference/conference call.

The U.S. Senate has passed the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act, March 16, that would ban the shipment of cigarettes and certain tobacco products through the U.S. Postal Service, cutting off the only remaining delivery service for Indian retailers who do business through Internet sales. A few years ago, former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, "persuaded" private carriers such as Federal Express and UPS to "voluntarily" stop shipping tobacco products. A version of PACT passed the House last year by a vote of 397-11. Differences between the House and Senate versions had yet to be reconciled, before going to President Barack Obama for passage. Tribal leaders are calling on Obama to send the bill back to Congress for an amendment that explicitly exempts sovereign Indian nations from the act. White House spokesman Shin Inouye stated, shortly after the Senate passage of the bill, that, "The White House continues to examine the PACT Act and is working with the Department of Justice to consider the bill's impact while Congress resolves the differences between the House and Senate bills." The Senate version includes provisions protecting tribal sovereignty and immunity, including barring state attorneys generals from suing tribal governments in federal court. Many tribal leaders say the act is an attack on tribal sovereignty and economies that will devastate Indian tobacco businesses across the country. Lance Morgan (Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska), CEO of Ho-Chunk, Inc., and partner at Fredericks, Peebles & Morgan, stated "It's very likely that this law is going to kill the entrepreneurial people in this business and force a lot of business to be done by the tribal government itself. The tribe gets to retain its sovereignty and sovereign immunity, but individuals will be wiped out." "The PACT Act is in its entirety an amendment to the Jenkins Act. It is not a stand-alone act, it just changes the Jenkins Act to add the mail ban, and increase reporting requirements and up the criminal penalties, and also allow the states to sue in federal court to enforce it," Morgan said. The Jenkins Act of the 1940s requires retailers who sell cigarettes in interstate commerce to notify that state's tax department of purchasers' names and addresses, as well as the number of cigarettes sold, on a monthly basis so the state can bill the purchaser for taxes due. Morgan noted, "The PACT Act is very tricky. It says it protects tribal nations, but we had those protections anyway, and it doesn't protect us against the state suing those who deal with us, so in the end the state has figured out a way to win without directly attacking us." "If you sell to a tribe and don't report you get sued. If you report your sales to the tribe, then you get sued under a different law. The only way you don't get sued is if you give the state an extra $4.50 per carton and even then the state can blacklist the Native tobacco product and declare it contraband. This is especially helpful in protecting Marlboro's market share, upon which the MSA payments are calculated. So this is about money. It is about taking money away from us and protecting the state's money and the Marlboro Man's market share." Seneca Nation President Barry E. Snyder Sr. charged the bill was "anti-Indian business," stating that the PACT Act will destroy more than 1,000 Native and non-Native tobacco industry jobs in western New York. He added, "What we're witnessing is an effort by Philip Morris and other global tobacco companies to wipe out competition anyway they can, in this case, at the expense of our economy and our federal treaty rights." New York State has been engaged in a long battle with tribal entities selling cigarettes in the state over large amounts of tax revenue it loses because of untaxed tribal cigarette sails to non-Indians (Gale Courey Toensing, "Senate passes 'Termination Era' PACT Act; tribal leaders will continue fight," News From Indian Country, March 16, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/87793387.html).

The House, on January 21, approved three Indian Water settlements ending years of litigation, HR 1065, HR 3254 and HR 3342, all which were approved by the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. HR 1065 (S 313), the White Mountain Apache Tribal Water Rights Quantification Act of 2009, would define the White Mountain apache tribe's water rights at 27,532 acre-feet per year and authorize $126 million for rehabilitation and maintenance of existing water delivery and storage infrastructure. HR 3254 (S 965), the Taos Pueblo Indian Water Rights Settlement Act would define Pueblo Taos water rights at 11,927.5 acre-feet a year an authorize $121 million for water infrastructure, watershed protection and water scarcity mitigation projects. HR 3342 (S 1105), the Aamodt Litigation Settlement Act would define the Pueblos of Nambe, Pojoaque, San Ildefonso, and Tesuque's collective water rights at 4,903 acre-feet per annum, and authorize $106.4 million (in 2006 dollars indexed for inflation) for constructing and implementation of water infrastructure to serve the four tribes.

The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, S. 1011, popularly known as the Akaka Bill, was approved by the Senate Committee of Indian Affairs, December 17. The latest version would authorize a process for establishing a Native Hawaiian governing entity and would grant the equivalent of federal recognition to Native Hawaiians, allowing them to be treated on par with American Indians and Alaska Natives - except the bill would not allow gaming, create reservation trust land, give back any of the land that Congress, in a 1993 Apology Resolution, acknowledged was illegally seized from Native Hawaiians without legislative approval, or change any existing laws. In effect, the bill, would authorize a process to talk about creating a Native Hawaiian governing entity that would negotiate with the United States and the State of Hawaii over the transfer of lands, civil and criminal issues, and grievances by the Native Hawaiian community. The Senate bill -- included new language proposed by the Obama administration to address concerns about the legislation's constitutionality. Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle and Attorney General Mark Bennett, who have been longtime supporters of his effort, opposed the language, saying the changes stripped away language ensuring that the state's rights and interests were protected. On December 16, the House Natural Resources Committee passed H.R. 2314, the House companion bill, without the amendment approved in the Senate, and the bill passed the House, February 23, in a party line vote. With Republicans opposing the bill, passage will be more difficult in the Senate. While the Bush administration opposed the Akaka Bill, the Obama administration has endorsed the bill. The Hawaiian sovereignty movement opposes the bill, as it seeks full independence from the United States based on decolonization and de-occupation under international law. There are also questions about the impact of the Akaka bill in limiting Hawaiian sovereignty and land claims (Gale Courey Toensing, "Senate and House committees approve Akaka Bill," Indian Country Today, Jan 14, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/81560312.html; and Gale Courey Toensing, "Akaka Bill passage questioned as opposition mounts," Indian Country Today, April 2, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/89788477.html).

Congress Woman Betty McCollum (D-MN), January 20 joined 16 bipartisan co-sponsors in introducing a bill that would allow Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) schools to apply for stimulus funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The bill would allow BIE schools to access funds from the $4.35 billion federal Race to the Top Fund competitive grant program and the Innovation Fund under the Recovery Act. Nearly 50,000 students attend 183 BIE schools nationwide, which have been historically under funded. This has contributed to the BIE high school graduation rate for 2007-2008 being 53.5% percent, according to the BIE, compared with 75% graduation rate for schools nationwide that year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. In addition, BIE students had the second-highest dropout rate for any ethnicity in the 2006-2007 school year at 8.3%, according to the BIE and the National Center for Education Statistics. Only Hispanics, at 21.4%, had a higher dropout rate that year. The Bill was strongly supported by the National Indian Education Association, and other Native American groups ("Good news for Indian schools," Indian Country Today, January 22, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/82377247.html).

Senator Byron D. Dorgan (D-N.D), chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, March 2. introduced S.3058 to amend the Public Health Service Act to reauthorize the Special Diabetes Programs for Indians. This senate bill would appropriate $200 million per year for an additional five years to continue SDPI, providing an increase of $50 million per year for SDPI, a program which Congress established in 1997 to prevent and treat diabetes in AI/AN populations ("NIHB applauds possible SDPI reauthorization," Indian Country Today, March 9, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/87122607.html).

The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, April 22, considered a draft of tribal energy legislation, entitled The Indian Energy Promotion and Parity Act, culminating the Senate's opinion gathering on the issue from tribal officials begun early in 2009. Tribal and Indian organization testified that the provisions of the bill were an effort in removing obstacles for tribally-driven energy development, but sought some improvements. Joe Garcia, National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) president commented that some current tribal energy projects are stuck in pre-development phases, due to lack of financing, transmission access issues, and unfavorable tax structures, while, states and counties are increasingly focused on taxing tribal energy projects, threatening their viability and siphoning off revenue that should be going to tribal governments for needed programs and services. All of these issues need to be accounted for in legislation, which he stated Congress needs to quickly act on in the 111th Congress, despite various issues with the current legislation. Southern Ute Indian Tribe chairman, Matthew Box testified that the discussion drafts addressing Indian energy issues are responsive to concerns raised by tribes, but he said there was a need for a variety of technical improvements, especially in terms of improved transmission. Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians, Chairman, Michael Marchand, noted the need for the appointment by the President of the director of Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs of the Department of Energy," as this position deals with most tribal energy issues, including "A number of the directives and authorities described in the bill." Ralph Anderson, Bristol Bay Native Corporation president, testified that there are no existing federal programs to provide Alaska Native tribes the direct assistance needed to help develop alternative forms of energy generation and transmission, which is especially important given the high cost of providing energy to rural Alaska by conventional means (Rob Capriccioso, "Tribal energy legislation inches forward," Indian Country Today, May 16, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/home/content/93770169.html).

The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, April 22, held a," relating to issues concerning Indian energy development that the committee has been working on for two years. Testimony touched on a variety of issues, but there was concurrence on the need for Indian lands to be connected to the national energy grid, and on the need to reduce the number of bureaucratic procedures and reduce the time frames for tribes to proceed on energy projects. That includes tribes working directly with, and receiving funding directly from, the Department of Energy (DOE), rather than having DOE programs, such as weatherization efforts, go through states to tribes. In addition, tribes stressed the need for tribal capacity building so that they can be partners in energy development and production and not just receive royalties. When tribes can undertake projects themselves or in partnership they become actively more self-sufficient as well as receiving more income. The committee was accepting comments on the draft, which is available, possibly with a video of the hearing, at: www.indian.senate.gov

S 3058, identical to HR 3668, to reauthorize the Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SPDPI) was introduced in the Senate, March 2, that would set SDPI entitlement funding at $200 million per annum from 2012-16, $50 million more than the current annual funding level; with the same increase over this period for the Type I program to also bring it to the $200 million a year level.

The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs held a hearing, March 25, on "The Preventable Epidemic: Youth Suicides and the Urgent Need for Mental Health Care Resources in Indian Country." Indian Health Service (HIS) deputy director Randy Grinnell testified that the American Indian and Alaska Native suicide rate from 2002 - 2004 in the IHS service area was 1.7 times that of the all races rate for 2003, noting "Suicide is the second leading cause of death (behind unintentional injuries) for Indian youth ages 15 - 24 residing in IHS service areas and is 3.5 times higher than the national average." Senator Al Franken (D-MN) said the rate is up to seven times higher in some areas of the country. Statistics show that 64% percent of all suicides in Indian country are by Native young people 15 - 34 years old. Health educators have long proposed that Indian country requires significantly more mental health support in order to address the issue. The recently passed Indian Health Care Improvement Act includes funding increases toward that end, but there is a wide belief is that it will take time and steady focus to reduce the youth suicide rate. Several Indian health officials testified that further increases in funding are needed for Indian youth counseling programs, with a focus on expanding programs that work to reach more tribal youth (Rob Capriccioso, "Senate explores Indian youth suicide," Indian Country Today, May 18, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/home/content/93774904.html).

The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs held its third hearing in four years, December 9, into the extremely slow process at the Department of Interior in processing of land transactions. The delays in the process hamper the ability of tribes and individual Indians to use their land and engage in economic endeavors. Committee Chairman, Senator Byron Dorgan (D-N.D) said there had been progress at the BIA on the issue since the last hearing, but he wanted to address it again now that Larry EchoHawk was in office as new assistant secretary of Indian affairs. Dorgan stated, "It seems to me, we are close to being back to square one," later adding that the department tends to focus on the issue when congressional hearings are held, but at other times gives it little attention. He noted that the committee has heard from tribal leaders that applications involving land developments sometimes sit for years at Interior without movement, then come back with request for more current information. He noted that two applications from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe have been pending for more than a decade. Derek Bailey, chairman of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, testified that his tribe has eight trust acquisition requests pending with the department, some of which have been under consideration for more than 15 years. Bailey suggested that Interior should be required to act within a specific time frame on trust acquisitions. If it fails to do so, he said the land should acquire trust status by operation of law. Similar backlogs involving tribal environmental impact statements also plague the agency. George Skibine, principal deputy assistant secretary of Indian affairs, testified that "significant progress" has occurred in processing land into trust requests. He asserted that the department has currently received a total of 1,935 requests. As a result of the standardization and streamlining efforts, he said, 454 of the requests have been completed or withdrawn by the applicant and determinations have been made on 342. He pointed out the February 2009 Supreme Court decision in Carcieri v. Salazar has presented Interior with an additional challenge, indicating the ruling has disrupted the process for acquiring land into trust for recognized tribes by imposing new and undefined requirements on applications now pending. He noted that the department supports a legislative fix. Carl Artman, the previous assistant secretary of Indian affairs, testified that the land into trust backlogs had improved under his tenure, but he said work remained to be done on leasing and appraisal developments. Dorgan stated that another hearing on progress on the backlogs will be held in six months (Rob Capriccioso, "Land backlogs at Interior re-examined," Indian Country Today, December 15, 2009, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/79061287.html).

At the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs June 17 oversight hearings on education, several tribal stated that the No Child Left Behind Elementary and Secondary Education Act, up for reauthorization, has had many negative impacts on Native youth and must be amended to address Native American concerns. Mary Jane Oatman-Wak Wak, incoming president of the National Indian Education Association (NIEA), testified that since 2005, NIEA has been preparing for the reauthorization of NCLB, including conducting 11 field hearings with more than 120 witnesses in Native communities across the country and the development of the organization's "Preliminary Report on No Child Left Behind in Indian Country" and other policy recommendations. "What emerged through this extensive dialogue was an appreciation for the goal of Title VII of NCLB to meet the unique cultural and educational needs of Native children. However, it was clear that many areas of concern existed about how NCLB/ESEA was unable to fully address the educational needs of Native students and communities, along with ideas about how NCLB/ESEA could and should be improved." Oatman-Wak Wak proposed ideas for several areas of improvement, including increased cultural learning, increased tribal control and input, and more funding. David Beaulieu, director of the Electa Quinney Institute for American Indian Education at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, said that NCLB's reliance on rigid testing may have hurt some Native students. "We may have actually lost ground with what is essentially one entire school generation of American Indian learners from elementary through high school in the nine years since NCLB passed in 2001," the professor testified. He said American Indian students need to see a personal future that connects to the education mission of the schools they attend. Chad Smith, principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, testified that, "The nation would specifically like to see less emphasis on testing and more flexibility in establishing our own measurables." Keith Moore, the new director of the Bureau of Indian Education, testified that reauthorization of ESEA represents a unique opportunity to ensure that the act works for American Indian and Alaska Native communities. "The reauthorized ESEA can support the self-determination of Indian tribes and create an educational system that values tribal cultures and languages" (Rob Capriccioso, "Natives want improved education law, June 30, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/home/content/97153549.html).

Representative Martin Heinrich (D-NM) introduced HR 2523, the Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Homeownership (HEARTH) Act, which would amend the Long Term Leasing Act of 1955 to enable tribes to assume authority over the leasing of their lands. Section 415 currently requires that the BIA approve all leases of tribal trust or restricted fee land. The BIA approval requirement not only undermines tribes' right of self-government but also causes extensive delays in connection with home ownership and economic development. A decade ago, Congress amended Section 415 to authorize the Navajo Nation to enact a leasing ordinance that, once approved by the Interior, would permit the nation to issue leases (other than extraction of minerals) without further Interior approval. The HEARTH Act would give all tribes the same option, but tribes wishing to do so could continue to submit leases for BIA approval. The House Natural Resources Committee held a hearing on the matter, October 21. Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND), Chair of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, introduced similar legislation in the Senate, late Spring (Brian Pierson, "Pierson: Pass the leasing reform bill," Indian Country Today, March 5, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/86587802.html, and Rob Capriccioso, " Tribal leaders to Congress: End BIA homeownership bureaucracy," Indian Country Today, October 26, 2009, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/65771767.html, and "Dorgan introduces housing bill," Indian Country Today, June).

The Indian Development Finance Corporation (IDFC) Act, Senate Bill 439, was introduced in the Senate by Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI), on February 13, 2009 and in the House as HR 1607 by Congressman Eni Faleomavaega, Feb. 27, 2009. The IDFC legislation would create an independent federally chartered corporation, that functions as a "development bank" for its tribal shareholders, adopting the functions and organizational structure of the regional development banks created by the World Bank for "lesser developed economies" within the so-called Third World countries. IDFC would be authorized to invest "seed capital" in tribal economic development enterprises with priority given to projects that create a viable economic infrastructure for tribes served by the development bank. The bank would provide federal guarantees for tax-exempt tribal development bonds issued by private investment companies under tribal authority, as well as e technical assistance to its tribal shareholders to design and develop economic infrastructure projects. The bill would authorize sale of 500,000 shares of common stock at $50 a share to U.S. tribal nations. As soon as 10% percent of the shares were purchased by tribes, these tribal shareholders are authorized to hold a shareholders meeting and elect a governing board which would then hire a president/CEO who will be responsible for appointing a management team. The proposed bill authorizes the Tribal Development Bank to issue "capital stock" to the U.S. government in two increments, $20 million within the first year after the bill has been passed and $80 million as soon as 10% percent of the common stock has been purchased by tribal shareholders. In addition, the Tribal Development Bank can issue its own federally guaranteed bonds to raise capital as needed. Tribes could use the development bank as their own "Operating Business Network" to design and develop joint ventures between themselves. The Tribal Development Bank is intended to serve as a business and investor service for tribal shareholders. Based on their common shareholder status, the Tribal Development Bank may use its authority to make it a priority to support such joint venture with federally guaranteed financing as well as injections of seed capital to alleviate risk. The IDFC will be authorized to create its own business research office within the institution to support these priorities (Alan Parker, "Parker: Tribal Development Bank legislation; an idea that's time has come," Indian Country Today, March 1, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/85815082.html).

The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs continued its oversight of law and order in Indian country with a hearing, March 18, into BIA and tribal police recruitment, training, hiring and retention. Policy advisor to the Interior Department's Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, Wizipan Garriott, testified that the Obama administration has designated addressing public safety in tribal communities a top priority. The administration has supported the Tribal Law and Order Act, and several new initiatives by the Interior and Justice departments focus on tribal safety, while requesting the BIA receive an additional $20 million in public safety funding in the FY 2011 budget over the FY 2010 enacted level. He said the administration is developing a national recruitment strategy targeted towards staffing historically hard to fill duty locations for law enforcement and corrections officers for the Office of Justice Service. Garriott noted that the BIA made several policing recommendations in a February report to the committee, "Protecting Indian Country," identifying methods for improving law enforcement and corrections operations, and Joseph W. Wright, deputy assistant director of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, later testified that his department has already implemented several of the recommendations in the report. Several tribal officials testified that they cannot keep existing police positions filled because of low salary levels and "problematic dynamics involved in hiring, training and retention." Senator Al Franken (D-MN) pointed out that a lack of accurate crime data is a problem on many reservations (Rob Capriccioso, "SCIA examines police on the rez, April 2, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/89768327.html).

The House Committee on Natural Resources held a hearing, December 2, on H.R. 725 that would strengthen the Indian Arts and Crafts Act by heightening criminal ramifications over non-Indians who illegally counterfeit Indian artistry. The bill would authorize all federal officers to perform investigations involving misrepresented Indian goods. Testimony indicated that the FBI is currently charged with investigating and curbing counterfeiting crimes, but tribal members have long noted that the agency's enforcement of the law has not been a priority, nor have enough resources been available to do so. A previous federal report indicated that Indian artistry is a $1 billion industry annually and up to 60% percent of alleged Indian crafts in New Mexico alone may be counterfeit. Michael Garcia, president of the Indian Arts and Crafts Association, testified that he fears the continuing loss of integrity in this field will ultimately result in the large-scale demise of authentic, Indian arts. He requested a Government Accountability Office study to unearth more exact figures of the cost of counterfeiting (Rob Capriccioso, "House weighs crackdown on Indian crafts violators," Indian Country Today, December 4, 2009, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/78520992.html).

A bill has been introduced in Congress that would payoff a decade old federal government debt to Sealaska Corporation and its more than 20,000 tribal member shareholders by allowing it to choose to be transferred to it to 85,000 acres of federal land in the Tongass National Forest. Sealaska believes the result would be an economic boost to the region, but critics complain that allowing the Native corporation to cherry-pick some of the loveliest and most valuable lands in the state would be detrimental to other local interests. It would be the first time that one of 13 Native regional corporations formed nearly 40 years ago has been allowed to pick land outside the original boundaries of the 1971 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. Under the act that compensated Alaska Natives for the taking of their lands, the regional corporations were allowed to select from 44 million acres and were paid more than $962 million. Sealaska was entitled to up to 375,000 acres but received 290,000 acres. Much of the land it was entitled to was tied up in long-term timber contracts. Some of the parcels now available for choosing are mostly under water and include municipal watersheds and land used for subsistence hunting and fishing (Mary Pemberton, "Alaska Native corporation's land deal draws ire," Indian Country Today, February 16, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/84481517.html).
The Radiation Exposure Compensation (RECA) Amendments Act of 2010 was introduced in both houses of Congress, in April, that would expand benefits to uranium mining workers - including many Navajos ("Proposed amendments to uranium compensation law highlighted," Navajo Times, April 29, 2010.

The President of the United States, November 5, issued Memorandum 09-141, a Memorandum on Consultation with Indian Tribes to Federal Departments and Agencies, committing the administration to "regular and meaningful collaboration and consultation with tribal officials in policy decisions that have tribal implications." The President established a 90 day period in which each agency head would implement the provisions of Executive Order 13175, in place since 2000 but not always followed by agencies, and a requirement that each agency submit a progress report with in 270 days on implementation, that would be repeated annually. 13175 has specific consultation and collaboration requirements for the development of "regulatory policies," legislative proposals, or the handling of tribal requests for waivers to statutory and regulatory provisions, Memorandum 09-141 requires that with respect to "actions that have substantial direct effects on one or more tribes", Federal agencies are required to: 1) Encourage Indian Tribes to develop their own policies to achieve program objectives, 2) Where possible defer to Indian Tribes to establish standards, and 3) In determining whether to establish federal standards, consult with Indian tribes as to the need for federal standards and any alternatives that would limit the scope of federal standards or otherwise preserve the prerogatives and authority of Indian tribes. The Office of Management and Budget Director, in coordination with the Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy, are required to submit a report to the President on the implementation of Executive Order 13175, within one year.

The Departments of Interior (DOI) and Education (DoED) released their plans, at the beginning of March, for improving consultation and coordination with Indian Nations, in accordance with President Obama's Memorandum on agency Consultation and Coordination with tribes. The DOI plan, whose compliance is to be overseen by the Associate Deputy Secretary of Interior (Laura Davis), includes: creation of a Tribal Consultation Team composed of senior DOI and tribal representatives appointed by each of the 12 BIA regions to ensure "transparent and collaborative drafting," and to work with DOI bureaus and offices to develop supplemental consultation policies specific to the "functions, practices, and unique legal obligations of the bureau or office." Continuous review and evaluation of DOI's "regional and national functions, policies, procedures, and practices to identify policies with tribal implications" and monitor departmental practices "to ensure effective and consistent implementation of consultation policy." Preparation of a draft department consultation policy to be reviewed and a final version published within 90 days of the close of the comment period. DoED's plan, with implementation to be led by its DoED General Counsel (Charles Rose), in addition to listing consultations and meetings in which DoED representatives have participated to receive tribal input, addresses: development of its consultation policy; scheduling regular and "ad hoc" consultation meetings; intra-agency coordination; and communication and outreach. A tribal consultation web page was expected to be developed by March. The Indian Health Service and the Department of Health and Human Services jointly initiated a formal tribal consultation, in May, on implementation of the newly enacted amendments to the Indian Health Care Improvement Act (IHCIA) and provisions of significance to Indians and Alaska Natives in the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, or which IHCIA was a part (PL 111-148). The U.S. Forest Service (in the Department of Agriculture) hosted a National Tribal Roundtable Conference Call, May 3, on its new Planning Rule, to guide the development of individual plans for National Forests and Grasslands.

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) published proposed guidelines, which appear to define, for all purposes, "inherent government functions" which cannot be delegated to contractors because they must be carried out by federal employees. The guidelines make no mention of tribes, but may have an impact on tribes, and suggestions have been made that the federal-tribal relationship be properly included in the final guidelines to preempt their being misread or misapplied.

Attorney General Eric Holder, January 11, announced broad reforms intended to improve public safety on tribal land, as part of a larger Justice Department initiative to create better communication and coordination to fight crime and promote justice in Indian country. Holder stated, "The public safety challenges we face in Indian country will not be solved by a single grant or a single piece of legislation. There is no quick fix. While today's directive is significant progress, we need to continue our efforts with federal, state and tribal partners to identify solutions to the challenges we face, and work to implement them." The Attorney General directed the 44 (out of 93) U.S. Attorneys' Offices with districts containing Indian country to: Meet and consult with tribes in their district annually ("In addition to tribal governmental and law enforcement leaders, consultation sessions should include other federal law enforcement partners, including FBI, BIA, USMS, DEA, and ATF, and, where appropriate, state and local law enforcement. In addition, it may be appropriate and helpful to include other federal agency representatives with Indian Country responsibility in your district, for example, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Health and Human Services' Indian Health Service, and the Interior Department's Bureau of Indian Education"); develop an operational plan addressing public safety in Indian country, which is to be reviewed annually ("Districts that include non-Public Law 280 or partial-Public Law 280 tribes should generally consider inclusion of the following elements in their operational plans: a plan to develop and foster an ongoing government-to-government relationship; a plan to improve communications with each tribe, including the timely transmittal of charging decisions to tribal law enforcement, where appropriate; a plan to initiate cross-deputization agreements, Special Law Enforcement Commission training and a tribal SAUSA program, where appropriate; and a plan to establish training for USAO staff and all relevant criminal justice personnel on issues related to Indian Country criminal jurisdiction and legal issues. Districts that include non-Public Law 280 or partial-Public Law 280 tribes are encouraged to meet individually with each of those tribes in the course of the planning process. Districts containing only Public Law 280 tribes may consult with EOUSA on an appropriate strategy to ensure regular engagement with tribes and an appropriate assessment of the Justice Department's responsibility with respect to those reservations."); work closely with law enforcement to pay particular attention to violence against women in Indian country and make these crimes a priority; and to provide summaries of their operational plans to the Office of the Deputy Attorney General and make those summaries available to the tribes in their districts. "To help districts address training needs, EOUSA has also created a new position devoted to Indian Country prosecution and investigation training." In addition, the Attorney General announced that the Justice Department's FY 2010 appropriation includes an additional $6 million for Indian country prosecution efforts, which have been at quite low levels. To help with the Indian Country cases, DOJ is adding at least 35 assistant U.S. attorneys and 12 additional FBI victim specialists to offices with an Indian country caseload. These new resources are intended to enable the Justice Department to bring the federal justice system closer to Indian country, including through a Community Prosecution Pilot Project being developed by the Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys. The recommendations arose from department wide discussion on tribal public safety, including a national tribal leaders listening session in St. Paul, MI, October 27 - 29 (as required annually by the Violence Against Women Act of 2005), and discussions of justice issues with tribal leaders at the November the White House Tribal Nations Conference, and meetings with Indian country experts on law enforcement and public safety ("Memorandum for United States Attorneys with Districts Containing Indian Country," January 11, 2010, from Ogden to the relevant U.S. attorneys," http://www.justice.gov/dag/dag-memo-indian-country.html; and ("Attorney General announces significant reforms: Intention is to improve public safety in Indian country," Indian Country Today, January 22, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/82404537.html). Associate Attorney General Tom Perrelli announced, February 16, that the Justice Department's grants process had been streamlined for American Indian and Alaska Native tribal communities, with its Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation program serving as a single solicitation for existing tribal government-specific grant programs administered by the Office of Justice Programs, Community Oriented Policing Services and the Office on Violence Against Women (Rob Capriccioso, "Justice streamlines Indian grants process," February 19, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/84774397.html). U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder recently announced, in April, the redesign and enhancement of its Tribal Justice and Safety Web site at www.tribaljusticeandsafety.gov. The site is a use friendly one-stop shop for tribal communities, developed to provide updated and comprehensive resources for American Indian and Alaska Native tribal communities to help further improve public safety. The site's enhancements continue the department's commitment to increase communication and resources available to tribal governments and consortiums ("Justice launches comprehensive Web site for tribal communities," Indian Country Today, April 9, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/90352479.html). The Justice Department announced, February 16, that it has created an integrated process for tribes to apply for grants only to tribes in a single application in The Coordinated Tribal Solicitation process, enabling the department to "consider the totality of a tribal community's overall public safety needs, in a simplified application process allowing the DOJ to address a tribes needs on a more comprehensive basis."

The Shoshone-Bannock Tribes and Bureau of Indian Affairs officials signed two contracts, September 30, opening the way for the tribes to receive operations support for the law enforcement and corrections components of the new $19.7 million Shoshone-Bannock Justice Center that opened in early 2010. The BIA agreed to provide start up and operational costs based on what it would have cost the BIA to construct and maintain a new detention facility for 25 adult inmates, which the agency had determined was necessary for the Fort Hall Reservation based on BIA statistics. The center's detention facilities are being built to house 80 adults and juveniles. The tribes are still exploring opportunities to generate revenue by filling the additional 60 adult beds, which is why the tribes proposed to the BIA earlier this year that the justice center be designated as a regional detention facility for tribes. The BIA has also agreed to develop a lease of approximately one-third of the corrections space and a majority of the law enforcement space in the Justice Center as the mechanism to allow the tribes to recoup about one-third of its costs to construct the building. The new facility replaces a smaller tribal jail found inadequate two decades ago. Because under funding of the BIA prevented funds from being available for years, in 2008, the tribes took out a bank loan to commence the project ("BIA commits to funding support for Shoshone-Bannock Justice Center," Indian Country Today, October 27, 2009, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/66544752.html).

The Rosebud Sioux Tribe received of a $25 million grant, in October, to construct an adult correctional facility with enhanced capacity that supports its cultural traditions of rehabilitating the incarcerated. The funding was authorized as part of the Recovery Act Correctional Facilities on Tribal Lands Program. The tribe's existing 66-bed adult facility is nearly 30 years old, deteriorating, lacks a custody and classification system, and is unsafe for inmates and staff. The new facility proposes to contain dedicated housing for inmates requiring separation for medical related issues (infectious diseases) and special management, and will enable the administration of rehabilitative programs. The new facility will provide rehabilitative programs and services such as education, counseling, alcohol prevention, cultural preservation programs, value based cultural teachings, suicide prevention and faith-based programming ("Rosebud Sioux gets $25m to construct correctional facility," Indian Country Today, October 21, 2009, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/65257937.html).

The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) began a series of tribal consultations, December 1, on draft revisions of 25 C.F.R. Part 81, Tribal Reorganization under a Federal Statute, and Part 82, Petitioning Procedures for Tribes Reorganized under Federal Statute and Other Organized Tribes, which are available at: http://www.bia.gov/DocumentLibrary/index.htm. Proposals under Part 81 include language stating the Secretary of the Interior will retain authority to interpret tribal law when "(1) necessary to carry out the government-to-government relationship with the tribe; or (2) A provision, result, or interpretation is contrary to Federal law; and about how Secretarial elections may be requested, who may vote in them, regulations for polling places, responsibilities of Secretarial Election Board members, and provisions regarding when election results are final. Proposals under Part 82 include regulations concerning petitions. The Department of the Interior announced 3 consultation meetings in April to review with tribes proposed new guidelines covering set aside of government procurement contracts awarded to Indian tribes under the Buy Indian Act.

A study by the General Accountability Office (GAO), made public in April, found that relatively few smaller tribes have used the new the Native American Housing Assistance and Self Determination Act (NAHASDA) to build new housing, while tribes are happy with its "self-determination" feature and built, acquired or rehabbed rehab more than 50,000 housing units between fiscal 2003 and 2008. However, the number peaked in 2003 and has been declining since 2005. More than three quarters of the new or rehabbed housing units have been for homeownership, with the remainder rental units, while rehabs outnumbered new and acquired units by nearly two to one. Answers from tribes returning a GAOs survey indicated that three kinds of housing assistance declined between fiscal 2008 and 2009: Tenant based rental assistance (down from 52% to 49%, housing or financial literacy counseling (down from 63% to 54%), and down payment assistance, down from 36% to 28% percent. The study also found that the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is not adequately tracking infrastructure needs NAHASDA can be used to fulfill. Among other things, GAO, concluded that tribes receiving housing funds from NAHASDA "feel the program has helped to improve housing conditions and increase access to affordable housing, but they reported that developing housing finance mechanisms and increasing economic development remain as challenges." Nearly half of those that responded to GAO said they were "very positive" about NAHASDA and another 40% said they were "generally positive." Some tribes or TDHEs complained about the allocation formula HUD uses to disburse the housing assistance. Half of the respondents replied "great" or "very great" when asked about the role leveraging plays in their affordable housing activities. One of the goals of NAHASDA was to leverage tribal housing assistance with private funding sources (such as mortgage finance). The report notes that housing funding under the 1937 Housing Act produced very little leveraging. Of 359 tribes or groups of tribes that received housing money in fiscal 2008, 102 received less than $250,000 under the funding formula HUD uses. Just 22 of these smaller Indian housing authorities or TDHEs (tribally-designated housing entities) reported "they had developed new housing over the life of their participation in the program," the report found. Sixty-eight survey respondents said they had never developed housing with NAHASDA money. Survey respondents who got less than $50,000 a year from NAHASDA reported building an average of 4.33 housing units since program inception (NAHASDA was authorized in 1996). Those receiving $1 million or more per year reported building an average of 447.59 new units. GAO asked tribes and TDHEs how tribes receiving $250,000 or less a year could better use the money to develop new units. Some of the answers it received included phased housing development, leveraging, and small scale development. Others were pooling of resources, minimizing expenses, and seeking technical assistance from other tribes or the National American Indian Housing Council. GAO noted that HUD currently tracks only "unit based" activities such as building, buying or rehabbing housing units, but not others such as rental assistance, housing counseling and down payment assistance. The agency said since smaller grantees often use their housing money for these purposes because they are not able to build, Congress is not getting a good read on their use of NAHASDA money. HUD is now revising its data collection efforts and feels they will give a better picture. The report also concluded that while infrastructure is a qualified expenditure under NAHASDA, "HUD does not collect grantees' infrastructure plans or measure their infrastructure investments." It pointed out that HUD could take advantage of an information sharing deal with the Indian Health Service to get infrastructure data but currently does not. "IHS data show an acute need for sanitation-related infrastructure in Indian housing, and 85% of grantees responding to our survey reported that developing infrastructure, such as providing homes with access to drinking water, was a continuing need." HUD replied to the report by agreeing with its conclusions and recommendations. GAO reported that housing programs at the Rural Housing Service (an agency of the Department of Agriculture) were surprisingly little used by those who answered its survey (about 66% percent of total tribes or TDHEs). Only 10% reported using the RHS 515 for rural rental housing, and 18% the RHS 502 single-family mortgage program. RHS has set-aside for new construction on tribal lands for the RHS 515 program (Mark Fogarty, "50,000 homes later, a good report for NAHASDA," Indian Country Today, April 6, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/89994367.html).

In its Indian housing study, the GAO also touched upon the Cherokee freedmen dispute, examining in a limited way if and how they are covered by federal American Indian housing assistance. GAO found that the Cherokee housing department claims to include them, and to act in a "color blind" manner. However, "many Cherokee freedmen members' enrollment applications have not been processed and many enrolled members have been unable to obtain housing and other benefits." HUD says it has never investigated the situation because it has not received any complaints. An appendix to the report on the Native American Housing Assistance and Self Determination Act provides a detailed review of the freedmen's history since 1896, when the Dawes Commission created two rolls for the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma: the Freedmen Roll and the Blood Roll.

A new report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, released in November, indicates that the Indian Health Service (HIS)'s procedures for collecting monies from private insurers are muddled, reducing the badly needed funding available for Indian healthcare. The report found that IHS largely follows federal standards, but the agency's overall collection monitoring is inadequate, some financial systems have not been updated, and agency offices are operating under different debt collection plans. In May of 2008, then IHS Director Robert McSwain estimated IHS collected about 60% of what it was owed by third party insurers in fiscal year 2007, or $54 million of the $90 million it was owed that year. The report noted that agency officials contributed to it and that IHS has already taken steps to ensure the accuracy of its reports and debt management procedures by increasing its oversight capabilities, implementing a new Web-based monitoring service and giving direct line authority to a new position entitled the Deputy Director of Field Operations (Rob Capriccioso ,"GAO: IHS muddles revenue collections: Tribal citizens likely losing out," November 27, 2009, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/76200137.html).

The United States Department of Health and Human Services, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, in May, announced grants to 41 health programs operated by the Indian Health Service, tribes and tribal organizations, and urban Indian organizations to help improve outreach and enrollment of American Indian and Alaska Native uninsured children eligible for, but not enrolled in, their state's Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program. The grants are part of a broader effort to find and enroll uninsured children who are eligible for Medicaid or CHIP but not enrolled. The Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 set aside $100 million between 2009 and 2013 expressly to help enroll these children, including $10 million specifically to be awarded to Indian health providers. CMS was tasked with awarding available funds to programs that best targeted geographic areas with high rates of eligible but uninsured AI/AN children, many of whom live in some of the most remote and economically depressed areas of the country. For more information about the outreach and enrollment grants, visit: http://www.cms.gov/CHIPRA/ ("41 Indian health programs share $10 million," Indian Country Today, May 4, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/92759599.html).

The Indian Health Service Tribal Self Governance Program: Negotiation Cooperative Agreement & Planning Cooperative Agreement made available, this spring, $240,000 for 8 negotiation awards and $600,000 for 8 planning awards to help Tribes take over the administration and negotiation of their healthcare programs. For details go to: http://www.cdpublications.com/d092.

The Department of Health an Human Services issued a final rule, February 25, that authorizes tribes who operate comprehensive child support enforcement programs under Title IV-D of the Social security Act to apply for funding for the cost of installing, operating, maintaining and enhancing automated data processing systems.

The BIA announced, October 27, its final determination to deny the petition of the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana to become federally recognized, overturning a 2000 proposed finding from the department recommending acknowledgment of the Little Shell as an Indian tribe (Rob Capriccioso, "Little Shells denied Bureau of Indian Affairs recognition, await congressional action," Indian Country Today, October 30, 2009, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/67571467.html). The BIA announced, June 15, that the Shinnecock Indians of Long Island, in New York, have had their petition for federal recognition approved. The nation can now begin negotiating with New York State for a casino. The state, local officials and the tribe would prefer to have the gaming facility in a place other than already traffic jammed long island, perhaps in New York City, but the legalities of having a new casino outside of traditional tribal territory may be difficult to overcome (Danny Hakim, "U.S. Recognizes Indian Tribe on Long Island, Clearing the Way for a Casino," The New York Times, June 16, 2010).

The Department of the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEM) announced, June 30, that BP America Inc. has been assessed a civil penalty of $5.2 million for submitting "false, inaccurate, or misleading" reports for energy production that occurred on Southern Ute Indian Tribal lands in southwestern Colorado. For more information visit: http://indigenouspeoplesissues.com.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a reorganization, March 16, under which a new Office of International and Tribal Affairs (OITA) was created by joining the former American Indian Environmental Office (AIEO), previously under EPA's Office of Water, with the Office of International Affairs, to stress the sovereign nature of tribes, in elevating the place in the organization chart of the office that is most concerned with tribal relations.

The Farm Service Agency (FSA) of the U.S. department of Agriculture (USDA) solicited applications in April until May 6 for a cooperative Agreement to increase American Indian and Alaska Native use of the FSA credit program. The cooperative agreement is being administered with advice from the USDA Office of Tribal Relations. USDA, April 27, announced a proposed rule that would make the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) consistent with the general Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), March 4, published notice of the adoption of a set of new rules to streamline the process of allocating FM channels and AM frequency assignments with the goal of increasing radio service in tribal and rural areas, with the FCC giving priority in the award of allotments and construction permits for tribes, consortia of tribes, and entities that are majority owned by a tribe or tribes.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) proposed changes in rules that would restrict the Native 8(a) Program, October 28. First, SBA asked tribes to comment on what criteria or standards the SBA should use to determine whether a tribe is economically disadvantaged, for its businesses to be eligible under 8(a). Current SBA regulations measure the tribe's per capita income, poverty-level rates, unemployment rates, access to capital and tribal assets. Second, SBA proposes to change regulations so that once a tribally owned or Alaska Native Corporation (ANC) owned business graduates from the Native 8(a) program they will no longer be permitted to perform the same work under the program in a secondary role. Third, SBA proposes that tribal or ANC members wishing to manage a Native 8(a) business or sit on its board no longer have to be financially disadvantaged, and members of any tribe could manage a Native 8(a) business.

An eagle summit convened by the Fish and Wildlife Service, March 18, at the request of the Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs, heard strong concerns from Northern Plains and other Indian leaders, who object to federal interference in American Indians' use of eagle feathers, and instead advocate greater Native control, proposing an Indian-run eagle feather repository as one way to preserve the heritage and culture the eagle represents (Carol Berry, "Greater Native control sought in eagle issues," Indian Country Today, April 2, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/89788907.html).

U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, in March, signed an updated Memorandum of Agreement with the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC) to promote increased cooperation between the federal agency, tribal colleges and universities, and American Indian and Alaska Native communities (Rob Capriccioso, "AIHEC, USDA sign agreement," Indian Country Today, April 2, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/89770527.html).

The U.S. Forest Service acknowledged, November 25, that it was withholding snowmaking permits for the Arizona Snowbowl on the San Francisco Peaks - held sacred by numerous Indian nations - as a way to promote settlement talks in a long-running dispute between the tribes and the resort's owners. The permits were delayed despite a U.S. Supreme Court decision in June that upheld the Arizona Snowbowl's right to spray man-made snow made from treated sewage water on San Francisco Peaks. Tribal activists have been planning to bring a new law suite on health grounds. Snowbowl owner Eric Borowsky said, in December, that talks aimed at reaching a deal had broken off in November (Felicia Fonseca, "Feds acknowledge withholding permits for Arizona resort," Indian Country Today, December 4, 2009, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/78528672.html).

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Nation and the Flathead Joint Board of Control signed an agreement, April 7, with the Department of Interior Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), ending decades of litigation and disagreements, to create the co-managed Flathead Indian Irrigation Project (FIIP) Cooperative Management Entity (CME). The CME will have an equal number of representatives on it from the CSKT and the JBC. The CME will take over all aspects of operation and management of FIIP, including staffing and fee collection, from the BIA. The project itself, including rights of way and real property will remain a federal project. FIIP facilities include 17 major storage reservoirs, 1,300 miles of canals and laterals and more than 10,000 structures ("EchoHawk announces signing ceremony: Historic day with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Nation," Indian country Today, April 8, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/politics/90222017.html).
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Jeff Doctor (Seneca) ran for the Democratic nomination for Congress in North Carolina's 9th Congressional District ("Jeff Doctor To Run For Congress in NC," Indian Country Today, February 23, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/yourict/85051872.html). Jimi Castillo (Tongva) is the first Native American to run for the office of Lt. Governor of California on behalf of the Green Party (Calajan, "CA Indian Green Party Lt. Gov. Candidate," Indian Country Today, February 10, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/yourict/84050392.html). Kee Allen Begay, Navajo Council delegate from Many Farms, ran in the Democratic primary for Arizona State Senate District 2 (Cindy Yurth, "council delegate running for Ariz. Senate Seat," Navajo Times, April 22, 2010), as did Gloria-Hale Showalter (Navajo), cousin of the current district 2 Senator, Albert Hale (Navajo), who is retiring (Cindy Yurth, "Albert Hale's cousin files for his seat in Arizona Senate race," Navajo Times, April 15, 2010).

Federal Indian Budgets

The Fiscal Year 2010 Federal Indian Budgets, as reported by Hobbs, Straus, Dean and Walker, LLP, hobbsstraus.com, with large increases in many areas.
AGENCY OR PROGRAM - In Millions of $ FY2009 PRES FY2010 ENACTED FY2010 %change from 09
OVERALL INDIAN AFFAIRS BUDGET $2.359 $2,600.000 10.20%
Tribal Government $402.500 $416.600 $429.800 3.16%
Contract Support $152.800 $166.000 -
Human Services $137.400 $137.000 $137.000 -29.00%
Trys-Real Estate $150.100 $152.500 $152.500 1.60%
Trust-Natural Resources $147.700 $160.800 $175.600 18.89%
Bureau of Indian Education $716.200 $796.300 $799.400 11.62%
Elementary & Secondary Prog-forwad Funded $499.470 $516.702 $518.702 3.85%
Elementary & Secondary Prog-Not forward Funded $75.126 $77.379 $77.379 3.00%
Education Management $26.285 $26.525 $26.525 0.91%
Post Secondary Programs $115.272 $125.691 $125.791 9.13%
Inst of Am Ind and AK Nat Culture & Arts Development $7.900 $8.300 $8.300 5.06%
Public safety and Justice $270.800 $303.900 $328.900 21.45%
Community & Economic development $43.600 $43.900 $44.900 2.98%
Construction $217.700 $200.000 $225.000 3.35%
Education Construction $128.837 $112.994 $112.994 -12.30%
Replacement School Construction $22.405 $5.964 $5.964 -73.38%
Replacement Facility Construction $17.013 $17.013 $17.013 0.00%
Facilities Improvement & Repair $84.974 $85.566 $85.566 0.70%
Public Safety & Justice Construction $39.399 $39.407 $64.407 63.47%
Resource Management Construction $40.406 $38.385 $38.385 -5.00%
Indian Land Consolidation Program $0.000 $3.000 $3.000 ?
Office of Special Trustee $181.600 $185.984 $185.984 2.41%
Office of Navajo & Hopi Relocation $7.530 $8.000 $8.000 6.24%
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY $7,629.630 $10,131.900 $10,300.000 35.00%
Tribal capacity Building $11.900 $12.400 $12.400 4.20%
Tribal General Assistance Program $57.925 $62.875 $62.875 8.55%
AK Nat Villages Water supply & Wastewater $13.000
Tribal Air Quality Management $13.000 $13.000 $13.300 2.31%
Tribal General Assistance $82.900
INDIAN HEALTH SERVICES $3,190.956 $3,639.868 $3,657.618 14.62%
Hospitals and Clinics $1,597.777 $1,751.883 $1,754.383 9.80%
Dental Services $141.936 $151.384 $152.634 7.54%
Mental Health $67.748 $72.786 $72.786 7.44%
Alcohol and Substance Abuse $183.769 $194.409 $194.409 5.79%
Contract Health Services $634.477 $779.347 $779.347 22.83%
Public Health Nursing $59.885 $64.071 $64.071 6.99%
Community Health Representatives $57.796 $61.628 $61.628 6.63%
Viral Hwp/Hem Influenza Immuni Prog in AK $1.823 $1.934 $1.934 6.09%
Urban Indian Health $36.189 $38.139 $43.139 19.20%
Indian Health Professions $37.500 $40.743 $40.743 8.65%
Self-Governance $6.004 $6.066 $6.066 1.03%
Contract Support costs $282.398 $389.490 $398.490 41.11%
Indian Health Facilities $390.168 $394.757 $394.757 1.18%
Maintenance and Improvement $53.915 $53.915 $53.915 0.00%
Facilities & Environment Health Support $178.329 $193.087 $193.087 8.28%
Medical Equipment $22.067 $22.664 $22.664 2.71%
Construction $95.857 $95.857 $95.857 0.00%
Construction of Health Care Facilities $40.000 $29.234 $29.234 -26.92%

One area of the few areas in which the Obama administration's proposed fiscal year 2011 budget has proposed a cut in Indian-focused programs is the National Park Service funding for Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) grants for federal agencies and institutions that receive federal funding to return American Indian human remains and cultural items to respective tribes or lineal descendants. For the past three years, Congress has appropriated $2,331,000 each year for the NAGPRA grants program, but for FY2011 the Park Service requested $1,750,000, a decrease of $581,000 or 25% (Rob Capriccioso, "NAGPRA suffers surprising proposed budget cut," Indian Country Today, February 7, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/83643187.html).

Hobbs, Straus, Dean and Walker General Memorandum 10-074, June 11, 2010, reports that FY2011 budget process is currently stalled in Congress. Usually by June a budget resolution has been approved and House Appropriation subcommittees have begun to report out spending bills. But Congress had not yet passed budget resolution, setting limits on discretionary spending. Thus, while many House subcommittees have held hearings, no budget bills can be drafted. As of early June, there was a sense in Congress that FY2011 enacted appropriations will generally be less than the President's request, because of concerns with the size of the federal budget deficit. Similarly, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has told most agencies to submit FY2012 budget proposals with an overall 5% reduction.

The U.S. Department of Treasury announced the second round of in stimulus bonding authority to 76 tribes, February 19, totaling 1,004,513,017.38. Here is the complete list, which can be accessed on line through Rob Capriccioso, "New Treasury bonding authority announced," Indian Country Today," February 19, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/84774372.html.

Allocation Schedule of 2nd Tranche of Tribal Economic Development Bonds
Name of Applicant/Issuer State - Type of Project - TEDBs Allocation
Absentee Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma OK - Educational/Commercial Facility - 9,981,846.80
Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians CA - Renewable Energy Manufacturing Facility - 10,934,616.39
Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas TX - Industrial, Tourism, Housing, Commercial, Educational, and Health Facilities - 29,609,847.73
Alturas Indian Rancheria CA - Supply Distribution Facility - 7,289,744.26
Apache Tribe of Oklahoma OK - Tourism Facility - 10,932,879.61
Big Lagoon Indian Rancheria CA - Manufacturing and Tourism Facilities - 21,504,745.58
Cabazon Band of Mission Indians CA - Refinancing - 30,000,000.00
Campo Band of Mission Indians CA - Renewable Energy, Tourism, and Wastewater Facilities - 30,000,000.00
Cedar City Band of Paiutes of the Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah UT - Manufacturing Facility - 7,289,744.26
Chemehuevi Indian Tribe of the Chemehuevi Reservation CA -Tourism Facility and Marina - 3,280,384.91
Cher-Ae Heights Indian Community of the Trinidad Rancheria, CA - Tourism and Renewable Energy Facilities - 10,932,879.61
Chippewa Cree Tribe MT - Refinancing - 4,446,015.02
Comanche Nation, Oklahoma OK - Tourism, Parking, Convention, and Retail Facilities; and Land Acquisitions - 10,570,129.18
Confederated Tribes of the Goshute Reservation UT - Governmental, Retail, Manufacturing, and Renewable Energy Facilities -
10,934,616.39
Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation OR - Health Facility - 5,330,048.86
Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon OR - Water Infrastructure and Tourism Facility Improvements -
5,107,649.19
Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians CA - Tourism Facility Expansion - 18,147,818.34
Delaware Nation OK Retail, Industrial, Tourism, Housing, and Renewable Energy Facilities - 27,253,437.90
Elk Valley Rancheria, California CA - Tourism Facility - 2,709,930.18
Ely Shoshone Tribe NV - Health Facility - 2,988,795.13
Fort Bidwell Indian Community Council CA - Renewable Energy Facilities - 10,934,616.39
Fort Peck Assiniboine & Sioux Tribes MT - Renewable Energy - 10,934,616.39
Fort Sill Apache Tribe of Oklahoma OK - Tourism Facilities - 10,934,616.39
Gila River Indian Community AZ - Retail, Tourism, and Youth Facilities - 30,000,000.00
Grindstone Indian Rancheria of Wintun-Wailaki Indians of California CA - Supply Distribution Facility - 5,467,308.19
Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel CA - Tourism Facilities - 10,932,879.61
Ione Band of Miwok Indians CA - Tourism and Renewable Energy Facilities - 10,934,616.39
Jamul Indian Village of California CA - Retail Facility - 3,848,238.13
Kaw Nation OK - Renewable Energy Facility - 24,056,156.06
La Posta Band of Mission Indians CA - Retail Facility - 6,560,769.84
Lummi Tribe of the Lummi Reservation WA - Infrastructure and Tourism Facilities - 3,848,238.13
Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians MI -Parking, Water, and Wastewater Infrastructure Facilities -
14,943,975.73
Mesa Grande Band of Diegueno Mission Indians CA - Renewable Energy - 10,934,616.39
Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe MN - Refinancing and Tourism Facilities - 27,670,387.58
Morongo Band of Cahuilla Mission Indians CA - Tourism, Retail Renewable Energy, and Water Infrastructure Facilities -
16,766,411.79
Navajo Nation of Arizona, New Mexico & Utah AZ - Electric, Gas, Water Infrastructure, Renewable Energy Facilities, and Retail
Facilities - 30,000,000.00
Ohkay Owingeh NM - Refinancing, Recreational, Governmental, and Commercial Facilities - 22,913,488.65
Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin WI - Refinancing and Tourism Facilities - 8,154,632.68
Otoe Missouria Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma OK - Renewable Energy and Water Infrastructure Facilities - 18,224,360.65
Pascua Yaqui Tribe of Arizona AZ - Retail Facility - 10,934,616.39
Pauma Band of Luiseno Mission Indians CA - Tourism Facilities - 8,177,238.37
Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma OK - Tourism Facilities - 2,709,930.18
Pinoleville Pomo Nation, California CA - Tourism Facilities - 10,932,879.61
Pit River Tribe CA - Tourism and Retail Facilities - 7,289,744.26
Poarch Band of Creek Indians AL - Refinancing - 24,776,122.55
Pueblo of Acoma NM - Renewable Energy Facilities - 6,925,257.05
Quechan Indian Tribe CA - Refinancing - 7,120,225.63
Rosebud Sioux Tribe SD - Manufacturing, Retail, Commercial, and Housing Facilities - 5,472,775.50
Round Valley Indian Tribes CA - Renewable Energy Facilities - 10,934,616.39
Sac & Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa IA - Retail, Commercial, and Tourism Facility - 6,187,170.43
Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Mission Indians of the Santa Ynez Reservation, California CA - Tourism, Community, and
Housing Facilities - 24,776,122.55
Seminole Tribe of Florida FL - Parking Facility - 14,821,840.27
Skokomish Indian Tribe WA - Refinancing - 1,822,436.05
Southern Ute Indian Tribe CO -Refinancing -18,779,138.25
Spokane Tribe of Indians WA - Tourism Facilities 10,934,616.39
Stockbridge-Munsee Community WI - Museum Facility - 3,644,872.12
Tohono O'odham Nation AZ - Retail and Commercial Facilities - 1,822,436.05
Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indian Tribe CA - Governmental Facilities - 2,770,102.80
Tule River Indian Tribe CA - Commercial, Tourism, and Housing Facilities - 10,934,616.39
Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk Indians of the Tuolumne Rancheria CA - Tourism Facilities - 14,579,488.53
United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians OK - Water Infrastructure Facility - 15,598,026.16
Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation UT - Refinancing and Housing Facilities - 30,000,000.00
Ute Mountain Ute Tribe CO - Tourism Facilities - 6,143,079.87
Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians CA - Tourism Facilities - 4,009,359.34
Yankton Sioux Tribe SD - Retail, Farming, Renewable Energy, Tourism, and Governmental Facilities - 10,934,616.39
Yurok Tribe of the Yurok Reservation, California CA - Retail, Tourism, and Manufacturing Facilities - 10,934,616.39
Total of 66 Disclosed Applicants 821,271,002.24; Total of 10 Non-Disclosed Applicants 183,242,015.14
Total of 76 Applicants 1,004,513,017.38
Note: This list contains the allocations awarded to those applicants that provided disclosure consent. The 10 non-disclosed applicants did not provide a disclosure consent with their applications.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced awards, in November, of New Markets Tax Credits, authorized under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. This included $80 million to Travois New Markets, the only nationally certified Community Development Entity receiving an allocation in last fall's round that is dedicated solely to serving the American Indian community. Travois New Markets' award is being used to finance energy projects, critical water, waste water and telecommunication infrastructure projects and any number of other projects on Indian reservations. This encompasses funding economic development projects in American Indian communities that export goods and services and meet local needs. It will focus on rural reservations but will also consider projects in highly distressed urban communities that have significant American Indian populations. The full list of the 2009 allocations and be accessed though a link at: http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/72840757.html. In 2007, Travois New Markets received a $30 million allocation of New Markets Tax Credits which was applied to three projects: The construction of two electrical substations for the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority, which brings power to 400 families who were previously without it; the renovation of the historic Hotel Andaluz in downtown Albuquerque, which set aside 20% percent of hotel jobs for American Indians; and the construction of a fish processing plant in the Alaska Native village of Platinum, which supports a network of nearly 600 fishermen ("Travois New Markets to boost economic development on American Indian reservations," Indian Country Today, November 24, 2009, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/72840757.html).

Broadband fiber will be extended, in Washington State, to the Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe, the Makah Nation and the Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe through a Stimulus Act-funded project to the Northwest Open Access Network, or NoaNet, a nonprofit corporation owned by 12 public utility districts, receiving $84 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to build 830 miles of broadband fiber into rural regions of Washington state. Similarly, the Coeur d'Alene Tribe was awarded $12.3 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to construct a broadband network that will provide high-speed Internet access for the rural communities and surrounding areas on the reservation. (Richard Walker, "Jamestown S'Klallam, Makah, Shoalwater Bay to get broadband," Indian Country Today, April 19, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/national/northwest/91461594.html; and ("Tribe receives $12.3 million in stimulus broadband funds," Indian Country Today, March 19, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/88558427.html). The Tohono O'odham Nation's utility authority was awarded a $3.6 million grant and $3.6 million loan from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, March 24, to build the infrastructure for a high speed system on the nation's of 2.8 million acres reservation, under a U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary program (Gale Courey Toensing, "Tohono O'odham receives $7.2M for broadband upgrade," Indian Country Today, April 2, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/89788867.html). The Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe of Washington began construction, in January, along the Elwha River, of new Fish Hatchery, a $16.4 million construction project is funded through National Park Service monies authorized under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The new hatchery is a critical component of the Elwha restoration project and will help maintain existing stocks of Elwha River fish during dam removal and produce populations of coho, pink and chum salmon and steelhead vital to restoration. A full listing of National Park Service Recovery Act projects throughout the country, along with progress reports for each project, is available through a link at: http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/83888372.html ("New fish hatchery signifies major step toward Elwha restoration" Indian Country Today, February 9, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/83888372.html). Red Cloud Indian School received $941,000 in federal funds from the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development, November 20, under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, that will allow Red Cloud to move forward with much-needed improvements for the school, located on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in southwest South Dakota ("USDA Rural Development grants $941,000 to Red Cloud Indian School, Indian Country Today, December 22, 2009, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/79895512.html). The U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations is providing $62,000 in federal stimulus funds: $53,235 to the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community of Michigan and $9,455 to the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians of Michigan to provide food assistance to low-income families on and near Indian reservations ("Stimulus funds going to nutrition program," Indian Country Today, April 16, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/91040724.html).

The Federal Transportation Authority (FTA), in December, announced awards for 100 Projects for Tribal Transit Funding totaling $32 million, of which $17 million came from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (http://www.fta.dot.gov/news/news_events_10912.html). Selected Recovery Act Tribal Transit Applicants: A total of $17 million was made available for the Tribal Transit program under ARRA. A total of 71 applicants requested $54 million for capital projects. FTA made project selections through a competitive process. A total of 39 of the highest rated projects have been selected for funding as follows:
State - Tribal entity - Amount of Grant - Purpose
AK: Manley Village Council - $140,000, Manley Village will use the funds to purchase a new bus.
AK: Tetlin Tribe - $120,000 - The Tetlin Tribe will use the funds for the construction of a garage, the restoration of a bus, and the purchase of a vehicle.
AK: Crooked Creek - $115,698 - Funds will be used for garage construction, the restoration of a bus, and the purchase of a vehicle.
AK: Seldovia Village Tribe - $475,000 - The Seldovia Village tribe will use the funds for the construction of a dock and pier.
AK: Asa'carsarmiut Tribe - $223,000 - The Asa'carsarmiut Tribe will use the funds for the construction of a dock, a water taxi, and purchase of one vehicle.
AZ: The Navajo Nation - $2.2 million - The Navajo Nation will use the funds for the construction of a bus maintenance facility and administration office complex.
CA: The Reservation Transportation Authority - $1.1 million - The Reservation Transportation Authority will use the funds for park & ride upgrades, construction of new bus stops and enhancement of existing bus stops.
CA: Susanville Indian Rancheria - $327,174 - Susanville Indian Rancheria will use the funds for the purchase of two buses and the construction of a maintenance shop, a garage, a parking lot, and bus shelters.
ID: Shoshone-Bannock Tribes - $264,700 - The Shoshone-Bannock Tribes will use the funds for the purchase of four buses.
ID: Coeur D'Alene Tribe- $1.5 million - The Coeur D'Alene Tribe will use the funds the construction of a transit center and the purchase of four buses.
ID: Nez Perce - $311,303 - Funds will be used to purchase three buses and to build a construction base, a washing station, and a bus bay.
KS: Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation - $186,417 - Funds will be used for the purchase of two transit vehicles, one service vehicle, and maintenance equipment.
MI: Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi - $240,000 - Funds will be used for the purchase of two transit buses.
MN: Red Lake Public Transit System - $594,268 - The Red Lake Public Transit System will use the funds for (the construction of?) a bus storage facility and a transit facility addition, as well as the purchase of one hybrid bus, one diesel bus, a GPS locator, and a security system.
MN: Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe - $200,000 - Funds will be used for the purchase of new vehicles and the construction of a new transit garage and administrative offices.
MS: Mississippi Band of the Choctaw - $192,000 - Funds will be used for security fencing and an access drive.
MT: Fort Belknap Indian Community - $340,000 - Funds will be used for a transit facility and the purchase of needed equipment.
MT: Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes - $358,471 - Funds will be used for shelters, a mechanical bay, and paving; facility upgrades (painting flooring) and bus storage.
NC: Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians - $2.0 million - Funds will be used for the construction of a transit facility.
ND: Standing Rock Public Transportation - $500,000 - Standing Rock Public Transportation will use funds for expansion of a transit facility, for paving, and for vehicles with lifts.
ND: Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians - $311,000 - Funds will be used for the construction of a bus garage, a vehicle with a lift, and bus passenger shelters.
NE: Winnebago - $235,030 - Funds will be used for the design and construction of a transit maintenance facility.
NM: Ohkay Owingey - $156,000 - Funds will be used to purchase a bus and a van.
NM: Pueblo of Laguna - $200,000 - Funds will be used to purchase a portable building and capital equipment.
NV: Reno-Sparks Indian Colony - $328,668 - The Reno-Sparks Indian Colony will use funds for the purchase of two buses, four vans and three cars.
OK: Miami Tribe of Oklahoma - $473,277 - The Miami Tribe of Oklahoma will use the funds to purchase vehicles, radios, renovation, office furniture, computers, intelligent transportation system (ITS) software, and a new phone system.
OK: Seminole Nation of Oklahoma - $330,169 - The Seminole Nation of Oklahoma will use the funds for vehicle maintenance and intelligent transportation system (ITS) equipment.
OK: Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes - $419,301 - Funds will be used to purchase four vans and ITS software.
OK: Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma - $480,374 - The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma will use funds to purchase six vehicles and scheduling software with GPS.
OR: Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs - $235,802 - Funds will be used for the purchase of two buses, the construction of a bus shelter, and transit program management.
SC: Catawaba Indian Nation - $240,000 - Funds will be used to purchase two buses and the construction of a bus shelter.
SD: Oglala Sioux Tribe - $350,000 - Funds will be used to purchase bus shelters, a satellite bus barn, and a tow truck.
WA: Spokane Tribe of Indians - $255,000 - The Spokane Tribe of Indians will use the funds to purchase six vehicles.
WA: Kalispel Tribe of Indians - $335,600 - The Kalispel Tribe of Indians will use the funds to purchase a bus, two vehicles, and dispatch equipment.
WA: The Quainalt Tribe of the Quinault Reservation - $398,000 - Funds will be used to purchase two buses.
WA: The Confederated Tribes of the Yakima Nation - $112,000 - Funds will be used to purchase 12 bus shelters and two support vehicles.
WA: Tulalip Tribe - $126,748 - Funds will be used for the purchase of three buses.
WI: Lac Courte Oreilles - $200,000 - Funds will be used to purchase to provide service and maintenance to the fleet, as well as to purchase two vehicles, tools and equipment, and a radio repeater.
WY: Shoshone and Arapahoe Tribes - $400,000 - Funds will be used to fund a bus garage, a shelter and new vehicles.

Selected Recovery Act Tribal Transit Applicants: A total of $15 million was made available for FY 2009 Tribal Transit program. A total of 81 applicants requested $28 million for new transit services, enhancement or expansion of existing transit services, and planning studies including operational planning. FTA made project selections through a competitive process based on each applicant's responsiveness to the program evaluation criteria outlined in FTA's April 29, 2009, Federal Register Notice. The following 61 applications have been selected for funding:
State - Tribal entity - Award - Purpose
AK: Anvik Department of Transportation - $25,000 - The Anvik Department will use the funds for planning studies to determine public transportation options within the tribe.
AK: Gwichyaa Zhee Gwich'in Tribal Government - $25,000 - Gwichyaa Zhee Gwich'in will use will use the funds for planning studies to determine public transportation options within the tribe.
AK: Kasigluk Department of Transportation - $25,000 - Kasigluk will use the funds for planning studies to determine public transportation options within the tribe.
AK: Nome Eskimo Community - $25,000 - Nome Eskimo Community for planning studies to determine public transportation options within the tribe.
AK: Tlingit & Haida Central Council - $25,000 - Tlingit & Haida Central Council for planning studies to determine public transportation options within the tribe.
AK: Tetlin Tribe - $216,470 - Tetlin Tribe will use the funds for one bus and operating assistance to help pay agency overhead expenses including staff and driver salaries and fuel to assist tribe continue to operate public transit services.
AK: Manley Village Council - $127,730 - Manley Village Council will use the funds for operating assistance to help pay agency overhead expenses including staff and driver salaries and fuel to assist tribe continue to operate public transit services.
AK: Crooked Creek - $55,227 - Crooked Village will use the funds for operating assistance to help pay agency overhead expenses including staff and driver salaries and fuel to assist tribe continue to operate public transit services.
AK: Chickaloon Native Village - $291,931 - Chickaloon Native Village will use the funds for one bus and operating assistance to help pay agency overhead expenses including staff and driver salaries and fuel to assist tribe continue to operate public transit services.
AK: Seldovia Village Tribe - $200,000 - Seldovia Village Tribe will use the funds for operating assistance to help pay agency overhead expenses including staff and driver salaries and fuel to assist tribe continue to operate public transit services.
AK: Sitka Tribe of Alaska - $269,791 - Sitka Tribe will use the funds for operating assistance to help pay agency overhead expenses including staff and driver salaries and fuel to assist tribe continue to operate public transit services.
AK: Gulkana Village - $288,500 - Gulkana Village will use the funds for operating assistance to help pay agency overhead expenses including staff and driver salaries and fuel to assist tribe continue to operate public transit services.
AZ: Havasuapai Tribe - $222,813 - Havasuapai Tribe will use the funds to purchase a van, garage construction and operating assistance.
AZ: Cocopah Indian Tribe - $247,440 - Cocopah Indian Tribe will use the funds for operating assistance to help pay agency overhead expenses including staff and driver salaries and fuel to assist tribe continue to operate public transit services.
CA: Reservation Transportation Authority - $370,082 - Reservation Transportation Authority will use the funds for operating assistance, new service, planning and marketing.
CA: Susanville Indian Rancheria - $220,554 - Susanville Indian Rancheria will use the funds for operating assistance and vehicle maintenance.
CA: Bishop Tribal Council - $76,424 - Bishop Tribal Council will use the funds for construction of six bus shelters.
CA: Blue Lake Rancheria - $231,000 - Blue Lake Rancheria will use the funds for a hybrid paratransit bus replacement, operating assistance, construction of two bus shelters and plan updates.
ID: Shoshone-Bannock Tribes - $350,000 - Shoshone-Bannock Tribes will use the funds for operating assistance to help pay agency overhead expenses including staff and driver salaries and fuel to assist tribe continue to operate public transit services.
ID: Coeur D'Alene Tribe - $225,000 - Coeur D'Alene Tribe will use the funds for operating assistance to help pay agency overhead expenses including staff and driver salaries and fuel to assist tribe continue to operate public transit services.
KS: Kickapoo Tribe - $25,000 - Kickapoo Tribe will use the funds for planning studies determine public transportation options within the tribe.
KS: Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation - $360,000 - Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation will use the funds for operating assistance to help pay agency overhead expenses including staff and driver salaries and fuel to assist tribe continue to operate public transit services.
MN: Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians - $468,263 - Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians for the purchase of two Ford Diesel buses to expand service and fleet.
MN: Leech Lake Reservation Tribal Council - $473,503 - Leech Lake Reservation Tribal Council will use the funds for start up services, purchase of three vehicles body of chasis with seating capacity up to 30 passengers.
MT: Chippewa Cree Tribe of the Rocky Boys Reservation - $300,000 - Chippewa Cree Tribe of the Rocky Boy's Reservation will use the funds for administrative, operating, training and expansion of services.
NC: Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians - $190,000 - Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians will use the funds for operations and a new bus.
ND: Standing Rock Public Transportation - $234,000 - Standing Rock Public Transportation will use the funds for expansion of services and one van with a lift.
NE: Winnebago - $707,796 - Winnebago will use the funds for operating assistance and computer software.
NE: Santee Sioux Nation - $270,682 - Santee Sioux Nation will use the funds for operating expenses.
NM: Pueblo of Acoma - $25,000 - Pueblo of Acoma will use the funds for Planning studies determine public transportation options within the tribe.
NM: Pueblo of Laguna - $287,398 - Pueblo of Laguna will use the funds operating and maintenance, full time transit supervisor, full time certified mechanic, office equipment and supplies.
NM: Ohkay Owingey: $156,000 - Ohkay Owingey will use the funds for operating expenses and enhance their existing transit program.
NM: Sandoval County Transit - $439,500 - Sandoval County Transit will use the funds for the purchase of two shuttle buses, two transit shelters, administrative and oversight.
NV: Reno-Sparks Indian Colony - $373,985 - Reno Sparks Indian Colony's will use the funds to construct a maintenance shop, operating assistance and maintenance.
NY: Seneca Nation of Indian - $25,000 - Seneca Nation of Indian will use the funds for planning studies determine public transportation options within the tribe.
OK: Seminole Nation of Oklahoma - $500,000 - Seminole Nation of Oklahoma will use the funds for the purchase of one bus and operating expenses.
OK: Chickasaw Nation - $350,000 - Chickasaw Nation will use the funds for operating assistance to help pay agency overhead expenses including staff and driver salaries and fuel to assist tribe continue to operate public transit services.
OK: Miami Tribe of Oklahoma - $414,547 - Miami Tribe of Oklahoma will use funds for operating assistance to help pay agency overhead expenses including staff and driver salaries and fuel to assist tribe continue to operate public transit services.
OK: Citizen Potawatomi Nation - $271,326 - Citizen Potawatomi will use the funds for enhancement of existing services, administration and operating expenses.
OK: Ponca Transit Tribal - $257,326 - Ponca Transit Tribal will use the funds for operating assistance to help pay agency overhead expenses including staff and driver salaries and fuel to assist tribe continue to operate public transit services.
OK: Cherokee Nation - $204,855 - Cherokee Nation will use the funds for operating assistance to help pay agency overhead expenses including staff and driver salaries and fuel to assist tribe continue to operate public transit services.
OK: Muscogee (Creek) Nation - $225,000 - Muscogee (Creek) Nation will use the funds for operating assistance to help pay agency overhead expenses including staff and driver salaries and fuel to assist tribe continue to operate public transit services.
OK: Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma - $165,583 - Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma's will use the funds for operating equipment.
OK: Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribes - $400,000 - Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribes will use the funds for the purchase of four vans and ITS software.
OK: Delaware Nation - $188,270 - Delaware Nation will use the funds for start up of a new natural gas fueled transportation services.
OK: Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma - $214,000 - Kiowa Tribe of OK will use the funds for operating assistance to help pay agency overhead expenses including staff and driver salaries and fuel to assist tribe continue to operate public transit services.
OR: Confederated Tribes of the Umaltilla - $304,940 - Confederated Tribes of the Umaltilla will use the funds for operating assistance to help pay agency overhead expenses including staff and driver salaries and fuel to assist tribe continue to operate public transit services.
SD: Oglala Sioux Tribe - $250,000 - Oglala Sioux Tribe will use the funds for operating assistance to help pay agency overhead expenses including staff and driver salaries and fuel to assist tribe continue to operate public transit services.
SD: Yankton Sioux Tribe - $117,371 - Yankton Sioux Tribe will use the funds for expansion of services, administrative, operating and one van with a lift.
SD: Lower Brule Sioux Tribe - $318,168 - Lower Brule Sioux Tribe will use the funds for operating assistance to help pay agency overhead expenses including staff and driver salaries and fuel to assist tribe continue to operate public transit services.
WA: Port Gamble S'Klallam - $25,000 - Port Gamble S'Kallam will use the funds for planning studies determine public transportation options within the tribe.
WA: Cowlitz Indian Tribe - $205,184 - Cowlitz Indian Tribe will use the funds for operating assistance to help pay agency overhead expenses including staff and driver salaries and fuel to assist tribe continue to operate public transit services.
WA: Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe - $78,280 - The Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe will use funds for operating assistance.
WA: Snoqualmie Indian Tribe - $334,909 - Snoqualmie Indian Tribe will use the funds for operating expenses and one bus.
WA: Tulalip Tribes - $151,216 - Tulalip Tribes will use the funds for operating assistance to help pay agency overhead expenses including staff and driver salaries and fuel to assist tribe continue to operate public transit services.
WA: Kalispel Tribe of Indians - $417,896 - Kalsipel Tribe of Indians will use the funds for operating assistance to help pay agency overhead expenses including staff and driver salaries and fuel to assist tribe continue to operate public transit services.
WA: Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation - $1.0 million - Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation will use the funds for operating expenses.
WA: Lummi Nations - $260,510 - Lummi Nation's will use the funds to operate three bus shelters.
WA: Quinalt Tribe of the Quinalt Reservation - $200,000 - Quinalt Tribe will use the funds for operating assistance to help pay agency overhead expenses including staff and driver salaries and fuel to assist tribe continue to operate public transit services.
WI: Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewas - $125,606 - Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewas will use the funds to operate a demand response transit system and construction of a transportation facility.
WI: Lac Courte Oreilles - $200,000 - Lac Courte Oreilles will use the funds to enhance fixed route service provided for the handicapped.

In the Courts

The U.S. Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari, November 16, in Harjo v. Pro Football, Inc., refusing to hear plaintiffs appeal, and letting stand the lower court decision allowing the Redskins to keep their federally registered trademark of the team name.

The Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of a circuit court holding, denying claims that the federal government breached a 19th Century trust with heirs of the the Indian land at Prior Lake and Prarie Island, in Minnesota, in giving the land to the Shakopee and Prarie Island Indian Communities, which have a profitable casino on the land. The plaintiffs, who are extremely poor and linve on several reservations, were seeking a share of the gaming profits ("Supreme Court rejects Loyal Dakota land claim," News From Indian Country, May, 2010).

Lower Federal Courts

A three judge panel of the, 10th Circuit Court of appeals decided 2-1 to uphold the Nuclear Regulatory Commissions decision to issue a license, in January 1998, allowing Hydro Resources, Inc. to mine for uranium in Churchrock and Crownpoint chapters of the Navajo Nation, in the aquifer used as the primary drinking source for 15,000 Navajo people, holding that the mining company, HRI did not have to comply with federal limits on radiation releases from existing mine waste at the Churchrock Section 17 proposed in situ leach mine site. Even though the panel acknowledged that conditions imposed by NRC in the HRI license will not guarantee that groundwater contaminated by such toxic and radioactive pollutants such as arsenic, radium and uranium will be restored after mining ceases, the judges ruled that NRC had a sufficient rational basis to issue the license, and therefore the court had to defer to the agency's judgment. Judge Carlos F. Lucero, dissented, "the majority's decision in this case will unnecessarily and unjustifiably compromise the health and safety of the people who currently live within and immediately downwind from Section 17" "The NRC's erroneous decision and the majority's endorsement of that decision will expose families [living near Section 17] to levels of radiation beyond those deemed safe by the NRC's own regulations, jeopardizing their health and safety." The decision follows a lengthy administrative hearing that lasted through 2006 (Dissenting judge says decision puts Navajos health at risk," Indian Country Today, April 6, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/89998517.html).

Justices of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, June 15, ruled 6-5 that a tract of land owned by a uranium company surrounded by Indian lands of the Navajo reservation did not constitute "Indian country," as legally defined, and that the state, not the federal government, would enforce drinking water regulations at a leach mine that injects water and chemicals into an underlying aquifer, withdraws the solution and recovers uranium. EPA had said that while the aquifer beneath the Hydro Resources Inc. tract does not and will not serve as a drinking water supply, "tailings from uranium mines have contaminated air, groundwater, streams and soil on the Navajo reservation," according to one dissenting judge. "The wind blew dust from the tailings piles into Navajo homes and water sources. Holding ponds on the reservation associated with the uranium mines were not well-maintained" (Carol Berry, "Split appeals court rules against EPA and Navajo concerns," Indian Country Today, June 22, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/national/96593279.html).

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, December 22, in Jeffredo v. Macarro, affirmed the decision of the district court denying a petition in the writ of habeas corpus filled under the Indian Civil Rights Act by several disenrolled members of the Pechanga Band of the Luiseno Mission Indians protesting their disenrollment, continuing the line of federal court decisions holding that federal courts lack jurisdiction in such cases.

The Seventh Circuit Court of appeals, March 24, ruled that a sawmill owned by Menominee Tribal Enterprises, "which has no substantial existence apart from the tribe," but is not part of the tribe's government structure, is subject to the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), 29 U.S.C. §§ 651 et sec. OSHA is considered an act of "general applicability," which does not specifically mention tribes. The Tenth and Eighth Circuit courts of Appeals have required that that such statutes have specific statutory language or clear legislative intent before applying them to tribes, so there is a possible disagreement among the circuits as to the correctness of applying OSHA to tribal businesses.

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, in April, found in Dobbs v. Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield (2010 WL 1225342 - 10th Circuit) that a federal regulatory scheme does not apply to a tribe exercising its sovereignty without express statement of congressional intent that it do so. The court decided that prior to Congress amending the Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), to say specifically that it applied to tribal as well as state and local governments in 2006, ERISA did not apply to tribal governments, as in the current case which began in 2004.

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, May 18, in NLRB v. Fortune Bay Casino, issued an order denying the Boise Forte Band of Chippewa Indians motion for stay pending appeal of a U.S. District Court decision allowing the National Labor Relations Board to Subpoena documents from the tribe's casino. The tribe then dropped its appeal, but said it would appeal if the district court found that the NLRB had jurisdiction over the casino.

In a case that may impact HUD funding for tribes with large rent-to-own housing programs, a three judge panel of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled, February 20, that the Fort Peck Montana Housing Authority cannot include in its Indian Housing Grant Program dwellings that it no longer owns and operates (Carol Berry, "Home ownership may affect HUD funding formula," Indian Country Today, March 3, 2010).

The full Eighth Circuit Court of appeals ruled, May 5, in Cottier v. City of Martin, SD, that the city, near the Pine Ridge and Rosebud reservations, does not have to institute a cumulative voting system. Plaintiffs had contended that the cities 3 ward council district system was drawn to dilute the Indian vote, as Indians are 45% of the city population, and the districts are drawn to give White voters a 62% majority in each district. The court found that there were mixed results, with Indian preferred candidates sometimes winning and sometimes losing, that Native people often differed on the issues of the day, and that the districts were not established with a discriminatory purpose.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming ruled, April 29, in Large v. Fremont County, that Fremont County's at large elections for county commissioners had the effect of diluting the American Indian vote, in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1968, and ordered the county, which includes most of the Wind River Reservation and has a 20% Native population, to institute a district representation scheme for the county commission.

The U.S. Department of Justice Department reached an agreement with Shannon County, in April, requiring the county to provide election materials and information in Lakota for voters who speak that language, and to have trained bilingual election officials at polling sites. The agreement also ensures compliance with various other provisions of the Help America Vote Act, which is aimed at helping minority voters in jurisdictions determined by the Census Bureau to have a substantial population of minority-language residents. Shannon County includes much of the Pine Ridge Sioux Indian Reservation. Four of the five county commissioners are members of the Oglala Sioux Tribe ("Feds, SD county reach voting agreement," Indian Country Today, April 28, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/national/plains/92332189.html).

The city of Bethel, AK, the Native American Rights Fund (NARF), the American Civil Liberties Union and two local Alaska Natives reached a settlement, June 13, under which the city of Bethel will provide enhanced language assistance to Yup'ik voters, including trained poll workers who are bilingual in English and Yup'ik; sample ballots for election measures in written Yup'ik; a written Yup'ik glossary of election terms; advance notice of translator services; election announcements on the radio; and pre- and post-election reports to the Federal District Court for Alaska tracking the city's efforts. The lawsuit Nick, et al. v. Bethel, et al., remains pending in the federal district court for the District of Alaska against the State of Alaska. The lawsuit was brought on behalf of the same Alaska Natives who agreed to the current settlement as well as two other Alaska Natives and four tribal governments. The ACLU and NARF continue to litigate against the State of Alaska so that all Yup'ik speaking voters in the state can be fully included in the political process. The settlement agreement is online at: www.aclu.org/votingrights/minority/40276lgl20090709.html. For more information contact, the American Civil Liberties Union, 125 Broad Street, 18th Floor, New York NY 10004, the American Civil Liberties Union, http://www.aclu.org/voting-rights/yupik-speaking-voters-receive-additional-language-assistance-city-bethel-alaska.

U.S. District Court Senior Judge Peter Dorsey denied the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation's appeal to restore its federal recognition, in January, in part because federal decision makers said they were not influenced by the frenzy of political pressure that was brought to bear upon them. The nation filed an appeal in January 2006 claiming the reversal was a result of unlawful political influence and a violation of due process. Dorsey considered "whether this lobbying exerted improper pressure on agency officials and amounted to undue political influence on the agency process," and while he acknowledged that there was considerable lobbying, he decided it did not unduly influence the BIA (Gale Courey Toensing, "Judge denies Schaghticoke federal recognition appeal," Indian Country Today, January 12, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/politics/27907904.html).

U.S. Magistrate Judge William McCurine Jr., in Rincon v. Schwarzenegger, found the state was negotiating a gambling contract with the nation in bad faith by attempting to use compact negotiations to impose a tax on the tribal governments for gaming revenues, and awarded remedies provided under the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act which governs the compacting rules between tribes and states. The Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians of San Diego, alleged that Governor Schwarzenegger imposed an illegal and unfair tax of 79% on gaming revenues in return for tribal state compact agreements. This is the first case in which a federal court has directly addressed the reach of federal laws against taxing tribal governments in tribal-state compacts, or enforced bad faith remedies. It is possible that the decision might halt the trend of holding tribes hostage to state politics and charging increasingly higher fees as a condition for signing compacts. McCurine noted that "Compact negotiations are between equal sovereigns and fees paid under the terms of a tribal compact are only to be used to mitigate impacts, protect public safety and to establish a framework of regulations with the tribes." In 2010, California's Indian tribes are expected to pay nearly $400 million from tribal gaming into funds controlled by the State Legislature. This money will not be used to offset tribal gaming impacts, or to address needs of local governments near casinos. The state appealed to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (Bo Mazzetti, "Mazetti: Rincon decision could change compact negotiations," Indian Country Today, February 22, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/84774007.html).
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Federal District Court Judge Kiyo Matsumoto for the Eastern District of New York ruled, October 8, that the Unkechaug Nation, a New York State recognized tribe, meets the Montoya test for tribal sovereignty, and is a sovereign nation with immunity from being sued. The court stated that a federally non-recognized tribe can be held immune if it meets a common law test used in the 1901 Supreme Court case of Montoya v. United States. This common law test, used during a period before Interior began to keep track of all the tribes, was used by courts in the 1970s to determine whether an Indian tribe could bring land claims. The "three Montoya criteria" involve a group of people "of the same or similar race," "united in a community under one leadership or government," and "inhabiting a particular, though ill-defined territory." The Unkechaug case involves a long running lawsuit filed by John A. Catsimatidis, owner of, more than 50 Gristedes supermarkets located throughout New York City and nearby area, who claimed that the Long Island based Unkechaug Indian Nation and the Shinnecock Tribe violated civil laws, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act, and statutes prohibiting false advertising and deceptive trade packages by selling untaxed cigarettes that undermined profits at his supermarkets. He asked the court to force Indian retailers to buy cigarettes from wholesalers at the taxed price and sought $20 million in damages from the tribes. The criminal charges were not pursued (Gale Courey Toensing, "Judge: Unkechaug meets tribal sovereignty, immunity criteria, Indian Country Today," October 23, 2009, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/65786187.html).
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The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin ruled, January 11, in Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. Lake of the Torches Economic Development Corp. (of the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa), that a trust indenture agreement securing $50 million in bonds by the tribal corporation was a "management contract" executed without the required approval of the National Indian Gaming Commission, and hence was void and unenforceable, making the tribal corporations wavier of sovereign immunity invalid, and leading to the dismissal of the bond trustees motion to appoint a receiver to take over the corporation's finances.

A settlement was reached, April 20, in the case between members of the Havasupai Tribe of Arizona and Arizona State University, over the tribal members complaint that DNA samples taken by university researchers, beginning in 1990, in the hope that they might provide genetic clues to the tribe's devastating rate of diabetes, were used by the researchers without the donors permission for other studies, including mental illness and theories of the tribe's geographical origins that contradict their traditional stories. The university's Board of Regents, acknowledging a desire to "remedy the wrong that was done," agreed to pay $700,000 to 41 of the tribe's members, return the blood samples and provide other forms of assistance to the impoverished Havasupai. Legal experts said the settlement was significant because it implied that the rights of research subjects can be violated when they are not fully informed about how their DNA might be used. The Havasupai settlement appears to be the first payment to individuals who said their DNA was misused, and may play a role in a growing debate over researchers' responsibility to communicate the range of personal information that can be gleaned from DNA at a time when it is being collected on an ever-greater scale for research and routine medical care (Amy Harmon, "Indian Tribe Wins Fight to Limit Research of Its DNA," The New York Times, April 21, 2010, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/22/us/22dna.html?ref=us).

U.S. District Court Judge Robert W. Sweet, March 29, struck down patents of two genes linked to breast and ovarian cancer, and over all nullified seven patents related to genes, stating that the patents were inappropriate, since they involved "a law of nature," and not strickly human invention. If upheld, the case could have a major impact on intellectual property rights, and have a significant effect on Indigenous people inparticular (John Schwartz and Andrew Pollock, "Cancer Genes Cannot Be Patented, U.S. Judge Rules," The New York Times, March 3, 2010).

The Native American Council of Tribes, an organization based at the state penitentiary in Sioux Falls SD filed a federal lawsuit against the South Dakota Department of Corrections, claiming a new prison policy that bans the use of tobacco during religious ceremonies is discriminatory (Dirk Lammers, "South Dakota inmate group wants tobacco ban lifted," Indian Country Today, December 18, 2009, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/79639722.html).

The Mishewal Wappo Indians of California have brought suit against U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to regain tribal status, that the tribe asserts was improperly terminated in 1959, and to have its tribal lands restored along the Russian River northeast of Healdsburg, CA ("Mishewal Wappo Indians sue to regain tribal status," Indian Country Today, January 25, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/82608487.html).

State and Local Courts

The New York State Court of Appeals, the state's highest court, ruled May 11, that the Cayuga Indian Nation can sell untaxed cigarettes at its convenience stores on qualified reservation land without threat of prosecution by county officials. The ruling also affirms the lower court decision stopping Seneca and Cayuga county district attorneys from seeking criminal tax evasion charges against the Cayuga Nation, because the state does not have a tax collecting mechanism in place that addresses the federally protected right of Indian nations to sell untaxed products on sovereign Indian land. The Cayuga Nation filed the lawsuit after a raid on their convenience stores in late 2008 in which the counties' sheriffs seized 17,600 cartons of cigarettes worth more than $500,000. The counties claimed that because the nation did not have an official reservation, they were violating state tax law. The court accepted the Cayugas claim that the stores lie within their former ancestral homeland, and that the territory is a reservation established by federal treaty and that it has never been disestablished. The majority in the 4-3 decision wrote, "The ultimate obligation to pay cigarette sales taxes rests on the consumer, although in most cases that duty is fulfilled, consistent with the tax stamping scheme, by payment of the tax to the retailer, who passes it up to the distributor and wholesaler, who remits it to the department through the purchase of tax stamps. If, for any reason, a sales tax that is properly owed is not collected in this manner, the consumer remains under the obligation to remit it through other means" (Gale Courey Toensing, "Appeals court affirms Cayuga's untaxed cigarette sales," Indian Country Today, May 18, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/94101514.html).

The Supreme Court of Hawai'i, in lat October, ordered the dismissal of the claims of the final plaintiff in the 15 year Hawaiian lands case, Jonathan Osorio, who had sought a permanent band on the sale of Hawaiian lands. The case follows the March 2009 U.S. Supreme Court decision that the government's apology for the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy did not remove the state government's power to transfer or sell the kingdom's lands ("Hawaii Supreme Court ending ceded lands case," News From Indian Country, November 18, 2009).

The Arizona Supreme Court, February 19, affirmed the 2004 trial court approval of a settlement of the decades old Gila River water rights case, under which the Gila River tribe receives 653,000 acre feet of water from various sources in return for resolving claims for additional water rights and compensation for damages ("Arizona Supreme Court Oks water rights settlement," Indian Country Today, March 3, 2010).

San Diego, CA Superior Court Judge Judith Hayes, June 7, ordered the Padre Dam Municipal Water District to avoid construction on around two-thirds of the two-and-a-half acre site where it is building a $20 million new reservoir and pumping station, as a result of human remains being found in an area that the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians says is a sacred burial ground and ceremonial place of their ancestors. The restraining order was to extends to June 25, to give time for a June 17 hearing and action by the California Native American Heritage Commission. At that time the was to continue a hearing that began in April and hear testimony from both sides. If the commission found that the site is a sanctified cemetery that would be harmed or destroyed by the water project, it would issue recommendations to mitigate damages or even avoid the site altogether (Gale Courey Toensing, "Court orders construction halt on Viejas sacred site," Indian Country Today, June 18, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/national/96566704.html).

Tribal Courts

The Hopi Appellate Court ruled, Feb. 11, "The entire structure of the Hopi Constitution indicates that the authority of the central government of the Hopi Tribe rests on the bedrock of the aboriginal sovereignty of the Hopi and Tewa villages (which) delegated limited power to the central Hopi government," finding that the eight tribal Hopi and Tewa villages have the authority to seat or remove their tribal council representatives and only the tribal chairman and vice chairman are elected at-large. This is a view that differs from the official position of the Hopi Tribal Council, which has maintained it has the exclusive power to remove council representatives. "The (appellate court's decision) seriously diminishes the authorities of the Kik'momngwit (traditional leaders), but only in the political arena," said Ben Nuvamsa, former tribal chairman. "This can be seen as protecting them from central government politics, thus protecting them from the corruption and distractions that political involvement brings. They have sacred duties and do not get involved in political matters." The matter was expected to be taken up by the council at its March 1 meeting. The court decision follow many months of internal strife that included the resignations of President Nuvamsa and the tribal vice chairman, and controversy over the seating and removal of village representatives, one of whom was forcibly escorted from a council meeting. The Hopi Tribal Council at that time had suspended the appeals court, and it could decide again to ignore the appellate court's decision or could fire the recently appointed justices and replace them (Carol Berry, "Hopi Appellate Court upholds villages' sovereignty," Indian Country Today, March 1, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/85499777.html).

 Tribal Governments and State and Local Governments

Less than a month after signing a new immigration law, that if allowed to stand could seriously impact American Indians (see U.S. Activities, above, for details, and opposition activity to the act), Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has signed another bill into law that will limit the scope of "ethnic studies" in the state's elementary and secondary schools, that would forbid any classes that are designed for specific ethnic groups or curriculum that would encourage "overthrow of the United States government" or "resentment toward a race or class of people." Schools that offer such courses will lose 10% state funding. The bill is particularly aimed at one city, Tucson, that offers courses that focus on Black, Mexican-American and American Indian history and literature. State school Superintendent Tom Horne, an advocate of the new law, claims lessons from the Mexican-American program promote "ethnic chauvinism" and teach Latino students that they are oppressed by white people. But Judy Burns, president of the governing board of the Tucson schools, said the district's ethnic studies courses did not violate any of the provisions of the new law and would be continued because they were valuable to the students. She noted, "From everything I've seen, they empower kids to take charge of their own destiny, gain a sense of the value of their own existence and become more determined to be well-educated contributing members of society." The Wall Street Journal reported that before this bill was even signed, the Arizona Department of Education had also begun to tell teachers who spoke English with an accent that they would no longer be allowed to teach students English. While state education officials say this move is to ensure the best education for students, others feel it reflects the state's growing opposition to the immigrant community. The United Nations rights experts released a statement saying that "Such law and attitude are at odds with the State's responsibility to respect the right of everyone to have access to his or her own cultural and linguistic heritage and to participate in cultural life" (Lizz Carroll, "Arizona Cuts Ethnic Studies as-Protests Against Immigration Law Mount," Diversity Inc., May 13, 2010, http://www.diversityinc.com/article/7638/Arizona-Cuts-Ethnic-Studies-as-Protests-Against-Immigration-Law-Mount/; Tamar Lewin, "Citing Individualism, Arizona Tries to Rein in Ethnic Studies in School," The New York Times, May 13, 2010, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/14/education/14arizona.html?ref=us; and "Arizona Grades Teachers on Fluency: State Pushes School Districts to Reassign Instructors With Heavy Accents or Other Shortcomings in Their English, The Wall Street Journal, April 30, 2010, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703572504575213883276427528.html).

The Virginia General Assembly officially recognized the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Tribe, in March ("Tribe Recognized by State," March 30, 2010, http://andrekaruk.posterous.com/tribe-recognized-by-state-communitysovereignt#more).

The New Chairman of the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs, Charles Delaney-Megeso, in February, was working to have amendments (S. 222) to An Act Relating to Recognition of Abenaki Tribes be passed during the then current legislative session, to clear up confusions in the original S. 117, passed four years earlier. The bill recognized Vermont's Abenaki "people" and "all Native American people who reside in Vermont as a minority population" instead of specifically naming the St. Francis/Sokoki Band of Abenaki Indians of Missisquoi and other Abenaki bands and tribes as state recognized tribes. That language does not meet the criteria for Native artists to label their productions under the federal Indian Arts and Crafts Act, and the states tribes have been asking that the language be changes to agree with the federal criteria. The proposal would recognize the Abenaki Nation of Mississquoi St. Francis Sokoki Band composed of the Missisquoi, St. Francis and Sokoki Bands; the Koasek Traditional Band of the Koas Abenaki Nation; the Nulhegan Band of the Abenaki Nation, also known as the Northern Coosuk/Old Philip's Band; and the ELNU Abenaki Tribe of the Koasek. Instead of the current arrangement with the governor appointing commission members and the chair, the bill proposes seating three members appointed by the Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi, St. Francis Sokoki Band; one member appointed by the Koasek Traditional Band of the Koas Abenaki Nation; one member appointed by the Nulhegan Band of the Abenaki Nation, one member appointed by the ELNU Abenaki Tribe of the Koasek; and one member appointed by the other six commission members from a list of candidates compiled by the state's Division for Historic Preservation. The commission would elect its own chairman. The proposed bill also includes state adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (Gale Courey Toensing, "New Indian commission chair supports amending state recognition bill, Proposal includes adoption of UN Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples," Indian Country Today, February 13, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/84225182.html).

The Maine legislature, in April, passed LD 445, "An Act to Improve Tribal-State Relations in Maine," amending the Maine Implementing Act to include a representative of the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians in the Maine legislature; put 714 acres of Penobscot Indian Nation land into reservation status; and establishes a process for developing the budget for the Maine Indian Tribal-State Commission. Tribal-state relations have grown increasingly strained over the past several years with the Wabanaki nations protesting the state's intransigence over acknowledging tribal sovereignty. The bill was an effort to improve tribal-state relations with the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians, the Passamaquoddy Tribe, and the Penobscot Indian Nation, which are signatories to the 1980 federal Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act and the Maine Implementing Act, its companion state legislation (Gale Courey Toensing, "Maine bill gives voice, reservation land, budget process to Wabanaki nations," Indian Country Today, May 14, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/93793764.html).

A tribal economic development task force, established by New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson in response to questions from tribal leaders about know how to access existing programs and funds for encouraging economic development at a New Mexico tribal summit, in September, reported its findings to the governor, in May, on issues and opportunities for New Mexico tribes concerning taxation, tourism, development opportunities in the green economy and participation in the film industry. The report's 27 recommendations are being reviewed by the governor ("NM governor gets report on tribal economics," May 7, 2010, Indian Country Today, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/business/93071434.html).

The California Department of Veteran Affairs (CalVet) swore in Pedro "Pete" Molina (Pascua Yaqui), as the nation's first state assistant secretary for Native American Veterans Affairs, to oversee the administration of services to Native American veterans in California, which has the largest population of American Indian veterans in the U.S. ("California first to create position for Native American vets," Indian Country Today, March 19, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/88559582.html).

Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle, December 8, signed into law a bill designed to bring Wisconsin into better compliance with the Indian Child Welfare Act, by ensuring that the child welfare system works with the tribes to promote the best interests of Indian children. The new state law clarifies requirements under the 1978 federal law that until now had been left to varied interpretations by local agencies, while the state Department of Children and Families received an $850,000 grant to train local tribes, county officials and judges to understand new legal requirements ("Doyle signs bill on Indian child welfare," Indian Country Today, December 16, 2009, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/79407967.html).

The Piqua Shawnee Tribe says plans to build a commercial wind farm in western Ohio pose a threat to an ancient burial mound and the state should put a barrier around it to keep it from being disturbed, and has filed a motion to that effect with the Ohio Power Siting Board regarding EverPower Wind Holdings Inc.'s proposal to build the 70-turbine farm near Urbana (James Hannah, "Tribe wants Ohio mound protected from wind farm," Indian Country Today, October 16, 2009, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/64534812.html).

The Louisiana National Guard held its 14th Annual Government-To-Government Consultation, April 6-8, with eight tribal governments, as part of its responsibilities under the Historic Preservation Act, since several Louisiana Guard instillations contain culturally important sites to tribes in the state. The meeting was facilitated by the United South and Eastern Tribes, Inc.

The Southern Ute Tribe of Colorado, May 11, entered into a first time agreement with the Town of Ignacio, La Plata County and the Colorado Department of Transportation for joint planning of future transportation on the reservation (Ace Stryker, "Tribe, Local Governments Team Up on Transportation Planning," The Southern Ute Drum, My 21, 2010).

Florida Governor Charlie Crist signed into law, April 28, SB 622, a 20-year gaming compact with the Seminole Indian Tribe of Florida, which gives the Seminole exclusive rights to have blackjack and other table games at three Broward County casinos and others in Immokalee and Tampa, and permitting all seven tribal casinos to continue operating Las Vegas-style slot machines. The state is expected to receive about $1.2 billion in the next five years, under the agreement. The Florida legislature failed to agree on a compact with the Seminoles in 2009 ("Crist signs Indian gaming bill," Indian Country Today, May 4, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/national/southeast/92769224.html). The bill passed the Florida Senate April 15.

Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle, March 11, appointed Eau Claire attorney Ed Manydeeds (Standing Rock Sioux) as the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents' first Native American board member, pending confirmation by the state Senate.

The Wabanaki nations of Maine, in February, began working on placing place a "competing measure" question on the ballot for the November elections, asking voters to support an Indian casino in Maine (Gale Courey Toensing, "Wabanaki nations to add Indian casino question on November ballot," Indian Country Today, February 26, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/85482817.html).

A bill introduced in the Wisconsin legislature, January 13, would make it an offense for schools to use Indian nicknames, mascots, and images, with a penalty of $100 - $1000 (Brian Bull, "Bill would penalize Wisconsin schools with Indian mascots," Fox21online, January 13, 3010, http://www.fox21online.com/news/bill-would-penalize-wisconsin-schools-indian-mascots).

Benewah County Sheriff Bob Kirts, who was threatened with losing his say in just who tribal officers could arrest, reached a tentative agreement with the Coeur d'Alene tribe of Idaho, March 17, to restore the authority of tribal police to arrest non-Indians in their jurisdiction. State officials hope it will resolve a dispute that some said had left reservation law enforcement in disarray since a cross deputation arrangement broke down in 2007. Tribal police, who said Kirts' agency has been ignoring their calls for assistance, had asked the Idaho Legislature to pass a law that would have allowed the tribe to secure the rights to arrest non-tribal members even without the sheriff's consent. At a hearing, in March, lawmakers gave the two sides six days to come to an agreement. In reaching the settlement, tribal officers made some concessions, including no longer trying to resolve traffic infractions such as speeding tickets for non-tribal members in tribal court (Simmi Aujla, "Coeur d'Alene police can arrest non-tribal members," Indian Country Today, April 2, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/89787247.html). Blackfeet Nation and Glacier County, MT signed an agreement, in August, cross deputizing tribal and county police officers to have arrest authority in each other's jurisdiction ("Blackfeet and Glacier County sign law enforcement agreement," News From Indian Country, August 17, 2009).

The Northern Arapaho Tribe and the City of Riverton, WY reached a preliminary agreement, in November, to cooperate on common interests, working together on issues, such as zoning, land-use planning and economic development. They also agreed to enter into mediation on future disputes instead of going directly to the courts. The agreement was expected to be formalized by the end of 2009, following public meetings in Riverton and on the Wind River Reservation to discuss it ("Riverton agreement with tribe raises concerns," Indian Country Today, November 20, 2009, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/70618457.html).

The city of Sparks, NV joined a cooperative agreement, November 23, with Washoe County and the Nevada Department of Transportation, local, county and state governmental agencies, under the guidance of the Nevada Rock Art Foundation, to protect the Court of Antiquity, an obscure, rocky site featuring more than 200 panels of American Indian petroglyphs. The group is trying to acquire the four acre site along Interstate 80 along the Truckee River from the transportation department and develop a master plan for it ("Sparks joins effort to protect petroglyphs," Indian Country Today, December 9, 2009, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/78892252.html). 
 
The Coquille Indian Tribe and the city of North Bend, OR settled a legal dispute over charges for city services at the tribal Casino, and have entered a new contract in February (Winston Ross, "Coquilles, North Bend reach casino deal," Indian Country Today, February 16, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/84473952.html).

Tribal Developments

The influenza pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus infection was reported, killing American Indians and Alaskan Natives at 4 times the rate of the rest of the population, as announced in a January 12 teleconference with Kathleen Sebelius, United States Health and Human Services (HSS) Secretary. Sebelius, Dr. Yvette Roubideaux, director of Indian Health Services, and Dr. Ralph Bryan of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to introduce HHS's new public service announcements starring Cherokee actor Wes Studi, focus on promoting [pandemic] H1N1 immunization in native populations. Sebelius said more Native Americans die from H1N1 complications because the population has a higher rate of underlying health issues, such as asthma, diabetes and heart disease. The health issues combined with an inability to access health care in remote reservation communities put Native Americans at greater risk (Rapid City Journal, January 13, 2010, http://www.rapidcityjournal.com/news/article_cf773eac-ffca-11de-80b0-001cc4c03286.html, as carried by ProMED, a program of the International Society for Infectious Diseases, http://www.promedmail.org).

The Annie E. Casey Foundation, which has long offered national level charts in its Kids Count data reports indicating that American Indian children fare poorly on several indicators of well-being, including poverty, has added new state-level data, sorted by race. The latest data available shows that in about two-thirds of states, where data is available for Indian and non-Hispanic white children, the poverty rate was found to be higher for Indian young people, while nationally, Indian children also continue to do poorly. While the overall child death rate for children aged 1 - 14 has gone down by 9% percent since 2000, it has gone up by 15% for American Indian children. Similarly, during the same period, the teenage death rate nationally went down by 3% percent; but rose 7% for American Indian and Alaska Native children. And the number of idle "at-risk" teens - those not working and not in school - went down by 11% overall, but increased by 6% percent for Natives youth. William O'Hare, a senior fellow with the Kids Count program, commented. "American Indian children are the only group that collectively lost ground since 2000 out of non-Hispanic whites, African-Americans, Asians and Latinos. Every other group, other than American Indians, has improved a little bit over that period." The full data set is available online at www.kidscount.org/datacenter (Rob Capriccioso, "Native kids' well-being lags behind other races, Indian Country Today, January 12, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/living/27096659.html).

A study, "Science Says No. 39: American Indian/Alaska Native Youth and Teen Pregnancy Prevention," funded by the Centers for Disease Control, published in December, found that birthrates among Alaska Natives and American Indians increased more than twice the national rate between 2005 and 2007, with births for Natives 15-19 year of age in 2007 at 59 per 1000, 7% higher than in 2006's 55 per 1000, and 12% over 2005. The national average in 2007 was 42.5 per 1000. The report found that there is little data on the sexual and contraceptive activity of Indigenous American youth, but what information exists suggests that they have a higher rate of sexual activity, and less use of contraceptives, than American youth overall. There are few programs related to sexual activity designed specifically for Native American teens, and none have been evaluated. The report recommended increased resources for developing an evaluating such programs (Gale Courey Toensing, "Report: 12 percent increase in AI/AN teen birth rates," Indian Country Today, December 20, 2009).

A newly released study from the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP), cosponsored by the National Institute of Health (NIH) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC), released in March, finds that more than 16% of American Indians and Alaska Natives aged 20 and older have diagnosed diabetes, compared to a national average of 7%. About 23.6 million Americans have diabetes. Each year, about 1.6 million people ages 20 or older are diagnosed with diabetes. The number of people diagnosed with diabetes has risen from 1.5 million in 1958 to 17.9 million in 2007, an increase of epidemic proportions. Total health care and related costs for the treatment of diabetes run about $174 billion annually (Don Baumgart, "Native American Diabetes rate: More than double national average," Indian Country Today, March 23, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/88910332.html).

A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, published in the March 2010 issue of The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, links the lack of indoor plumbing in Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta villages to higher rates of pneumonia and other diseases in children. The region is home to some of the poorest, most crowded households in the state, according to the study. The research found disease rates three times higher in villages without running water for flushing toilets and washing hands. Some 15% of Yukon-Kuskokwim babies are hospitalized every year for some form of pneumonia. Native children younger than 5 years old in the Yukon-Kuskokwim region are five to 10 times more likely to suffer from a bacterial illness, invasive pneumococcal disease than other Alaskans of the same age. Between 1.7% and 2.5% percent of Alaska children with the disease died between 1996 and 2007, according to the report. The illness is also particularly dangerous for elderly people with chronic lung disease, particularly as it can lead to meningitis and blood infections. Plumbing projects are expensive and difficult to build in remote villages where materials must be shipped by barge or plane and the frozen or soggy ground prevents easy construction. But medical treatment is also expensive. The health consortium and state Village Safe Water Program are planning dozens of construction projects this summer with the aid of federal stimulus money to repair or improve existing plumbing systems and build new ones ("Study: Lack of Alaska plumbing linked to diseases," Indian Country Today, April 16, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/91043754.html).

A report, released in December by the Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Statistics, found that the number of inmates in Indian country jails declined by 1.3% percent at midyear 2008, falling to 2,135, while the number of inmates admitted into Indian country jails in June 2008 was about six times the size of the average daily population. The report indicated that the number of Inmates held for aggravated and simple assault increased at midyear 2008, while the rate of reported domestic violence declined; the number of jails in Indian country increased from 68 in 2004 to 82 in 2008; and 36 of the 82 correctional facilities were operating above their rated capacity on their most crowded day in June 2008. Matthew L.M. Fletcher, director of the Indigenous Law & Policy Center at Michigan State University, said the report was much more positive one on jails in Indian country than previous reports concerning the jails operated by the BIA. The complete report is available online (Rob Capriccioso, "Indian country jails report released," Indian Country Today, December 31, 2009, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/80413612.html).

Gang violence is reported as rising on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, with some 5,000 young men in gangs blamed for increases in violence (some deadly), fear, vandalism and theft at Pine Ridge (Erick Eckholm, "Gang Violence Grows on an Indian Reservation," The New York Times, December 14, 2009).

The 28,000 member Tohono O'odham Nation of Arizona, which straddles the U.S.-Mexican border in the heart of the drug smuggling-illegal alien crossing region has been increasingly caught in the cross fire of the drug and illegal immigrant wars. Hundreds of tribal members have been prosecuted for drug smuggling or human trafficking, many enticed by gobs of money, others cooperating out of fear, with police often two hours away. 319,000 pounds of marijuana was seized on the reservation in 2009, up from 201,000 pounds in 2008. At the same time the constant intrusion of federal agents and strange vehicles on the reservation is annoying, and the flow of drug and human traffickers threatening, while tightening border security has made it increasingly difficult to keep in touch with the 1,500 tribal members who live on the Mexican side of the border (Erick Eckholm, "In Drug War, Tribe Feels Invaded by Both Sides," The New York Times, January 25, 2010).

Lamar Associates, founded by Walter Lamar (Blackfeet), has been training police departments, communities, schools and other agencies about dealing with drugs and gang violence, including assisting the development of community based coalitions working with police, schools, health agencies and tribal leadership as they assess the level of gang activity and related social problems. The firm has worked with more than 50 Indian nation entities across the U.S. (Valerie Taliman, "Lamar Associates: Preparing for tomorrow: Protecting today," Indian Country Today Business 2010).

Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBBSA) Native American Mentoring Initiative, created with the help of a $2 million grant from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention to recruit and encourage greater participation of Native American children and adults, has been expanding its, nationwide effort to reach out to vulnerable youth in Native American and Alaska Native communities. Jolene Aguilar, (San Ildefonso Pueblo) BBBSA Native American Mentoring Initiative coordinator, stated, "In just 10 months, we have been able to serve close to 400 Native American children with our targeted program," As of February, there were 29 agencies working with tribal communities. The program is operated under the guidance of formal and informal American Indian and Alaska Native advisors and elders to help ensure strategic, culturally relevant programmatic approaches. BBBS matches children with strong, long-term mentors whose friendship and guidance help positively shape a child's life and increase their likelihood of becoming healthy, productive adults. The presence of Native American advisors at the local and national level is imperative to the success of the initiative, according to Aguilar: "Our intent is to create a Native American mentoring model." The professionally supported volunteer services of BBBS are proven to improve children's overall academic performance, foster stronger relationships with adults and peers and help children resist unhealthy choices such as drugs, alcohol and violence. National research shows that children participating in BBBS mentoring programs are 46% less likely to begin using illegal drugs, 27% less likely to begin using alcohol, and 52% less likely to skip school. One of the keys to the program's success is the length of the relationship between the child and the adult mentor, with BBBS volunteers being asked to commit to a year. The longer the relationship with the child, the more effective and beneficial it is to the child in the long run, Aguilar said. The initiative is committed to making more than 2,000 new Native American matches in 30 target agencies by the end of 2010. As of February, Native American mentoring matches totaled 2,081. Aguilar said the biggest challenge the organization faces is finding male mentors. "There's a long waiting list for little boys." For more information about the Native American Mentoring Initiative, contact Aguilar at Jolene.aguilar@bbbs.org or (505) 503-0505 (Lorraine Jessepe, "Wanted: Native American mentors," Indian Country Today, February 23, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/85049212.html).

Efforts to expand the number of mortgages available to American Indians, that were bearing fruit in the 1990s through the mid 2000s, collapsed with the subprime mortgage crisis and have remained stagnant both on and off reservation. One of the reasons for the extent of the drop in mortgages to Native Americans may be the collapse of supbprime mortgages, and of some of the firms the focused heavily on offering them, some of whom had lending programs for American Indians. A study by the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, for instance, found that in 2000, Indians were twice as likely (26.5%) to get subprime or manufactured housing loans as the national average. And in some states, such as New Mexico (78.8%) and South Dakota (39.1%), the percentages were far higher. But this cannot be the only reason for the sharp decline in Indian mortgages (Mark Fogarty, "Mortgages to Native Americans plummet: Efforts to loan on reservations are stagnant," Indian Country Today, January 7, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/80707512.html. See also, Mark Fogarty, "Drastic dropoff in mortgages to Indians in 2008," Indian Country Today, October 30, 2009, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/66060377.html).

A number of governmental changes at Navajo Nation, previously reported as being in progress, have now been accomplished. Following a referendum, and court cases, the Navajo Nation Tribal Council has been shrunk from 88 to 24 delegates, and the Navajo Nation President now has a line item veto. The new districts were in the process of being drawn up, as of Mid June. With the override by the council of a presidential veto, the Chief Legislative Council will have the same powers as the attorney general to investigate, and seek a special prosecutor, except that the Chief Legislative Council will not be authorized to investigate wrongdoing by the Council (See in Navajo Times, Marley Shebala, "Election board asks for changes to 24 delegate plan," and Noel Lyn Smith, "Council overrides veto of prosecutor act," June 10, 2010). A move to have Navajo judges elected, rather than appointed by the President and confirmed by the council, has been under consideration by the Navajo Nation Council may go on the November 2 election ballot (Noel Lyn Smith, "Move to elect judges a step closer to vote," Navajo Times, June 24, 2010). The Navajo Nation Council, in April, began considering a bill to require the nation (via the council's Resources Energy Committee) to consult with, and receive approval of directly impacted chapters, on pending mineral extraction leases and energy development. However the proposal failed to pass the council in late April (Noel Lyn Smith, "Proposal to give chapters voice in energy development fails," Navajo Times, April 29, 2010). The top Navajo Nation public defender complained, in late April, that the nation's prosecutors, with the assent of its lower courts, have regularly been denying defendant's rights to due process in bail, and other matters, Kathleen Bowman stated that courts regularly allow pretrial defendants to remain in jail based on nothing more than their being charged with a crime, despite Navajo Nation Supreme Court decisions requiring that prosecutors show cause for a defendant's being kept in jail (Marley Shebala, "Defendants get short shrift in court, public defender says," Navajo Times, April 29, 2010). The bad economy continues to have an impact upon Navajo Nation. About 200 of the nation's 5000 employees decided to take early retirement, as of December, to help reduce the nation's budget (Bill Donovan, "200 workers decide to take early retirement," Navajo Times, December 23, 2009). The state of New Mexico's budget cutting, in SB182, in February, has included canceling several million dollars allocated for projects by Navajo chapters between 2005 and 2009 that had not yet been spent (Bill Donovan, "Dine projects hard hit by N.M budget cutting," Navajo Times, March 11, 2010). Not necessarily related to the economic downturn, an audit of loans by the Navajo Nation Business Industrial Development (BIPF) Fund, released in April, found that too many loans have been given out without an adequate background check or assurance that the relevant supporting documents have been provided, leading to 76 of 130 BIDF loan accounts then being delinquent, involving $14.3 million in tribal money (Bill Donovan, "Auditors: Millions in loans to Navajo businesses not repaid," Navajo Times, April 8, 2010).

In the largest Comanche general meeting in several years, more than 500 registered tribal voters chose to keep current Tribal Administrator Willie Nelson, who defeated Johnnie Waqua with a vote of 220-219 from an original field of six nominees. The tribe initiated new technology to increase participation in the meeting, as the tribe used a new wristband system to register attending members who had eligible voter standing, allowing Comanches to vote on a number of issues that had previously been done by acclamation. It was also the first occasion on which the Comanches live-streamed the meeting so voters outside of the eight-county district could watch the proceedings, which could allow absentee voters (the largest number of voters) to participate in the elections in the future (S.E. Ruckman, "More than 500 turn out for Comanche elections," Indian Country Today, April 26, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/national/91908424.html.

The Hopi Tribal Council has been reorganized, elevating the status of a tribal council-controlled manager and diminishing the authority of the tribal chairman. It is not clear whether the reorganization will clear the air in the long political dispute in the council and the Hopi community. Some tribal members are optimistic, but others see the changes as just another stage in a long power struggle. Council member Davis F. Pecusa, head of the reorganization effort stated. "We need to look at the organizational culture and make a change more toward service delivery. We can't get there if we continue to fight over power." A change in the Hopi Tribe Economic Development Corporation also was approved at the special meeting, which preceded the seating of the chair and vice chair December 1. The tribal council voted to install council members as the board of the HTEDC after members questioned whether it had been effective. The 2010 operating budget of $21.8 million is up slightly from the 2009 $20.9 million, and projected mining revenues of $12.8 million compare to the present $11 million, according to the public information officer (Carol Berry, "Hopi Tribal Council's new structure irks some critics," Indian Country Today, January 13, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/81015597.html).

The Intergovernmental Relations Committee of the 21st Navajo Nation Council, in early April, passed Legislation approving a lease agreement between the Navajo Nation and the Indian Health Service for the new Kayenta Health Care Facility to be constructed in Kayenta, AZ ("Kayenta Health Care Facility moves forward," Indian Country Today, April 6, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/89993652.html). The Southern Ute Tribe of Colorado took over management of its health clinic from the Indian Health Service, October 1 ("Southern Ute Indian Tribe to Manage Ignacio Health Clinic," The Southern Ute Drum, October 9, 2009).

The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor announced March 26 that officials there have begun outlining a process for the transfer of more than 1,300 Native American human remains to tribes as a result of the U.S. Department of the Interior's March 15 publication of a final rule clarifying how museums and institutions should handle Native American human remains that are under their control, but for which no culturally affiliated Indian tribe has been identified. The rule says that after appropriate tribal consultation, transfer of culturally unidentifiable remains is to be made to a tribe from whose tribal or aboriginal lands the remains were excavated or removed. Civil penalties are proposed for museums that do not follow the law. Prior to the new rule's publication, some museum and university officials felt the 1990 law did not clearly lay out rules for the disposition of culturally unidentifiable human remains. (Rob Capriccioso, "University of Michigan prepares to return remains." Indian Country Today, April 2, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/89775852.html).

The Chickasaw Nation and the National Park Service are negotiating for the tribe to take over management of the Chickasaw National Recreation Area with its streams, lakes, springs and valleys, offering boating, fishing, hunting and camping opportunities, in the Arbuckle Mountains (Michael Baker, "Chickasaw Nation looking into managing rec area," Indian Country Today, May 3, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/business/92503364.html).

In a follow up of President Barack Obama signing an act expanding the historic Cherokee Trail of Tears to more than 4,900 miles in nine states, new signs and markers along the Arkansas portions of the trail were being erected this winter ("New Trail of Tears markers to go up in Arkansas," Indian Country Today, November 4, 2009, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/69075512.html).

A study by the National Congress of American Indians and the First Nations Development Institute of three BIA pilot programs under which the agency contracted home title processing to tribes, and of partial title work programs by two other nations, showed that the establishment of tribal land offices would lead to an increase in mortgages being provided on American Indian reservations (Mark Fogarty, "Tribes taking control of mortgages," Indian Country Today, February 17, 2010). The BIA is being asked by Indian organizations and concerned members of Congress to change its rules in its housing program that counts disabled veterans and survivor families disability and survivor benefits as income, often leading to their being denied housing assistance (Rob Capriccioso, "BIA Flaw impacts Native Veterans," Indian Country Today, June 2, 2010).

Navajo Nation opened its first community owned apartments, in April, the $14 million Chaco River Apartments with 96 units operated by a nonprofit community board, but a developer will continue to work as property management agent and co-owner ("A Navajo Nation first: community-owned apartments," April 9, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/90355594.html). A member of the White Earth Chippewa Nation of Minnesota is leading an effort to build inexpensive energy efficient homes on the reservation by constructing them of cordwood (Dan Gunderson, "Builder hopes reservation cordwood homes catch on," News From Indian Country, December 7, 2009).

The Blackfeet Tribal Business Council, of Montana, responding to, voters demands that the new council lead the Blackfeet back to prosperity and accountability, announced, in December, that it has been able to reduce the tribes debt, and still raise per capita payments for 2009 to $200, the largest in decades, to each of the 16,516 tribal members. In recent years, per capitas for most years have been $50, and never more than $75 ("Blackfeet Tribal Business Council announces largest per capita in decades." Indian Country Today, December 22, 2009, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/79901487.html).

Cherokee Nation is developing additional strategies to promote healthy eating, physical activity and increase tobacco cessation throughout the tribe's jurisdictional boundaries, in its ongoing community campaign to combat obesity, smoking and other preventable health risks. The tribe is partnering with U.S. Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control to carry out the effort, and is one of 44 entities across the U.S. chosen to receive funding through a special Communities Putting Prevention to Work grant through the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act ("Cherokee Nation to promote healthy eating, tobacco cessation efforts," Indian Country Today, Apr 6, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/89996317.html).

Native American Connections (NAC), Inc., which provides affordable housing and behavioral health services to more than 5,000 individuals and families each year in Phoenix, AZ, has entered into an agreement with HomeBase Youth Services, whose services and programs have helped hundreds of homeless youth turn their lives around for more than 17 years, under which NAC will operate and manage HomeBase programs and services including the Transitional Living Program, Independent Living Program, Street Outreach and the Dustin Center for Youth. Current HomeBase staff will continue to run the programs and services under NAC management and the HomeBase name and brand will remain intact and associated with each of its programs. NAC has grown from a small grassroots organization, in 1972, operating one program for Native American men in recovery from substance abuse, to one which now owns and operates 15 sites throughout Central Phoenix offering a continuum of affordable housing and behavioral health services. For more information about Native American Connections, go to: http://www.nativeconnections.org ("Agencies enter into agreement to serve more homeless youth," Indian Country Today, February 2, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/83348757.html).

Tribal Voice Radio began broadcasting on line, Feb. 15, at www.tribalvoiceradio.com giving voice to the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian cultures in southeast Alaska, in an operation sponsored by the Central Council Tlingit Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska ("Southeast Native Alaska radio station to launch," Indian Country Today, February 21, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/84785262.html).

The Episcopal church became the first Christian denomination to renounce the Christian Doctrine of Discovery, while urging the U.S. government to endorse the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, as it passed a resolution called "Repudiate the Doctrine of Discovery," unanimously by the Episcopal House of Bishops and by an overwhelming majority of the House of Delegates during the church's 76th General Convention, July 8 - 17, in Anaheim, CA. The Doctrine of Discovery was a principle of international law developed in a series of 15th century papal bulls and 16th century charters by European monarchs. It was essentially a racist philosophy that gave white Christian Europeans the green light to go forth and claim the lands and resources of non-Christian peoples and kill or enslave them - if other Christian Europeans had not already done so. Steven Newcomb, Shawnee/Lenape, the indigenous law research coordinator for the Sycuan Education Department, and co-founder and co-director of the Indigenous Law Institute, was instrumental in setting the stage for the Episcopal Church's action. In September, inspired by the Episcopal action, the Indian Committee of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends issued a Minute - analogous to a resolution - disavowing the Doctrine and supporting the U.S. adoption of the Declaration (Gale Courey Toensing, "Episcopal church sets bar for Doctrine of Discovery repudiation, Indian Country Today, January 13, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/81334447.html).

The Inupiat village of Noorvik, AK has lifted the ban on dancing that was imposed by Quaker missionaries when the settlement was established in 1914 (Rachel D'Oro, "Native dancing ban lifted in Alaska village," Indian Country Today, March 2, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/85500177.html).
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Economic Developments

RES 2010, the annual business conference, hosted by the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development, took place at the Las Vegas Hilton, February 21 - 24, with a focus on the new American economy and the unique opportunities it holds for the American Indian business world. Margo Gray-Proctor (Osage), chairwoman of NCAIED and president of Horizon Engineering Services Co, stated, "We've made it through a challenging economic year to see development and growth in a wide variety of areas. We've learned that we could go down the sink in a swirl, or we could do something that no one else has done as we turn around. And we're doing it." She noted that this as the largest RES to date, even with the economic downturn. Some 480 tribes were represented. Featured areas that have been successful, even in the bad economy, were spotlighted, from Native American entertainment ventures to the increasing power of social media and the growing global importance of international trade. Gray-Proctor added, that beyond developing in areas of new growth, now is the time to seriously examine the potential of contracting for a variety of Native business owners, noting that it's crucial for federal and tribal procurement people to make contact at RES. "When we all start pulling resources, people and contracts together, we're going to make Indian communities stronger." Don Chapman, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke's advisor on Native American affairs, noted that NCAIED has a longstanding relationship with the Department of Commerce, but said the agency is entering a new era of cooperation. "We will soon launch a Commerce Department Native American Affairs Web page that will help collect feedback from Indian country and further develop relationships with Native American tribes," Chapman said that in preparation for attending RES 2010, the department held listening sessions across the country to help develop and plan to implement a tribal consultation policy (Rob Capriccioso, "A new economy with RES 2010,"
Indian Country Today. February 19, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/84777442.html). The Native American Development Corporation meeting in Billings, MT, in mid-May included discussion of updates on many new projects on Montana reservations. These included a contract with a Chinese company to build communications equipment in Montana, the expansion of oil production from the Bakken shale oil formation to the Fort Peck reservation, and construction of a Canadian shale oil pipeline in Northern Montana, which is also expected to bring construction jobs to the Fort Peck tribes this year (Laura Kennedy, "Potential New Jobs in Indian Country," kurl8.com, May 20, 2010,) http://www.kulr8.com/news/local/94328599.html). However, there are also serious environmental issues (including the serious impacts on people) of the shale oil development (see Environmental Developments above, and in the last several issues of IPJ).

Professor Steven Peterson, a research economist at the University of Idaho, at the end of April, released the results a study of the economic impact on the state of Idaho of its five tribes, jointly sponsored by the tribes. The study found that when the estimated impacts are aggregated, the sum of all the direct, indirect, and induced effects in 2009 for all tribal activities are: $852.7 million in sales, $487.3 million in value-added gross state product, $325.4 million in payroll earnings, $23.7 million in sales taxes, property taxes, and excise taxes, and 10,516 jobs. If the five tribes were compared to the economies of the counties in Idaho, they would rank 23rd out of the 44 Idaho counties in terms of sales, 17th in total jobs, 17th in terms of payroll earnings, and 29th in indirect business taxes. In 2009, the economic impact of the tribes created approximately $7.5 million in state income tax payments from all tribal economic activities, including the multiplier effects. Peterson noted that the Nez Perce Tribe is the second largest employer in their region, and have been for some years, and that the Coeur d'Alene Tribe is now the largest employer in their region. At the press conference releasing the report, Peterson responded to a question about the impact of the recession on this study, saying, "The only effect I saw was a little bit in the hospitality sector. Other than that I saw a strong growth right across most of the sectors. I think some of the (tribal) operations were somewhat immune to the recession." He said this provides stability in those regions and he anticipates economic growth to continue in 2010 (Jack McNeel, "Study shows economic impact of Idaho tribes," Indian Country Today, May 3, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/national/midwest/92503524.html).

A new report, "The Impact of Sealaska Corporation on the Southeast Alaska Economy," recently released by the McDowell Group, based in Juneau, found that Sealaska Corporation, Sealaska Timber Corporation and the Sealaska Heritage Institute spent a combined $41 million in 2007 in southeast Alaska. Sealaska, southeast Alaska's regional Native corporation, representing nearly 20,000 tribal member shareholders, almost half of whom live in southeast Alaska. "weaves business with culture for the benefit of communities and the environment". The report found that 350 businesses or organizations in 19 regional communities benefited from the Native corporation's related activities in 2007. The full report can be viewed: at www.sealaska.com ("Sealaska infuses millions into southeast Alaska economy," Indian Country Today, January 12, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/national/hawaiialaska/27524064.html).

As a result of the bad economy, for the first time tribal government gambling revenues fell about 1.8% in 2009, dropping from $26.7 billion in 2008 to $26.2 billion, while hotel and other non-casino hospitality revenues generated by tribal governments were expected to remain flat at $3.2 billion, according to the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA)'s "Economic Impact of Indian Gaming." The decline has included a tribal loan default rate of somewhere in the 5-8% range. NIG reports there are 237 Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages operating 442 casinos in 28 states, with tribal casino and hospitality industry generating 628,000 direct and indirect jobs and $11 billion in federal, state and local taxes. About 20% of tribal gambling revenues are spent on "education, children and elders, culture, charity and other purposes." 19% of net gambling revenue is used for economic development, 17% for health care, 17% for police and fire protection, 16% for infrastructure and 11% for housing, according to the study (Dave Palermo, "Tribal gambling revenues fall for the first time in history," Indian Country Today, April 9, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/90354944.html). For the first time in its six years of gaming, the Seneca Nation of New York's gaming company that operates three western New York casinos reported a full-year net loss of $19.37 million in the fiscal year that ended September 30, compared with a profit of $102.6 million in fiscal 2008. Annual revenue for FY2009 was nearly $700 million. As a result, Seneca Gaming has suspended expansion projects for its permanent casino in Buffalo, as well as at its gaming facilities in Niagara Falls and Salamanca ("Upstate NY tribe's gaming operation reports loss," Indian Country Today, January 5, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/80702822.html). Standard & Poor's rating services, March 4, lowered its ratings to the "D" default category on three special revenue bonds issued by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, following the tribe's inability to make full interest payments on more than $620 million in bonds. The nation owns Foxwoods Resort Casino and MGM Grand at Foxwoods in southeastern Connecticut. The lowered credit rating comes as the nation continues to seek restructuring of $2.3 billion in debt under a forbearance agreement with its senior lenders. The Pequot have been suffering two years of plummeting slot revenues as the economy has fallen, while in the midst of expensive expansions ("Mashantucket's bond ratings downgraded: $2.3 billion debt restructuring continues," Indian Country Today, March 9, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/87117467.html). There has been a mix of results amidst the bad economy, recently, in the Olympic Peninsula. While the Skokomish Tribe closed the doors of its Lucky Dog Casino located near Shelton, WA, likely for the winter (and Mickey's Casino, a non-tribal card casino located in Port Angeles, likely closed permanently) in October, because of slow business, the Nooksack Tribe is in court with its lender and the Snoqualmie Tribe is struggling to make payments on its new casino east of Seattle. The Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe opened the doors to the 7,000-square-foot Elwha River Casino in late March 2009, and with business booming, had already expanded its facilities by fall, with further improvements planned for early 2010. The Puyallup Tribe's newest casino, along Interstate 5, is regularly packed and the tribe continues to make about $250 million a year from two casinos. The Colville Confederated Tribes of Washington opened a new casino at Mill Bay on Lake Chelan, April 14, replacing its much smaller facility opened in 1994. Colvile gaming has been enhanced by a new agreement with the state that allows longer hours and larger maximum bets. The Kalispel Tribe of Washington completed, and last fall opened, the latest phase in the expansion of Northern Quest Resort & Casino adding a 10-story tower containing 250 hotel rooms, a 14,000-square-foot spa and salon, and an indoor parking garage. (Jack McNeel, "Northern Quest Resort and Casino - expansion complete," Indian Country Today, February 9, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/83896827.html). Over all in 2009, tribal casinos in Washington state saw revenues at some casinos drop as much as 30%, yet total tribal-casino revenues in Washington were up slightly to $1.6 billion in the fiscal year ended June 30, 2009 from $1.5 billion in 2008. (Babette Herrmann, "Small casino prospers in rough economy," Indian Country Today, November 6, 2009, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/68887462.html; Jack McNeel," Mill Bay Casino opens," Indian Country Today, May 6, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/business/92779619.html; and "Tribal casinos no longer sure bet in Washington," Indian Country Today, February 2, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/83347057.html). For more information on the Elwha River Casino call (360) 452-3005 or visit www.elwharivercasino.com. In Wisconsin the Lac du Flambeau tribe defaulted on a $50 million bond sold in 2008. The bond carries a 12% interest rate with monthly payments of approximately $800,000 and, according to the Journal-Sentinel, the nation still owes $46.6 million to Saybrook Capital of California, which purchased the bond. Lac du Flambeau has drastically cut casino payments into its general fund and tribal employees have taken two double-digit pay cuts in the last two years. A U.S. District Court judge refused to push Lac du Flambeau's casino into receivership over its financial difficulties, with the tribe successfully arguing that appointing an outside receiver over the casino would violate the authority of the National Indian Gaming Commission which must approve casino management agreements entered by tribes (Tom Wanamaker, "Tough economy and federal legislation threaten commerce," Indian Country Today, January 12, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/81241582.html). The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Michigan, in January, began to lay off 2% of its work force, announced July 30, as it struggles to recover from a $15 million budget deficit and Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing on its Detroit Greektown Casino, whose failure is not related to the recession (Gale Courey Toensing, "Bankruptcy controversy leads to members' unhappiness," Indian Country Today, January 13, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/27525269.html).

The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians reported, March 25, that gaming revenues on its Neshoba County, MI reservation were stable for the proceeding several months. The Golden Moon Casino remains open only on the weekends, however its hotel's hours have been extended slightly, as it now operates Thursday through Monday. In 2009 the resort laid off 570 workers in January and another 40 in March. The tribe's first property, Silver Star Hotel and Casino, was not affected by the layoffs. ("Choctaws report steady gaming revenues," Indian Country Today, April 2, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/89781672.html).

The Red Lake Band of Ojibwe opened a new casino, hotel and conference center on the reservation in northwestern Minnesota, January 21. The band stated that the casino was built with all Indian funds, with $31 million borrowed from the Shakopee Mdewakanton Dakota Community, which runs Mystic Lake Casino. The United Auburn Indian Community of California expects hotel and casino expansion to be completed for opening of its Thunder Valley Casino and Resort in July 2010, providing more than 600 new jobs ("Thunder Valley Casino and Resort to hire 600 employees," Indian Country Today, March 16, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/87793992.html). Cherokee Nation Entertainment, the gaming, entertainment, hospitality and retail entity of the Cherokee Nation, broke ground on its eighth casino in northeastern Oklahoma, at Ramona, at the end of January. The gaming facility is to be completed in two phases, ultimately creating more than 100 jobs in the area over the next two years ("Cherokee Casino Ramona expected to open this summer," Indian Country Today, February 2, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/83349932.html).

California tribal gambling compacts, entered into during the Gov. Gray Davis era (1999-2003) calling for gaming tribes to pay a fee into the Revenue Sharing Trust Fund, with the money distributed to tribes that have less than 350 slot machines, has made it possible for the Manchester Band of Pomo Indians of the Manchester-Point Arena Rancheria to begin building a new casino in Northern California. With its share, and loans from two other Indian nations, one instate, and one in New Mexico, the Manchester Band is able to launch its casino, even in the poor economy (Wilhelm Murg, "Tribes help smaller tribe build casino," Indian Country Today, November 3, 2009, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/68893952.html). The St. Croix Chippewa of Wisconsin, in March, secured the necessary loans of $55 million for the completion of their new casino in Danbury, WI, scheduled to be completed by July 1 ("St. Croix Chippewa secure funding to complete Danbury casino project," Indian Country Today, March 23, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/88911802.html). The Navajo Nation is moving toward opening a second tribal casino, likely including a hotel with a projected price tag of up to $80 million, possibly in Upper Fruitland, NM located between Shiprock and Farmington. The success of the first Navajo casino opened near Gallup, in November 2008, has encouraged tribal officials to consider building as many as five new casinos. Other locations under consideration include Twin Arrows, Ariz., which is 20 miles east of Flagstaff; Pinta Road, located off Interstate 40 near Navajo, Ariz.; Chinle, Ariz., and Hogback, N.M. The initiative to open casinos must originate with Navajo chapters, with approval of the Nation's government ("Navajo tribe considering new casinos," Indian Country Today, February 16, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/84471047.html).

The Cherokee Nation purchased Blue Ribbon Downs in Sallisaw, OK, December 10, less than two weeks after the previous owner closed the horse racing track. The nation stated at the time that it had no immediate plans for the property. The tribe also owns Will Rogers Downs in Claremore (Cherokees buy Blue Ribbon Downs racetrack in Okla.," Indian Country Today, December 14, 2009, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/79248857.html). The Cocopah Indian Tribe of Arizona, at the end of January, was planning to bring the former Yuma Speedway complex back to operational condition with the potential for limited racing during the 2010 season ("Tribe plans to restore former Yuma Speedway complex," Indian Country Today, February 5, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/83648977.html).

The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community enterprise, Salt River Devco, signed a hotel management agreement with Marriott International to manage the first Marriott-branded hotel on U.S. tribal land on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community just outside of Scottsdale, AZ, at the end of February ("Salt River Devco to build first Marriott on tribal land," Indian Country Today, March 2, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/85949402.html).

The Fort Berthold Indian Reservation of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara tribes, known as the Three Affiliated Tribes, in west-central North Dakota has been experiencing an oil boom in the last year, with oil companies placing dozens of money-producing rigs on remote rolling prairie and sprawling badlands that are home to small cattle ranches and scattered settlements of modular housing around the reservation. In addition to direct payments from oil companies, and the creation of jobs - which are brining back tribal members who left the reservation in search of work - the tribal Casino has also greatly increased its business, as casino revenue jumped from $4.5 million in 2008 to $7.2 million in 2009. Since the boom began, lease payments of more than $179 million have been paid to the tribe and its members on about half of the reservation land, while millions of dollars in royalties and tax revenue are also coming in. The tribe plans to use its money to pay off debt, and bankroll such things as roads, health care and law enforcement. State demographer Richard Rathge said 28% of the reservation population was living in poverty in 2000, with more than 40% unemployed (James MacPherson, "American Indian reservation reaping oil benefits," Indian Country Today, March 5, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/86650957.html).

Jemez Pueblo, in January, was approaching building the nation's first utility-scale solar plant on tribal land. A 30-acre site where 14,850 solar panels will be set up has been selected, and after four years of planning and negotiations, a contract to sell outsiders the electricity produced by the four-megawatt operation seemed about to be completed. The plant would be capable of producing enough electricity to power about 600 homes. The project would cost about $22 million, financed through government grants, loans and tax credits, and could bring in around $25 million over 25 years. That could help the 3,000 member tribe improve its antiquated drinking water system and replace the lagoons it uses to treat wastewater. The innovative project is important to the pueblo that only has business income from a small convenience store. State and federal grants have covered many of the tribe's planning costs, while engineers and legal firms have donated their expertise ("NM Indian tribe hopes to profit from solar energy," Indian Country Today, January 15, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/81720667.html).

The BIA announced, April 23, that it has canceled a 50-year lease with Quoddy Bay LNG, an Oklahoma company that had planned, since 2005, to build a controversial liquefied natural gas terminal and pipeline on a three-quarter acre portion of shoreline land owned by the Passamaquoddy Tribe of Maine, following a five year legal struggle by a group of Passamaquoddy Tribal members, Nulankeyutmonen Nkihtaqmikon, which means "We Take Care of Our Land," which considers the land sacred and has opposed the project from the start. The group argues that the massive industrial plant threatened to devastate both the delicate ecological balance of the area and the land's cultural and spiritual traditions. The land is located at a place called Split Rock on Passamaquoddy Bay that is used for traditional ceremonies, community events and recreation (Gale Courey Toensing, "Passamaquoddy group defeats LNG project on sacred ground," Indian Country Today, May 7, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/93076574.html).

Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo, known also as the Tigua Indians, of Texas have rebounded with innovative economic development strategies funded by the Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development (IEED), and money saved from casino operations, after the state shut down its casino - the tribe's prime source of income - in 2002. IEED financed an executive training for Tigua's tribal leaders with the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development, and arranged for these leaders to visit the very successful Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska. In addition, IEED connected the Tigua with IBM, which donated 10 computers and thousands of dollars worth of software, allowing the Tigua to establish a computer technology center used by tribal members for job training, cultural development, and other kinds of learning. The nation operates the Chilicote Ranch, a 70,000 acre working cattle ranch, runs a smoke shop, and operates Tigua Inc., a holding company with most of its investment activity conducted through subsidiary corporations. The company includes Bear Enterprises which consists of Big Bear Oil, a supplier of fuel, lubricant engine oils, and high temperature hydraulic and conventional hydraulic oils; Big Bear Transport, a transportation company that specializes in moving clear and dyed diesel and all grades of gasoline; and a tribally operated convenience store. The tribe has also created jobs through launching a large housing project, while investing in tribal development with state-of-the art medical, recreational and day care facilities. The nation emphasizes the importance of environmental stewardship, undertaking a grassland restoration project on their traditional hunting lands and ranch to restore native grasses and wildlife to the area, with funding from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Walter Bonora, "Tigua's on way to recovery: Pueblo takes modern approach without shirking tradition," Indian Country Today, March 2, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/85949767.html).

The Lower Brule Sioux Tribe of South Dakota has purchased the New York City substantial brokerage firm, the Westrock Group, that made a $22 million profit in 2009. This is the first 100% Indian owned financial services group (Rob Capriccioso, "Road to wealth? Lower Brule Sioux Tribe places bet on Wall Street," Indian Country Today Business 2010).

Adam Kennedy (Seneca) established Kennedy Wendell, LLC, in 2008, to assist Indian nations with planning, developing and managing community projects. Among the first 10 tribal projects the firm has engaged in, in 2009 it collaborated with the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe of Connecticut in carrying out a housing feasibility study. The firm has also undertaken the construction management and workforce development program for the Navajo Nation's Fire Rock Casino (Rob Capriccioso, "Adam Kennedy: Building tools for Indian Country," Indian Country Today Business 2010).

The Coquille Tribe of Oregon was moving to capitalize on a growing demand for raw, organic produce by using the labor intensive dry-picking harvesting of cranberries last fall. Coquille Cranberries was expecting to increase its production over last year by 30,000 pounds, to produce about 100,000 pounds and generate about $250,000 in revenue (Nate Traylor, "Coquille Tribe harvesting organic cranberries," Indian Country Today, October 23, 2009, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/65789722.html). Building on a 2004 feasibility study, an agreement has been reached between the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Department of Natural Resources/Environment and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to restore Lake Ogechie for a return to extensive wild rice production, pending a joint federal-state environmental impact review (Konnie LeMay, "Ogechie Lake wild rice restoration moves forward," Indian Country Today, June 23, 2010).

The Intertribal Bison Cooperative is receiving a $175,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help Native American tribes develop farm market stores that will give local residents improved access to fresh, locally grown foods, provide economic stability to cooperative members and create jobs in Native American communities ("Grant to help tribes develop farm market stores," Indian Country Today, October 21, 2009, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/65251712.html).

The Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin will cease the bison and organic beef producing industries currently under tribal management at the Muscoda Bison Ranch and Organic Belted Galloway Ranch in Tomah, by July 2010, while keeping its herds and related properties, and remaining a member of the InterTribal Bison Cooperative in order to continue support of their mission to restore bison to Native American lands and to leave open the option to establish a self-sustaining and profitable herd should the economic situation and land status change in such a way to make such outcomes more feasible for the nation. "The current economic climate and the discontinuous and fractured nature of the existing Ho-Chunk land base are the chief factors behind the decision," stated Executive Director of Heritage Preservation Henning Garvin ("Ho-Chunk Nation to close bison and organic beef operations," Indian Country Today, April 28, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/national/greatlakes/92192834.html).

The Stillaguamish Tribe of Washington, after 12 years of restoration work, reopened some 1,800 acres of shellfish beds in Port Susan to tribal harvest (Richard Walker, "Stillaguamish efforts lead to reopening of shellfish beds," Indian Country, Today, April 19, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/national/northwest/91461724.html).

Best & Flanagan LLP, in collaboration with the American Indian Economic Development Fund and the Minnesota American Indian Chamber of Commerce, formed a Native American entrepreneur business law clinic in Minnesota, in November, offering pro-bono consultations to help Native American entrepreneurs decide how to move forward with business issues they are facing. For more information contact Best & Flanagan at (612) 339-7121 ("Native American entrepreneurs have new resource in pro bono business law clinic," Indian Country Today, November 10, 2009, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/69656537.html).

Education and Culture

A report from by The Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles at UCLA's Graduate School of Education and Information Studies (GSE&IS), The Dropout/Graduation Crisis Among American Indian and Alaska Native Students: Failure to Respond Places the Future of Native Peoples at Risk, published February 17, 2010, finds that on average, less than 50% of American Indian and Alaska Native students from 12 states of the Pacific and Northwestern regions of the United States graduate high school. Overall non-Native student graduation rates in the 12 states ranged from 54.1% to 79.2%, with an average of 71.4%. In contrast, graduation rates for American Indian and Alaska Native students ranged from 30.4% to 63.8%, with an average of 46.6%. The graduation rates for all American Indian and Alaska Native students were lower than the overall state rates, and with the exception of Oklahoma and New Mexico, the degree of disparity was approximately 17% or more. On average, the graduation rates for American Indians and Alaska Natives (46.6%) were lower than the graduation rates for all other racial/ethnic groups including whites (69.8%), Asians (77.9%), Blacks (54.7%) and Hispanics (50.8%). The 12 states in the study are Alaska, Arizona, California, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington and Wyoming. Co-author of the report, John W. Tippeconnic, III, director of the American Indian Leadership Program and Batschelet Chair of Educational Administration at Pennsylvania State University stated, "Many American Indian and Alaska Native students face a wide variety of challenges including attending schools in rural and isolated areas, high teacher and principal turnover, lack of relevant curricula and assessment practices, inadequate funding, and other health, social, and economic disparities. Effective leadership at the local, tribal, state and national levels is essential to addressing these challenges," co-author Susan C. Faircloth, associate professor of education at Penn State University, noted that unfortunately, there has been a lack of published studies and other data focused on the educational conditions and subsequent academic outcomes for Native students. She stated. "American Indian and Alaska Native students continue to graduate at alarmingly low rates across the nation. With the exception of Arizona, California, Montana and Oklahoma, on average, less than 50% of Native students in the states included in this study graduate each year. Failure to respond to this crisis will have devastating effects on the educational, economic, health and social well-being of Native peoples and communities." "The report indicates that a lack of student engagement is a primary attributing factor to the dropout crisis. School level factors associated with dropping out of school include large schools, a perceived lack of empathy among teachers, passive teaching methods, inappropriate testing and lack of parent involvement. Student level factors specific to American Indian and Alaska Native students include feeling 'pushed out' of schools, poor quality of student-teacher relationships, lack of parental support, peer pressure, distance from school, difficulty with classes, poor attendance, legal problems and language barriers, among other factors. Co-authors Tippeconnic and Faircloth recommend educators and policymakers review and revise school policies and avoid practices that exclude, demean, embarrass, harass or alienate Native students. They also recommend making schools physically, mentally and emotionally safe by working to end racism, demonstrate care and concern for all students, actively involve parents and families in schools, provide opportunities for students to be immersed in their Native language and culture, and prepare educators to work with American Indian and Alaska Native students. Tippeconnic and Faircloth proposed, "A variety of comprehensive, yet flexible approaches are needed to decrease the dropout rate and in turn increase the number and percent of Native students who go on to graduate from high school. When developing and implementing these strategies, schools must work in consultation and collaboration with Native families, communities, tribes and organizations. Unfortunately, the education of Native students has historically been conducted without their input, thus nurturing a sense of distrust and detachment from the educational system for many Native families and communities." The report: The Dropout/Graduation Crisis Among American Indian and Alaska Native Students: Failure to Respond Places the Future of Native Peoples at Risk can be downloaded as a pdf, and the press release viewed at: http://www.civilrightsproject.ucla.edu. (See also, "Report examines graduation rates among AI/AN students in 12 states," Indian Country Today, February 26, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/85502702.html).

A four year study of eighth graders in 26 states that serve large populations of Native Americans indicates that the school achievement gap in reading and math between Native American students and non-native students is closing in those states. In most of those states, all students showed achievement gains. But while native students generally continued to trail non-native students, in most of the states studied, the achievement gap closed (Chuck Quirmbach, "Native American student achievement gap closing in Wisconsin," Wisconsin Public Radio, November 2, 2009, www.wpr.org, http://www.fox21online.com/news/native-american-student-achievement-gap-closing-wisconsin).

The National Education Association (NEA), last fall, released a new resource called Focus on What Works to help address the challenges facing underserved children, including American Indian and Alaska Native students and educators. The publication asserts, "Time and again, the most successful schools embrace students' cultures, histories, and languages by making them core components of teaching and learning - actively engaging students' families and communities. And the most effective educators understand that cultural competence in education is not a frill or fad but is as basic for living in today's world as reading and computer literacy." The action guide for educators provides guidance in what works in effectively educating American Indians and Alaska Natives, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Blacks, Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals, and Transgender, Hispanics, Women and Girls. For American Indian and Alaska Native students, Focus on What Works discusses overcoming the invisibility factor, developing school district - community collaboration, promoting literacy by preserving native language and culture, and rural initiatives tying the classroom to the real world. Focus on What Works is available at no charge on NEA's Web site: http://www.nea.org/home/36346.htm along with reading lists to introduce students to Native American history and culture. Titles are listed by grade level and include fiction, nonfiction and poetry. (See also, "NEA shines light on 'invisibility factor' experienced by AI/AN students: Provides resources for National American Indian Heritage Month," Indian Country Today, November 16, 2009, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/70189292.html).

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan met, in January, with prominent American Indian educators to discuss the educational challenges and opportunities facing tribal communities and share strategies that have helped to advance opportunities for American Indian students around the nation, in a follow-up to the tribal conference held at the Department of the Interior in November. Salazar stated, "I asked these accomplished professionals, all of whom have exemplary records of educational service, to share their thoughts on the partnerships, projects and creative efforts that have proven successful in their schools and communities. It is essential that we continue to improve the delivery of educational services through our schools and programs while ensuring the concerns of tribes and the best interests of American Indian students are addressed." Improving Indian education was a major topic of discussion during President Obama's meeting with tribal leaders at the Interior Department in November, with more than 400 members of federally recognized tribes participated in the event. The discussion at Interior headquarters included a presentation on major concerns and challenges by Interior officials, including Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Larry EchoHawk, and a panel discussion by the experts, who described some of the experiences and education practices that have shown significant results in their states and tribal communities. Interior's Bureau of Indian Education educates more than 44,000 Indian students in 183 schools and two tribal colleges and the Obama administration has made educational reform and improvements a focus of its efforts in Indian country. The goal of the administration's overall efforts, including the president's $3 billion investment in Indian country through the Recovery and Reinvestment Act, is to help empower American Indian nations so they can build a future of their choosing. The panelists included Patricia Whitefoot, president of the National Indian Education Association; Sam Deloria, a nationally renowned Indian policy expert who was executive director of the American Indian Graduate Center; Denise Juneau, superintendent of Public Instruction for state of Montana (and the first American Indian to hold statewide office in Montana); Ryan Wilson, president of the National Alliance to Save Native Languages and former president of NIEA; Keith Moore, former director of Indian Education for South Dakota's Department of Education; Benny Shendo, former cabinet secretary of Indian Affairs for the state of New Mexico and director of the American Indian Program at Stanford University; Colin Kippen, former senior counsel to the Senate Indian Affairs Committee; Kara Bobroff, founder of the Native American Community Academy; Patrick Shannon, a former appointee of Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, overseeing more than 40 charter schools throughout Michigan, with more than 10,000 students; Robert Cook, former president of NIEA; and Notah Begay, founder of the Notah Begay III Foundation which promotes the health, wellness and leadership development of Native American youth. Meanwhile a number of Indian educators have reached out to retiring Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Chairman Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., to request that he focus increased energy on Indian education in his last year in Congress, and to move to reauthorize the Indian Education Act with increased tribal control and involvement, and Dorgan's staffers have said the chairman supports the idea. The National Indian Education Association has set as top priorities for Congress and the administration creating high-level federal Indian education positions, fostering language and cultural learning, and increasing funding for Indian serving institutions. On January 20, Representative Betty McCollum (D-MN) introduced a bill with bipartisan support to address the previous lack of stimulus funding for Bureau of Indian Education schools, which has support from several Indian organizations including the National Alliance to Save Native Languages ("Strategies for Indian education improvements discussed," Indian Country Today, January 19, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/82070007.html; and Rob Capriccioso, "Indian education progresses on federal level," Indian Country Today, February 3, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/83029807.html).

The Academy of Local and Tribal Governments has been offering customized education and training to tribal governments to enhance the relationship between tribal, federal, state and local governments, and to assist Indian nation governments in finding solutions to the problems they face (Gale Courey Toesing, "Academy builds bridges of intergovernmental understanding," Indian Country Today Business 2010).

Fort Berthold Community College in New Town, ND is working with the Three Affiliated Tribes to train staff for the Elbowoods Memorial Health Center being built on the Fort Berthold Reservation. The college, last fall, began a registered nurse program last fall, to supplement existing practical nurse and certified nurse assistance programs, and in January, the college commenced offering emergency medical technician training. Other training is being developed for the future, including for paramedics and for workers in medical records and electronic billing ("College, tribe to train health workers," Indian Country Today," November 17, 2009, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/70281252.html).

Montana State University, in Bozeman, MT, has launched the first online Native American Studies graduate certificate program. For information contact Jennifer Woodcock (406)994-3881, jwoodcock@montana.edu, www.montana.edu/www/nas (Gale Courey Toesing, First Native American Studies graduate certificate on line," Indian Country Today, November 25, 2009). Concerned that there are not enough American Indians in engineering and the sciences, and that most science teachers at tribal colleges are non-Indian, University of Idaho Professor Ed Galindo (Yaqui) and colleagues have developed a Native science education paradigm, and is in the process of creating an online version of the program (Tanya Lee, "University of Idaho professors develop Native Science education paradigm," Indian Country Today, April 7, 2010)

The Native American Rights Fund (NARF) completed another successful summer law clerk program, thanks to the generous support of the Confederated Tribe of Siletz Indians, acting through the Siletz Tribal Charitable Contribution Fund and the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. Both organizations sponsored two law clerk positions in the NARF 2009 Summer Law Clerk Program. NARF relies on law clerks to assist the attorney staff in defending the most important rights of Indian tribes and individuals through legal advocacy. NARF is committed to the professional development of new attorneys in the field of Indian law. For more information about NARF and its programs contact Amy Bowers at (303)447-8760 or visit: http://www.narf.org/ ("Law clerk program thriving," Indian Country Today, February 2, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/83340862.html).

The Southern Ute Tribe of Colorado Tribal Employment Rights Organization (TERO), in collaboration with the Southern Ute Growth Fund and a local contractor, has been running a job training program for Native Americans in the Oil And Gas Field Industries (Jenny Booth, "TERO and Growth Fund Develop Successful Job Training Program," The Southern Ute Drum, October 10, 2008).

Diabetes Education in Tribal Schools (DETS), a diabetes prevention program, funded by the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease, IHS, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that aims to encourage young American Indians and Alaska Natives to adopt healthy lifestyles early in life, reached more than 13 million people last year, according to the recently completed 2009 Recruitment Web Survey. The DETS Health Is Life in Balance diabetes prevention curriculum for grades K-12 was designed to increase AI/AN students' understanding of health, diabetes, and maintaining life in balance; to increase their understanding and application of scientific and community knowledge; and to increase interest in science and health professions. Thirty-eight states and the District of Columbia participated in DETS curriculum activities last year. The activities included school visits, media outreach, conference participation, community events, teacher workshops, advocacy meetings and phone outreach. The survey collected information about the nature of DETS curriculum outreach activities, the areas influenced by those activities, and the approximate number of people reached through each effort. The states that have implemented the DETS curriculum include: Alaska, Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming, and Washington, D.C. (Gale Courey Toensing. "Diabetes education in Tribal schools reaches millions, Indian Country Today, January 26, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/82706967.html).

South Dakota is applying for a grant under Race to the Top, a U.S. Department of Education program aimed at encouraging and rewarding states that help improve student success, to help it build a residential school designed to improve academic achievement among American Indian students. Under South Dakota's proposal, partners would establish a year-round, residential school - probably in the Black Hills - for grades 9 - 12 and two years of postsecondary education. Curriculum would focus on science, technology, engineering and math to address the nation's need for scientists and engineers. The initiative would include Indian family culture by establishing partnerships with tribal communities. Students would be supported by mentoring, internships, research experiences and cultural guidance. The new school would be an outgrowth of a successful summer initiative that has evolved into South Dakota's Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, or " GEAR UP," honors program. The effort, which is funded by a different federal grant, targets mainly American Indian students and prepares them for postsecondary education. All of the "GEAR UP" participants have graduated from high school, and 87% have pursued postsecondary education while 9% have joined the military. Sixty-five percent have graduated from college or are still enrolled. The school would begin with a freshman class and add a grade level at a time. Postsecondary courses would likely be offered in partnership with the state's universities. (Dirk Lammers, "State eyes American Indian residential school Indian Country Today, December 31, 2009, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/80417417.html).

The Coalition for American Indians in Computing (CAIC) "is a cooperation among American Indian Tribal Communities and the Computing Science Department of Humboldt State University, with funding support from the National Science Foundation. Our goal is to increase the numbers of American Indian students who are prepared to undertake careers in fields related to Computer Science and Information Technology. Parents, teachers, advisors, students, Tribal Information technology workers, tribal education directors, tribal leadership, HSU faculty and HSU staff participate collaboratively to realize this goal." College Seminar, July 12-24 is a free camp, open to Any self-identified Native American or Alaskan Native high school sophomore or junior, "that combines the real-life experience of living in HSU's college residence halls with classes and projects in a variety of cultural, mathematical and real-life creative technical areas using computers, along with fun social activities and field trips to native and tourist sights in the local area. Successful completion of Algebra before the camp commences is required. GPAs of 2.5 are preferred, but not required." For more information, including a pdf about the College seminar, go to: http://www3.humboldt.edu/caic/.

Dine College began a bachelors degree program in elementary education. Last fall, with a Navajo oriented curriculum and many classes taught in Navajo (Cindy Yurth, "Adding 'Dine' to degree: New bachelor's degree program in elementary education to begin at Dine College, Navajo Times, April 16, 2009).

Over the last four years, the Tohatchi Elementary School on the Navajo Reservation, in an area of poverty with English often a second and not well known language, has moved from being one of the worst to one of the best in student achievement, with math testing scoes going from 15% of students being proficient in 2006 to almost 78% proficient in 2009, while reading proficiency rose from 28% to 71% in the same period. A major factor was a new principal, who quickly learned students' names, greeted them positively and warmly each morning, and led early morning basketball games. Like those games, he turned academics into an achievable and enjoyable challenge, which he encouraged students to meet. Some rewards were used, such as having students who did best on weekly 10 question tests having their names read in assembly, and classes scoring 100% winning pizzas. He also encouraged school staff and parents, whose abilities he supported, and whose collaboration he fostered (Heather Clark, "NM school goes from worst to among the best in 3 years," Indian Country Today, October 21, 2009). Atsa Biyaazh Community (elementary) School in Shiprock, AZ, at the center of the Navajo Reservation has had success in increasing reading proficiency by using DIEBLS (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills, Introduced at all Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) Schools in 2006. Reading has been improving, with the number of K-3 students found at or above their grade level increasing by 10% in 2009-10 to reach 74%, second highest of all BIE schools, following only the Indian Island School in Indian Island, ME. The school district director noted that in addition to the DIEBLS program, factors in success have been parent involvement, quality teachers teaching from the heart, institution of a strict reading block that runs the length of each morning, and capping class size at 20 (Erny Zah, "Shiprock school a star in reading achievement," Navajo Times, March 10, 2010).

John P. Glover, the director of American Indian Model Schools in Oakland, "American Indian Students Rise Above Expectations," March 19, 2010, http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/03/18/ED3P1CHUEO.DTL#ixzz0iePQzAJ6, reports, "The American Indian Public Charter School in Oakland serves 200 students in grades six through eight, and its sister high school serves 100 students. Last year, 100 percent of our students were accepted to four-year colleges, including Stanford, MIT, Cornell and UC Berkeley. Our students' average SAT scores were 150 points above the national average. Oakland Unified School District's graduation rate is 51 percent. On last year's state assessment, 100% of our eighth-grade students tested at or above grade level in language arts and Algebra I. By contrast, only 29% of eighth-grade students in Oakland schools tested at or above grade level in language arts, and just 24% tested proficient or advanced in Algebra I. Our students learn the value of accountability and discipline. They are supported academically but learn to be self-reliant. They begin to understand the importance of sacrifice by prioritizing what they ought to do ahead of what they want to do. The school's faculty and staff also are expected to work hard for their students. The school offers a starting teacher salary more than $6,000 higher than the Oakland Unified School District does and provides bonuses to teachers who improve student performance. When teachers or administrators perform poorly or fail to act in the best interest of their students, they are terminated. Salary and staffing decisions are made with student achievement in mind." "Students spend a minimum of 90 minutes each day in both language arts and math class. They are assigned two to three hours of homework each night, even during vacations. They attend mandatory summer school. If they misbehave, they receive detentions and attend school on Saturdays. If they fail a course, they repeat the grade. There are no shortcuts. Instead of excusing poor academic performance and bad behavior from students whose backgrounds often lead them to be labeled as victims, we ask all of our students to rise above the low expectations others have burdened them with. Ultimately, these kids will need to be competitive in a capitalistic society, where their skin color and family fortune will matter far less than their education, work ethic and perseverance. All is earned at American Indian, for better or for worse."

While funding problems at Navajo Nation in the bad economy have caused the closing of the Nataani Nez Elementary School, the Central Consolidated School District, June 10, opened the Heritage Education Center to preserve Navajo and other cultures within the school district, in Shiprock, AZ (Erny Zah, "Shiprock hails opening of heritage center," Navajo Times, June 24, 2010.

The three day Navajo Nation Experience conference, at Chinle, AZ, the weekend of June 5, brought together a social studies teacher from each of the 50 states to learn of the Navajo experience, as part of bringing American Indian history and culture into school curricula (Jason Begay, "Conference gives teachers insight on Dine," Navajo Times, June 24, 2010. For a number of years, the Middle Ground Project of the Presidental Academy in American and Civics Education (U.S. Department of Education) has been providing workshops for teachers on the Navajo reservation and in surrounding areas in Dine and mainstream U.S. traditions, particulary relating to governance. Its continued funding was uncertain as of last summer (Carol Berry, "Middle Ground Project balance Western and Indigenous concepts," Indian Country Today, July 8, 2009). The STAR (K-8 charter) School has been leading a five school project on the Navajo reservation to make schools safer by teaching Navajo values and peacemaking (5 Navajo schools to train peacemakers, "Navajo Tomes, January 6, 2010).

The Yurok Tribe, California's most populous Indian nation, will begin operating its own Early Head Start program under a $1 million grant from the Department of Health and Human Services ("Yurok Tribe gets $1 million for Early Head Start," Indian Country Today, January 29, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/83033902.html).
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In New York City, the worlds most linguistically diverse city - including for dozens of Native languages - the Endangered Language Alliance (ELA), one of whose co-directors, Daniel Kaufman, is associated with the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, has been identifying and recording dying languages, and encouraging native speakers to teach them to compatriots. The Institute can be contacted at: info@endangeredlanguagealliance.org, http://endangeredlanguagealliance.org/main/ (Sam Roberts, "Listening to (and Saving) the World's Languages," The New York Times, April 28, 2010, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/29/nyregion/29lost.html).

The Kenaitze Indian Tribe of Alaska, in partnership with the Administration for Native Americans, Alaska Native Heritage Center and Cook Inlet Tribal Council, recently hosted the Dena'ina Language Institute to preserve, revitalize and perpetuate the Dena'ina language. The institute employed immersion approach to teaching language, with elders working with young people. It's estimated that about 75 out of a population of about 900 Dena'ina people can speak their language ("Elders working to save Kenai's first language," Indian Country Today, January 12, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/national/hawaiialaska/27913024.html).

Jeff Williams, chairman of the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work, at Texas Tech University has begun Num uTekwap u, a project to document and revitalize the Comanche language, working with tribal members and researchers at Comanche Nation College in Lawton, OK, recording what's left of the language and creating a method for teaching it to students at the college. The project is funded through a $215,000 competitive grant awarded to Comanche Nation College from the Administration for Native Americans, in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. ("Comanche language to be saved at Texas Tech: Texas Tech linguist to assist in salvaging remains of language, devising college course, Indian Country Today, December 22, 2009, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/79894182.html).

The Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana is receiving assistance in reviving its language from Rosetta Stone software, which is enhancing tribal efforts long underway. The software for the program was completed in January, after a little more than three years of development. Children in the school spend about 30 minutes a day working with the software to learn the language, and teachers have begun incorporating traditional greetings, words and short phrases into everyday learning. The Chitimacha software is the fourth project for Rosetta Stone's Endangered Language Program, following software prepared for the Mohawks of Kahnawake in Quebec, Canada, the coastal dialect of Inupiaq in Alaska, Inuttitut in Labrador, Canada. Rosetta Stone software is currently being developed for the North Slope Inupiaq and the Navajo (Jennifer Ashawasegai, "Rosetta Stone helps Chitimacha revive language," Indian Country Today, February 28, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/85505897.html).

The Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma's Cherokee Nation's Cultural Resources Department has developed a keypad that allows the user to more easily type in the Cherokee syllabary instead of using the Latin alphabet that is standard to modern computer keyboards. The special keypad is made of thin black silicone, and fits over the top of a regular computer keyboard ("Cherokee Nation creates syllabary keypad," Indian Counry Today, March 16, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/87806252.html).

IndiVisible: African-Native American Lives in the Americas, a collaboration between the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) has been traveling to museums across the United States this winter and spring, along with a related book. Creative Resistance. For more information visit: http://www.americanindian.si.edu/exhibitions/indivisible/.

International Developments

The International Expert Group Meeting: Indigenous Children and Youth in Detention, Custody, Foster-Care and Adoption took place March 4-5, 2010, in Vancouver, Canada, sponsored by the First Nations Summit and the Interim First Nations Child and Family Wellness Council, and cosponsored by the Secretariat of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. The session focused on indigenous children and youth in state custody, exploring contemporary removal of indigenous children from families and communities as a result of past government policies to promote assimilation, including policies on boarding and residential schools. It also examined the vastly disproportionate rates of indigenous children and youth currently incarcerated or under punitive detention, as well as the disproportionate numbers of indigenous children in foster care and adoption programs. Discussion also highlighted sharing examples of promising practices to prevent or address forced removal of indigenous children and youth. For further information contact Ms Harmony Johnson at HJohnson@fns.bc.ca or Ms. Marilyn Teneese at MTeneese@fns.bc.ca. Documents from the meeting are available at: http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unpfii/en/EGM_ICYD.html.

The Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador, in early May, announced support of an initiative by the opposition Parti Quebecois urging the Quebec government to endorse the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The Liberal Quebec government responded, May 6, that it intends to endorse the declaration, with Pierre Corbeil, Quebec's Aboriginal Affairs Minister, saying his government would work with opposition parties to bring a motion supporting the Declaration to the National Assembly before the current session ends in June (Gale Courey Toensing, "Quebec to adopt Declaration," Indian Country Today," May 20, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/home/content/93777014.html).

In Canada, as in the United States, First Nations have suffered from insufficient government funding for school construction, repairs and maintenance, leaving backlogs of schools to be replaced or significantly repaired. A recent report from Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page estimates there is a gap of $184 million in capital funding between what Indian and Northern Affairs provides and what is needed. On December 9, the Indian Affairs department announced the approval of the construction of a new elementary school at the remote Cree community of Attawapiskat on the James Bay coast where students have been educated in portable classrooms since their school was closed because of contamination from a heating oil spill in 1979. Extensive lobbying by the community helped to achieve the commitment by Indian and Northern Affairs. A published report suggests the new school could open as early as 2013 (Kate Harries, "Strahl approves a new school for Attawapiskat," Indian Country Today, December 22, 2009, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/79892032.html).

The First Nations Certainty Of Land Title Act, Bill C-24, enabling First Nations to fully capitalize on major commercial real estate opportunities on reserve land, received Royal Assent in Canada, June 30. For details go to: https://feedads.g.doubleclick.net/~a/Nd-tAHmdh1UdrYWSkZEjWnA6WSo/o0x_RK8dBfW3miTiwISTbYV_vSI/0/pa.

The Anishinabek Nation and Ontario, December 8, formally confirmed their commitment to bilateral discussions and collaboration on common educational issues related to the establishment and implementation of the Anishinabek Nation Education System by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The Anishinabek Education System is being developed by educators and education administrators representing Anishinabek Nation communities as part of bilateral negotiations between the Anishinabek Nation and Canada, regarding the recognition of Anishinabek jurisdiction over education. Through the negotiated arrangement, the Anishinabek Nation intends on creating an education system to coordinate culturally appropriate education programs and services across the Anishinabek territory, and address the chronic underfunding of on-reserve schools by Indian and Northern Affairs Canada ("Ontario and Anishinabek Nation sign MOU on education," Indian Country Today, December 8, 2009, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/78770327.html), Lake Huron First Nations recently reaffirmed its support of the Lake Huron Anishinabek Transmission Company to develop new electrical transmission infrastructure in the Robinson Huron Treaty Territory Ontario, in April ("Lake Huron First Nations to build transmission in Ontario," Indian Country Today, April 29, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/business/92193544.html).

Laura Carlsen, Michael Collins, Oscar Chacón, Paula Álvarez, Christopher Loperena and Ricardo Verdum, "Inter-American Development Bank Megaprojects: Displacement and Forced Migration," America's Updater, May 2010. http://www.cipamericas.org/archives/2421. presents an in-depth report of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and how its policies have led to displacement and forced migration in Latin America. The report studies IDB-funded projects in Mexico (La Parota dam), Colombia (palm oil development), Brazil (relocation and compensation following dam displacement) and Honduras (tourism development). In these case studies, displaced or potentially displaced inhabitants are playing an active role--rather than passively joining the diaspora, they have organized to call for the suspension or modification of bank-promoted megaprojects to avoid displacement, or to force compliance with the bank's guidelines and policies.

Kent Paterson, "Mexico's New Dirty War," Americas UPDATER, April 9, 2010, http://americas.irc-online.org/updater/6717, reports, "The dirty war is back in force just in time for Mexico's historic year. From Chiapas in the south to Chihuahua in the north, forced disappearances, murders of activists and politicians, attacks against journalists, and other violations of human rights are steadily mounting. While many elements of the first dirty war endure, new ingredients fan the flames of the second one. While Washington's Cold War was the banner for state-sanctioned violence during the last century, Washington's so-called drug war is the ideological cloak for today's repression. Many regions of Mexico are immersed in low-intensity wars that coincide with a growing state of intolerance toward labor and social movements. Examples include the beatings of fired utility workers by members of the Federal Police, and ongoing counterinsurgency operations against resurgent guerrilla movements of the left." Americas UPDATER, April 30, 2010, http://americas.irc-online.org/updater/6732, reported that in Oaxaca state "the paramilitary group UBISORT opened fire on a humanitarian aid caravan in the violence-plagued Triqui region. Two people are dead-the Finnish human rights observer Tyri Antero Jaakola, and Bety Cariño, of the CACTUS Collective and Mexican Anti-Mining Network. Two reporters with the magazine Contralinea who had been missing were found alive on Friday. UBISORT, an organization with ties to the PRI party, has denied the charges. According to the press, it offered the absurd explanation that the members of the human rights groups staged an attack on themselves to drum up support for the Autonomous Municipality of San Juan Copala." "We just received the following letter signed by a long list of Mexican colleagues: 'We repudiate this aggression, without precedents in our country, and we hold the governor of the state of Oaxaca, Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, and the political leaders of the organization UBISORT responsible for the climate of violence in the region. We demand that those responsible for this attack be punished. We also demand guarantees of the safety and the lives of the survivors of the caravan; an immediate halt to all acts of aggression against the Autonomous Municipality of San Juan Copala, its local officials, and its inhabitants; the immediate withdrawal of the blockade around the municipality; and respect for the right to self-determination of all peoples. We reject the use of violence as a pretext for militarization of the Triqui Zone and demand a halt to the actions of paramilitary groups.'"

Laura Carlson. "Juarez, Murder Capital of the World," Americas UPDATER, Vol. 8, No. 4, March 29, 2010, http://americas.irc-online.org/am/6681, writes, "On Jan. 31, an armed commando unit pulled up to a house in a working-class neighborhood in Ciudad Juarez on the Mexican side of the border with the United States. Inside the house, teenagers were celebrating a friend's birthday. Wielding high-caliber weapons, the commandos opened fire on the kids, robbed the house, and then drove away from the scene-amid human cries, the scent of gunpowder, and the total absence of law enforcement officials. Ciudad Juarez now holds the world record for homicides per capita. The city surpasses war zone death tolls even though it is, by default, a war zone. This border city of two million is the frontline for one of the most violent and ill-conceived wars of our times-the War on Drugs" Ginger Thompson and Marc Lacey, "U.S. and Mexico Revise Anti Drug Plan," The New York Times, March 24, 2010, report that in response to a growing sense that Mexico's military led war on drugs is costly and failing, the United States and Mexico initiated a counternarcotics strategy, in late March, aimed at strengthening civilian law enforcement institutions while rebuilding communities suffering from poverty and drugs. For the most part, the plan expands the Merida initiative of the Bush Administration, begun in 2007, which includes increasing cooperation between U.S. and Mexican intelligence agencies, while the U.S. provides more aid to Mexico to train police, prosecutors, public defenders and judges. The shift is away from the military, including a shift in budgets. Previously $1.3 billion went to the military under the program. All funds in next year's budget will go to civilian uses.

Laura Carlsen, "Phase 2 of the Drug War," Americas UPDATER, April 7, 2010, http://americas.irc-online.org/updater/6715, reported, "The top brass of U.S. and Mexican security personnel met on March 24 in Mexico City to discuss the failed drug war, amid an onslaught of bad news. Commandos gunned down 15 teenagers partying in a working class neighborhood on Feb. 2. Just 11 days before Sec. of State Hillary Clinton's visit, three individuals related to the U.S. Consulate were gunned down by hit men in the streets of Ciudad Juarez. President Calderon has a political crisis of confidence on his hands. The mothers of the murdered teenagers interrupted his public apologies after he stated that their children were involved in illegal activities (insinuating they somehow deserved what they got), shouting angrily and protesting his security strategy in the beleaguered city. Across the country, citizen groups are calling for an end to military involvement in the fight against drug cartels, an end to the drug war that has brought repression, militarization, violation of human rights by security forces, and a huge increase in bloodshed. A majority of Mexicans believe the drug war is failing, according to recent polls." "The Merida Initiative that provided Mexico with $1.3 billion dollars in aid, much of it military-to-military aid, ended with the 2010 appropriations passed by Congress." "Someone should have put the nails in the coffin of this ill-begotten Bush plan before congressional hawks and defense company lobbyists could resurrect it. President Obama should have remembered his own words at the April 2009 Summit of the Americas, when he underlined the importance '… in our interactions not just here in the hemisphere but around the world, that we recognize that our military power is just one arm of our power, and that we have to use our diplomatic and development aid in more intelligent ways so that people can see very practical, concrete improvements in the lives of ordinary persons as a consequence of U.S. foreign policy.' As the lives of Mexicans are placed at risk due to a drug war backed by the U.S. government that is anything but intelligent, he should have announced a new aid package to Mexico based on building strong communities and rule of law. But, alas, the opposite happened. Even before the Merida Initiative ended, Secretary of State Clinton was eagerly announcing its indefinite extension, with no exit strategy or-one could plausibly argue in light of the results-any effective strategy at all. Now the administration has gone back to Congress with a request for $310 million dollars to pour mostly into outsourced defense, private security, and IT contracts." "Despite the demonstrated lack of progress in controlling cartels and preventing human rights abuses in the first three years, the military focus continues. Reduced military spending does not indicate a change in strategy. Although Sec. of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano voiced the obvious but taboo subject of the failure of the current strategy, saying that the military presence "hasn't helped anything," the drug war is still a war and the cartels are still winning. The Joint Statement of the Merida Initiative High-Level Consultative Group on Bilateral Cooperation Against Transnational Organized Crime announced "four strategic areas" for the new Merida Initiative: A. Disruption of the capacity of criminal organizations that act in both countries, through the systematic weakening of their operational, logistical, and financial structures and capabilities. B. Mutual support for the continuous improvement of the framework for security and justice and the strengthening of public institutions of both countries that are responsible for combating organized crime, including the promotion of the full observance of human rights and active civil society participation. C. Development of a secure and competitive border for the 21st century, based on a bilateral and comprehensive approach, that increases our global competitiveness through efficient and secure flows of legitimate commerce and travel while ensuring citizen safety and disrupting the illicit trade of drugs, weapons, bulk cash, and other goods. D. Building strong and resilient communities which includes supporting efforts to address the root causes of crime and violence, promote the culture of legality, reduce illicit drug use, promote a broader perception of the links between drug use and crime and violence, and stem the flow of potential recruits for the cartels by promoting constructive, legal alternatives for young people. The areas could be a partial basis for a new approach. But that's not likely. The areas are not backed up by changes in the focus of aid." Napolitano indicated in an interview that the Mexican President had indicated an interest in U.S. military supportive help in Mexico, which brought reactions of alarm from the Mexican press. "In security, the key to transnational cooperation lies not in foreign intervention but in a dedicated effort to fight the corruption within one's own borders. Mechanisms to exchange information and carry out transnational operations to clean up financial institutions that launder money must be expanded. But the United States must stop acting like the drug war is a Mexican plague and turn its attention to the impunity that organized crime enjoys on its own turf and within its own institutions. When you follow the money, that's where the buck stops-and is neatly pocketed by some of the world's most brutal and powerful criminals."

Monica Wooters, "Mexican Supreme Court Finds Oaxaca Governor Responsible for Human Rights Violations," Americas UPDATER, November 23, 2009, http://americas.irc-online.org/am/6579, reports, "After two days of deliberations, on Oct. 14 the Mexican Supreme Court made public its decision that Ulises Ruiz Ortiz (governor of the state of Oaxaca) is culpable for the human rights violations that occurred in Oaxaca as a result of teacher protests and political and social unrest in May 2006-January 2007 and July of 2008. The decision came after an investigation into the events-ordered by the lower house of the Mexican Congress in 2006-resulting in a vote of six to four. Among the violations cited by the court were the lack of access to justice, violations of personal integrity and the right to life, and violation of the right to transportation and work, freedom of expression, and denial of access to information…" "The Supreme Court decision is simply a resolution and does not include any prosecution or sentencing measures. It is now up to the president, the Congress, the federal attorney general, the Oaxacan Congress and other authorities to move forward on the resolution."

Americas UPDATER, November 23, 2009, http://americas.irc-online.org/updater/6592, contained several discussions of the impact of the economic crisis in Mexico. Laura Carlsen, "Perils of Plan Mexico: Going Beyond Security to Strengthen U.S.-Mexico Relations," comments, "Mexico should be a U.S. priority. But providing exclusively security-focused equipment and training to Mexico is like pouring gas on a fire. We must return the U.S.-Mexico relationship to the simple equation that a healthy neighbor equals better trade, security, and cultural relations. A strong and mutually beneficial relationship must cover the full range of issues between the two nations. The Obama administration and Congress must reorient the militarized relationship with Mexico. A new approach must go to the roots of the illegal drug trade by addressing inequality, poverty, employment, and the high costs of prohibitionist policies. Instead of seeking to bolster the Calderon administration, and police and military forces characterized by corruption, we must stand by human rights, democratic institutions, and a strong role for civil society." Laura Carlsen, "Mexico and the Crisis of a Dependent Economy, notes, "This year Mexico will be one of the worst-hit countries due to the crisis that began in the United States and quickly spread all over the world. The cost of Mexican economic dependence on the United States is being paid by the poor, in clear violation of their social and economic rights. The question is: to what point will the people tolerate this and what has to happen to make the government change its course..." Kent Paterson, "Facing Economic Crisis, Citizen Organizations in the U.S., Puerto Rico, and Mexico Fight Back Against Structural Adjustment." States, "While mainstream economists and the Obama administration declare the recession over, throughout the Americas a different story unfolds. As if the old International Monetary Fund had risen from the dead, structural adjustment and austerity regimes are ripping apart the landscape from Seattle to San Juan and from Guadalajara to Gary. Rampant joblessness, continued home foreclosures, excessive consumer interest rates, decimated social services, and plain old gouging are tearing at the fabric of the working and middle classes. In the United States, Puerto Rico, and Mexico, popular protests are shifting the terms of debate. In numerous ways, the destinies of these three nations are intertwined…"

Cultural Survival (CS) reported, "Ngöbe Campaign Update: Panamanian Government Steps Up Dam Construction," January 21, http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?et=1102941870207&s=5868&e=001Pis85v9FOSo-higobJHaVuN6hFWbhqieUy0P5CBu9tl-qz5q5IPKXrdOv0J5dJ_ymL8c-mDxmLlZTG4z4CyWiUx4bUgOYgH7U7iouTbWzWwhBnnET6CZFBB2HyOsxxqztoNfojoc--Jt6DE-roK9yfAXUAYjf-JqFuAf96sXsgPkSmFttBjnv0wrIp4j6fvLLR2ASgyUIGF, "The government of Panama and AES-Changuinola are stepping up pressure on Ngöbe Indigenous communities living along the Changuinola River to give up their land rights, so that dam construction can proceed during the dry months. Last week, community members from the community of Guayabal, met with government and company representatives for the first time, in the company of Cultural Survival lawyer Nikolas Sanchez. As a group, the Ngöbe from Guayabal categorically rejected the secretive process that the government used when negotiating with other Ngöbe communities, and asked why Guayabal had not been consulted or even informed about those negotiations".

CS stated, January 21, "After months of lobbying by Cultural Survival and our Indigenous Community Radio partners, the proposed telecommunications bill has received a favorable recommendation from the Indigenous Peoples Committee of the Guatemalan Congress. An official ceremony took place January 14th at the Salon del Pueblo of the Congreso de la Republica where Congressman Rodolfo Castenon, the president of the Pueblos Indigenas Committee, delivered the signed initiative to the legislative directorate. This is a reason to celebrate, but it is also the beginning of a new phase in our lobbying effort, as now the general assembly has to put the bill on the agenda and vote on it." For more information contact Cultural Survival, 215 Prospect St., Cambridge, MA 02139, http://www.cs.org.

Laura Carlsen, "This Week in the Americas," Americas UPDATER, January 13, 2010, http://americas.irc-online.org/updater/6647, reported. "As the year begins, This Week in the Americas has seen ominous signs that in some places the goals of peace and democracy are receding rather than advancing. The Honduran coup has been cracking down on resistance leaders and organizations in preparation for the inauguration of Pepe Lobo on Jan. 27-a president unrecognized by most of the international community. The coup regime has carried out raids against community radio stations, a farmers' organization, the gay and lesbian community, and others. Several assassinations have been reported. In Mexico the hideous daily toll taken by Calderon's War on Drugs has reached such alarming proportions that citizen groups have begun to demand a thorough evaluation of the strategy and an end to immunity from justice enjoyed by the military. Despite some spectacular busts, the war shows no end in sight. Recent testimony from captured narcos reveals that the links between government officials and drug lords form a pillar of the operations, sowing more corruption as cartels seek protection in the face of selective attacks. In both Mexico and Honduras, U.S. government actions have fueled the downward spiral into violence. U.S. support for the president elected in coup-run elections has emboldened coup leader Roberto Micheletti, who recently refused to step down even for the two weeks prior to the inauguration. Pretending that the conflict is largely resolved gives cover to repressive actions that no longer receive the same international spotlight as before the elections." Many Indigenous people were supporters of ousted President Zelaya, and amongst those harshly repressed by the coup government. Repression of protestors of the coup, and of government policies, was continuing in Honduras, as of June, leaving many Indigenous people under attack (Rick Kearns, "Danger continues for Honduran protestors," Indian Country Today, June 16, 2010).

The November 11, 2009 issue of Americas UPDATER at http://americas.irc-online.org/updater/6570 contains several articles on the situation in Honduras including Robert White, "Honduras Revisited," saying, "It is now possible to reconstruct with a fair degree of accuracy how the Obama administration turned an imminent diplomatic triumph into a negotiated defeat. On October 20, Senator Jim DeMint stated that he had met with Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Shannon and that he was pleased that the Department of State finally understood "that it is essential that these elections [in Honduras] go forward and are recognized." As a result, DeMint said he was "anxious" to release the holds he had placed on the nominations of Arturo Valenzuela to be assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs and Thomas Shannon, the present assistant secretary, to be ambassador to Brazil. As Shannon well knew, this impending change of policy would give away the principal leverage the United States could bring to bear to persuade the de facto government to permit the prompt return of President Zelaya." Hence the Honduran Congress reneged on the deal to let Zelaya finish out his term as President, and the elections went forward with the coup regime still in office. Also in that issue, Dick Emanuelsson, "Honduras De Facto Regime Opens Fire in Poor Neighborhoods: Youth and Union Members Targeted by Coup Violence" chronicles the terror and repression unleashed by the coup to maintain power, even after the coup government promised to lift the executive decree that imposed a state of siege, the violence continues.

In early January, The Chief Prosecutor of Honduras charged Gen. Romeo Vásquez Velásquez, the country's military chief, and five of his high ranking subordinates, involved in the ouster of Manuel Zelaya from the Honduran presidency last year with abuse of power, but the charges are expected to be dropped as part of a deal to ease tensions in the country, under which President Zelaya will also receive amnesty. Supporters of the coup contend that Mr. Zelaya had broken the law by pushing for a nonbinding vote on changing the Constitution even though the Congress and the courts had ruled the referendum illegal. Porfirio Lobo, who won the presidential election on November 29 and was inaugurated in January, has said he supports granting amnesty both to Mr. Zelaya, and to those who removed him from office. The Honduran Congress was scheduled to begin debating an amnesty motion in mid January. Meanwhile, the question of whether to pursue a case against the top mil9tary officers is being considered by the Supreme Court (Marc Lacey, ",6 Cited in Honduran Leader's Ouster" The New York Times, January 7, 2009, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/08/world/americas/08honduras.html). The charges against the military officers were dropped. As the new President was sworn in, President Zalaya, who had been staying at the Brazilian Embassy, left the country under an amnesty for him to do so.

In Guatemala, court papers made public, in December, provide close to 200 pp. of previously secret, detailed reports of military operations against Mayan communities, including the killings, in the 1980s (Elisabeth Malkin, "Court Papers Detail Killings By the Military In Guatemala," The New York Times, December 14, 2009).

Grassroots International, "A Victory for Human Rights: Marlin Mine in Guatemala Ordered to Shut," June 16, 2010. http://www.grassrootsonline.org/news/blog/victory-human-rights-marlin-mine-guatemala-ordered-shut, reports, "After tireless campaigning by the indigenous people of Guatemala and international solidarity organizations, including Grassroots International, the Goldcorp Marlin Mine has been ordered to shut by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. This is a huge victory for local Mayan residents who have fought for the past six years to hold Goldcorp accountable for appalling social and environmental problems caused by the mine. Grassroots International supported their struggle for justice by funding indigenous representatives to attend meetings with allies in Canada and the United States as well as hearings at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

Three indigenous Wayuu activist leaders from Colombia, Karmen Ramirez Boscan, Leonor Viloria and Linnei Ospina of the Force of Wayuu Women Organization (OFMW), fled to Venezuela in early February fearing for their lives after more death threats from paramilitaries and harassment from the Colombian Army, according to supporters in Venezuela and other Colombian and international agencies. The Wayuu leaders are seeking protection for their people who live across northern Colombia and Venezuela. Wayuu communities have been under attack for several years in Colombia, according to Amnesty International. They are among the most recent group of indigenous activists to apply to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, affiliated with the Organization of American States, for protection from "armed actors" in their region, specifically from the Colombian Army, paramilitaries and others. The IACHR is an autonomous entity. Boscan, who has participated in various United Nations programs, returned to Colombia, and in a March interview, she said the threats against the Wayuu, who are neutral in Colombia's civil war, were coming from all sides of the conflict, and that their protests against various gas, water and mining projects is what incurred the wrath of the administration of President Alvaro Uribe (Rick Kearns, "Indigenous leaders flee Colombia seeking protection, Indian Country Today, April 9, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/90127157.html).

Laura Carlson, "Colombia's Elections Under the Gun," Americas UPDATER, Vol. 8, No. 4, March 29, 2010, http://americas.irc-online.org/updater/6710, comments, "Colombia's congressional elections on March 14 were hailed by the United Nations as the most peaceful in years. The victory of the coalition led by President Alvaro Uribe suggests an easy win for his party in the presidential elections scheduled for May 30. But congratulations for the absence of bombings at polling centers or assassinations of candidates-both common in the past-implies that in a situation of conflict the bar for democracy is lowered to near-ground level. Nothing could be more dangerous-for Colombia or for democracy itself. The results of Colombia's elections raise serious doubts about the quality of that country's democracy, especially in the light of past and present violence. The Electoral Observation Mission reported that 35 candidates elected to the 102-seat Senate are direct heir-apparents to Congress members identified by the courts as linked to paramilitary groups. Widespread dirty tricks reported during the pre-electoral period include vote-buying, voter intimidation, disenfranchisement of vulnerable populations such as the displaced, threats to opposition candidates, and illicit funding of campaigns."

Criminal armies have emerged from the attempt of the Columbian government to disband paramilitary groups. The new organizations expanding their reach across the country's economy while engaging in a range of human rights abuses including rape, mass murder and forced displacement, according to a report from Human Rights Watch, at the beginning of February. The groups' main economic base is the trade in cocaine (Simon Romero, "Columbian Paramilitaries' Successors Called a Threat," The New York Times, February 4, 2010).

ICG, "Venezuela: Accelerating the Bolivarian Revolution," November 5, 2009, http://www.crisisgroup.org/home/index.cfm?id=6376, Cautions, "Against the spirit of the constitution, President Hugo Chávez is accelerating his "Bolivarian Revolution" by implementing radical laws that affect basic rights and liber-ties and thwart the political opposition's fair chances in the September 2010 legislative elections." "In 2009 the Chávez government has progressively abandoned core liberal democ-racy principles guaranteed under the Inter-American Democratic Charter and the American Conven-tion on Human Rights. The executive has increased its power and provoked unrest internally by further politicizing the armed forces and the oil sector. It is exercising mounting influence over the electoral authorities, the legislative and judicial branches of power and other state entities. 'The September 2010 legislative elections promise to further polarize an already seriously divided country', says Nicolás Letts, Crisis Group's Colombia/Andes Analyst. 'Unresolved social and mounting economic problems are generating tensions that exacerbate the risk of political violence'. The government's lack of capacity to correct serious deficiencies in the management of the state is provoking increasing social protest. The continued targeting of the political opposition and the mass media, coupled with growing economic, security and social problems, are deepening discontent. The opposition, which continues to be divided, is challenging Chávez through democratic means. However, it may in the future look to more violent alternatives for confronting him, if his government continues to shut off space for participation and restrict critics from expressing their views through democratic mechanisms. Society at large is experiencing critical levels of insecurity and stark deficiencies in basic public services. Tense relations with Colombia may take a toll on the president's popularity at home. While Chávez's bellicose rhetoric towards Colombia is unlikely to elicit an armed reaction, it does stimulate the potential for mounting trouble along the border. 'Ten years of 'Bolivarian Revolution' have failed to produce significant and sustainable improvements in the living conditions of the poorer segments of society', says Markus Schultze-Kraft, Crisis Group's Latin America Program Director. 'Chávez has proved to be a poor manager, with difficulties to administer the vast state apparatus he has created and cater for citizens' legitimate demands.'" In December, the Chavez government moved to assert greater control of several banks acquired by his supporters that were in financial crisis, the measures included detaining a banker closely connected to the government. A The Banker's brother had just previously been removed as Science Minister. The firing and arrest are an expansion of the removal from office of a group known as the Boligarchs who allegedly used government ties to gain extreme wealth over the past decade. The troubled banks consist of less than 20% of the banking system, and at the time their collapse was not widely seen as setting of a broader fiscal crisis (Simon Romero, Venezuela Detains Banker With Ties to Government," The New York Times, December 7, 2009).

Paul Chappell (paulkchappell@gmail.com) circulated an article on the PJSA list serve, James Suggett, "Venezuelan "Peace Bases" to Counter U.S. Military Buildup in Colombia with Bi-national Reconciliation," August 28th 2009, http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/news/4750, stating, "In a movement to counter the expansion of the United States military presence on Colombian bases, Colombian and Venezuelan civil society organizations and government officials are collaborating to organize spaces of bi-national reconciliation called 'peace bases.' Local, state, and national elected officials, consuls, immigrant organizations, community councils, and everyday citizens have participated in the founding of Venezuela's first peace bases this month. The bases turn public spaces into forums where Colombians and Venezuelans discuss peaceful solutions to the armed conflict in Colombia, which has raged for four decades and continues to affect neighboring Venezuela, Ecuador, Panama, the rest of Latin America, and the United States."

ICG, "Uribe's Possible Third Term and Conflict Resolution," December 18, 2009, http://www.crisisgroup.org/home/index.cfm?id=6449, sees, "The decision on whether to change the constitution to enable President Álvaro Uribe to seek a third consecutive term in 2010 will have important consequences for Colombia's efforts to resolve its armed conflict and tensions with its neighbors." "Due to Uribe's security achievements and strong leadership in times of escalating tensions with Venezuela and Ecuador, the majority of Colombians appear to back a third presidential term. Others warn that the process of enabling it has been plagued by irregularities and express concern it would damage the foundations of Colombia's democracy. 'Despite his undoubted accomplishments, there is a risk that another change in the constitution and four more years of Uribe's rule would weaken democratic judicial and legislative institutions and essential checks and balances', says Nicholas Letts, Crisis Group's Colombia/Andes Analyst. 'A third consecutive term would certainly increase the broad powers of the president to influence the appointment of the heads of supervisory and control institutions.' In the run-up to the March congressional and May presidential elections, the government and other institutional and political actors should work together to reduce polarization and uncertainty. The separation of powers among the executive, judiciary and legislative branches must be upheld to reduce the possibility of accumulation of excessive authority by the executive, and the constitutional independence of the new attorney general and oversight and electoral institutions has to be respected. The current security policy geared at defeating the insurgent Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and National Liberation Army (ELN) needs to be reviewed and adjusted by whomever is president for the next four years. The security environment is changing, new illegal armed groups (NIAGs) are emerging, some paramilitaries persist, the insurgents are adapting to government military strategies, and efforts to combat drug-trafficking are achieving partial results but no breakthrough. 'Unfortunately, preoccupation with the third-term issue has meant that debate on important policy issues has largely been absent so far, but Uribe or any new president will need to broaden the strategy to address non-military aspects of the security agenda, including the root causes of the protracted conflict', says Markus Schultze-Kraft, Crisis Group's Latin America Program Director. 'These challenges include combating rural alienation through more effective development programs, strengthening the protection of human rights and developing a political framework for resolving the conflict.'"

Laura Carlson, "Colombia's Elections Under the Gun," Americas UPDATER, Vol. 8, No. 4, March 29, 2010, http://americas.irc-online.org/updater/6710, comments, "Colombia's congressional elections on March 14 were hailed by the United Nations as the most peaceful in years. The victory of the coalition led by President Alvaro Uribe suggests an easy win for his party in the presidential elections scheduled for May 30. But congratulations for the absence of bombings at polling centers or assassinations of candidates-both common in the past-implies that in a situation of conflict the bar for democracy is lowered to near-ground level. Nothing could be more dangerous-for Colombia or for democracy itself. The results of Colombia's elections raise serious doubts about the quality of that country's democracy, especially in the light of past and present violence. The Electoral Observation Mission reported that 35 candidates elected to the 102-seat Senate are direct heir-apparents to Congress members identified by the courts as linked to paramilitary groups. Widespread dirty tricks reported during the pre-electoral period include vote-buying, voter intimidation, disenfranchisement of vulnerable populations such as the displaced, threats to opposition candidates, and illicit funding of campaigns."

There has been a scandal developing in Columbia, beginning last fall, as revelations emerged that the main intelligence agency illegally spied extensively on the President's critics and political opponents, including members of the Supreme Court, opposition politicians, human rights workers and journalists. The intelligence intercepts included taping a call by a supreme court justice investigating possible connections between President Uribe's political supporters and paramilitary groups alleged to be committing murders and the legal attaché at the U.S. Embassy (Simon Romero, "A Scandal Over Spying Intensifies In Columbia," The New York Times, September 17, 2009.

The United States and Columbia, in late October, signed an agreement allowing the U.S. Army to have increased access to seven Columbian bases for 10 years, although not increasing the number of personnel beyond the limit in U.S. law, which currently is 1400 military people ("Columbia: Pact to Expand U.S. Army Presence Signed," The New York Times, October 31, 2009).

In Bolivia, President Evo Morales was reelected in December, inaugurated January 21, and continues to struggle to implement progressive changes along the lines of the new constitution, in the face of strong opposition from conservatives, the polarization often leading to confrontation, and sometimes violence. In Uruguay, Jose Mujica, a former guerilla fighter, won the run off election for President, keeping his left wing coalition in power, which received wide public credit for improving economic conditions (Rick Kearns, "The inaugurations of Bolivian president Evo Morales," Indian Country Today, February 8, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/83642177.html; and Alexei Barrionuevo, "Leftist Wins Uruguay Presidential Vote," The New York Times, November 30, 2009).

Survival International reported, November 10, Peru's Amazon Indians have been protesting against the exploitation of their lands by oil and gas companies, while the Peruvian government's unprecedented attempt to destroy Peru's Amazon Indian movement has been condemned by indigenous leaders around the world. The wave of condemnation comes after it was revealed that the government plans to disband Peru's national organization for Amazon Indians, known by its Spanish acronym AIDESEP. Jumanda Gakelebone, from First People of the Kalahari, a Bushman organization in southern Africa, stated, "We Bushmen of Botswana support the Indians of Peru and think that the government of Peru and the oil companies should not forget the indigenous peoples. If you destroy their land, you destroy the Indians themselves." Armand MacKenzie, from the Innu Council of Nitassinan in Canada, said "Peru's government should sit down and talk respectfully to AIDESEP as the legitimate representatives of the country's Amazonian Indians, not try to attack them through the courts." Lal Amlai, a Jumma from Bangladesh, commented, "It is outrageous. I condemn Peru's government for trying to destroy the voice of Peru's Amazon population." Similar statements were made by other indigenous leaders around the world. AIDESEP has been vigorously opposing the government's attempts to open the Peruvian Amazon to oil, gas and mining companies. The proposal to disband it was made by Peru's Ministry of Justice just three days after armed Peruvian police attacked a peaceful indigenous protest in northern Peru, which was part of Amazon-wide protests coordinated by AIDESEP. The attack led to more than thirty deaths and two hundred people injured. For more information go to: http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/5216, or contact Miriam Ross, Survival International, 6 Charterhouse Buildings, London EC1M 7ET, United Kingdom, Tell: (+44) (0)20 7687 8734 or (+44) (0)7504543367, mr@survivalinternational.org, http://www.survivalinternational.org.

Survival reported March 25, that the Anglo-French oil Perenco has revealed plans to build a pipeline deep into the heart of uncontacted tribes' land in the Amazon rainforest of Peru. The pipeline is being built to transport an estimated three hundred million barrels of oil from the depths of the northern Peruvian Amazon, beginning in 2013. The company makes no mention of the tribes in its report detailing the potential social and environmental impacts of the pipeline, despite the fact they could be decimated by contact with Perenco's workers. The Peruvian Energy Ministry responded by failing to approve Perenco's report. It has asked the company to write an 'anthropological contingency plan', given the 'possible existence' of uncontacted tribes in the region. The pipeline is projected to be 207 kms long and to connect with another pipeline already built, which will transport the oil all the way to Peru's Pacific coast. Perenco's report says it would affect the forest for five hundreds meters on either side. High-ranking officials in Peru hope the pipeline will help transform Peru's economy. Survival International and many other organizations are lobbying Peru's government not to build it. In late May, the Peruvian state oil company Perupetro announced that a reserve for uncontacted tribes in the remote Peruvian Amazon has been made off-limits to oil and gas companies. The reserve is inhabited by some of the world's last uncontacted indigenous people, a tribe known as the Murunahua (or Chitonahua). When some Murunahua were contacted for the first time in the mid-1990s, an estimated 50% of them died. However, Perupetro also announced it intends to open 25 new 'lots' for oil and gas exploration, totaling 10 million hectares and almost all in the Amazon. This move has been immediately criticized by Peru's national Amazon indigenous organization, AIDESEP. For additional information go to: http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/5686 and http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/5959.

Raúl Zibechi, "One Year since the Bagua Massacre: New Actors Facing a State in Crisis," Americas Program Updater, http://www.cipamericas.org/archives/2572, reports an important shift in progress in Peru, a year after the Bagua massacre, in which 34 Indigenous people died and 200 were wounded, and 23 poilce officers killed in the counter attack, "when Alan García's government decided to clear out the Awajun people who were blocking roads in the Amazon in protest of the indiscriminate exploitation of the forest." "Shortly after the repression, four of the legislative decrees that had provoked the demonstrations were revoked and, on May 19, parliament approved the Consultation Law, which dictates that locals must be consulted before any projects to exploit community resources are approved. These are two substantial victories for the movement. But, in addition to their legal triumphs, the indigenous people who make up the Interethnic Association for the Development of the Peruvian Rainforest (AIDESEP), which brings together around 1,500 communities, obtained the recognition of Peruvian society as new and decisive actors in national political life. This is a symbolic act. On June 5, the father of the missing Major Felipe Bazán, travelled to the Curva del Diablo, near Bagua and the Ecuadorian border, one thousand kilometers northeast of Lima, to embrace indigenous people as they participated in a memorial act, baptizing the site as the 'Curva de la Esperanza.' Days before the anniversary, the president of the AIDESEP, Alberto Pizango, who has been branded a "terrorist" by the government, returned to the country after a year of exile in Nicaragua. As soon as he arrived in Lima's airport, he was arrested and freed in a matter of minutes, though he cannot leave the country. The fifth indigenous victory was unexpected. Guido Lombardi Elías is a member of congress from the Unidad Nacional party and one of the country's most prestigious journalists. He presided over the parliamentary investigative commission regarding the events in Bagua and found the indigenous people were in the right. Despite belonging to the most conservative party in Peru and being closely tied to the Right, on June 4, Lombardi appeared on Canal N television saying, "The motive of the repression was to punish the indigenous people, to teach them a lesson before they left the Curva del Diablo.' In his opinion, this is the only reasonable explanation for what took place. He shares his opinion with the head of the investigation. Of course, his words caused uproar in the government, but they are echoed by the many voices that support the position held by the indigenous people. These voices make up a broad range of people that runs from the People's Defense Office to the right-wing daily El Comercio, via the National Human Rights Committee. This latter organization complains that there is still no consensus in the Executive Branch or in Parliament that identifies those responsible for the Bagua massacre. The lack of consensus is an indication of "the profound disconnect between the Peruvian State and the Indigenous People of the Amazon, whose rights are ignored and violated permanently by a political system that neither understands them nor includes them in a fair and suitable manner'. Pizango, perhaps in recognition of his victory, arrived in Bagua on June 5 with a speech on peace and reconciliation. Meanwhile, President Alan García, in a show of insensitivity, declared the date 'Rum Day'." "The demonstrations in memory of the Bagua victims were important in Lima and in the Amazons. But beyond the mere quantity of protestors, the diversity of the social actors involved stands out. Young people, women, union members, workers in the cultural and artistic sectors, agricultural workers, people from the city and the country as well as gays, lesbians and transsexuals all took part in the demonstrations." "The conservative newspaper El Comercio, the paper that supported the candidacy of Alan García against his nationalist opponent Ollanta Humala, published an editorial on June 4, the night before the first anniversary of the events at Bagua, which is perhaps the best yardstick to measure the situation in Peru. 'What did the government, congress and the political class do to prevent this tragedy and to penalize those responsible, who remain unpunished?' asks the daily. Then it goes much further and denounces 'the unnerving incapacity of the powers of the State to face up to this social and political crisis, before and after it happened' 'It is undeniable that the events of Bagua made us rediscover another world, the world of the Amazon communities, which had been historically overlooked. This is how we have noticed that we are a nation under construction, with an identity that is far from being inclusive and unifying', said El Comercio. It went on to indicate that the Peruvian State should be founded anew to include 'the ancestral rights of original Peruvians'. But it doesn't end there. 'We are a multicultural nation that is also centralist and should strive to decentralize, to integrate all Peruvians and to respect rural and ancestral communities'." "The crisis in the Peruvian State is caused by the emergence of new social and political actors, which is expressed in a growing level of conflict. Report 64 from the People's Defense Office states that in the first six months of 2009 there were 273 social conflicts. 47 per cent of those conflicts were related to social and environmental issues and 71 per cent to mining activity. The conflicts are double those counted in 2008, which reveals that communities are ever more unwilling to tolerate the activity of transnational mining, which contaminates water sources and damages the population's health." "Anthropologist Rodrigo Montoya, who is very close to indigenous movements, explains that the people of the Amazon were never defeated and that in this rebellion, the second in their history, 'they have solidified a leadership strong enough to present an alternative not just for indigenous people but for Peruvian society as a whole. And I'm not exaggerating at all when I say that this Amazonian movement is the same as the indigenous movements in Bolivia, Ecuador, Chiapas or Guatemala. It is diverse and plural. It is offering the world a horizon, hope, a new perspective; different values, ideas and dreams'." The other group which has emerged as a strong actor is indigenous women. The reality for women living in rural areas is terrible: 22% of heads of rural households are women, but 50% of women living in rural areas have no identification documents and only 4.7% have property titles in their name. A new generation of women created the National Federation of Peasant, Artisan, Native and Working Women of Peru (FEMUCARINAP) in 2006 upon recognizing that they had no space in mixed organizations."

Survival, reported November 9, that in Paraguay, The Ayoreo-Totobiegosode, the only uncontacted tribe in South America outside the Amazon, is having its forest rapidly and illegally bulldozed by ranchers who want their land to graze cattle for beef. The ranchers, from Brazilian company Yaguarete Pora S.A., are operating on the tribe's land in Paraguay despite having their license suspended by the Environment Ministry in August for previous illegal clearance. They are clearing the forest, the home of the Ayoreo-Totobiegosode tribe, using bulldozers alleged to belong to Jacobo Kauenhowen, owner of a large bulldozer business in a nearby Mennonite colony. 'This is a serious threat to the Totobiegosode. The illegal deforestation carried out by Yaguarete in Paraguay is continuing without any control whatsoever,' said the Paraguayan NGO GAT, which is working to protect the Ayoreo's lands. In 2008, Yaguarete, together with another Brazilian company, River Plate S.A., destroyed thousands of hectares of the tribe's land. The ranchers' operations were exposed by satellite photos taken on November1. These have been made public, since November 2, and by Survival International publicizing the deforestation, including on a major Paraguayan radio station, Radio Nanduti. Relatives of uncontacted Ayoreo Indians, in early December, urged UNESCO officials to see 'with their own eyes' how their traditional territory is being illegally and rapidly destroyed. The Ayoreo-Totobiegosode are situated in a UNESCO biosphere reserve. The biosphere is being bulldozed by the ranching company Yaguarete Pora S.A. It was created in 2005 to protect the Totobiegosode and secure 'the recovery, legalization and return of the land to these native people.' In an unprecedented move, in May. Paraguay's Environment fined, Yaguarete Pora SA, the Brazilian cattle-ranching firm accused of illegally clearing forest, which is home to the Ayoreo-Totobiegosode, because 'The company, Yaguarete Pora SA, concealed key information about the existence of indigenous people in the area where it had a license to work.' SEAM fined the company approximately 75 million guaranies ($16,000/ £10,500) and ordered it to write a new report, an 'Environmental Impact Assessment', before considering whether to issue the company with a new license. For more information go to: http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/5212; http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/5332 and http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/5918.

Survival reported, November 4, a number of Yanomami Indians in Venezuela, the largest relatively isolated tribe in the Amazon, with a population of about 32,000 that straddle the Venezuela-Brazil border died from an outbreak of suspected swine flu, at the end of October, and another 1,000 Yanomami were reported to have caught the virulent strain of flu. The Venezuelan government sealed off the area, and sent in medical teams to treat the Yanomami. The regional office of the World Health Organization has confirmed the presence of swine flu. There were fears that the epidemic could sweep through the Yanomami territory and kill many more Indians. In the 1980-90s, when gold miners invaded their land, one fifth of the Yanomami in Brazil died from diseases such as flu and malaria introduced by the miners. Their future was only secured after a major international campaign led by the Yanomami themselves, Survival International and the Pro Yanomami Commission. Health care is already extremely precarious on both sides of the border. Many Yanomami communities have no access at all to health care and this mountainous, forested region presents many challenges in the provision of emergency medical aid. In October, Survival published a report highlighting the special threat that swine flu presents to indigenous people around the world. For more information go to: http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/5173.

Survival reported, October 27, that Kayapó Indians were preparing to hold a week long protest, beginning October 28, in the Kayapó community of Piaraçu against a huge hydro-electric dam planned for Brazil's Xingu River, one of the Amazon's main tributaries. At least 200 Indians were expected to gather, and representatives of Brazil's Ministry of Mines and Energy, and the Ministry of the Environment, were invited there to talk with the Indians. The Kayapó and other indigenous peoples oppose the dam (known as Belo Monte), saying they have not been properly consulted about it and have not been informed of its true impacts on their lands. The dam will divert more than 80% of the flow of the Xingu River, and have a major impact on fish stocks and forests along a 100 km stretch of the river inhabited by indigenous peoples. Survival has protested to the government about the project. Belo Monte is one of the largest infrastructure projects in the government's Accelerated Growth Programme. In 1989 the Kayapó organized a massive protest against a series of dams planned for the Xingu River. They successfully lobbied the World Bank to pull out of funding the project, which was then shelved. Dams planned for other Amazon rivers are also the target of indigenous protests. A year ago, the Enawene Nawe tribe ransacked a dam building site in a bid to stop dozens of dams planned for the Juruena River. The Indians say the dams will ruin the fishing on which they depend. In the western Amazon, the Santo Antônio dam, part of a complex of dams being built on the Madeira River, will flood the land of at least five groups of uncontacted Indians. One group is thought to live only 14 kilometers from the main dam construction site. In a letter to President Lula, the Kayapó explained their position: "We don't want this dam to destroy the ecosystems and the biodiversity that we have taken care of for millennia and which we can still preserve. Mr. President, our cry is for studies that are well-done and which seek to discuss with indigenous peoples this great ecological cradle of our ancestors... We want to participate in this process without being treated as evil demons [As a government official called the Kayapó] who hold back the country's evolution." Survival's Director Stephen Corry said October 27, "The real impact of the dams has been hidden. If they go ahead they will destroy the lives, land and livelihoods of many tribes. No amount of compensation can ever make up for damage on this scale, that will wreck peoples' lives and independence." On May 19, Survival reported, that two mega-dams being constructed in the Brazilian Amazon threaten to devastate several groups of uncontacted Indians. The Santo Antônio and Jirau dams are being built on the Madeira River, next to the territory of isolated Indians who are unaware that much of their land is likely to be destroyed. A recent expedition carried out by FUNAI, the Brazilian government's indigenous affairs department, confirmed that there are uncontacted Indians living and hunting in the area affected by the dams. There are at least four groups of isolated Indians in the area of the dams project, two of them known as the Mujica Nava and the uncontacted Jacareuba/ Katawixi Indians. The dam project will create new roads and bring a massive influx of migrants into the area - this will rapidly destroy the Indians' forest. The migrants will also bring diseases such as flu and measles to which the Indians have little immunity. Any form of contact between isolated tribes and outsiders is extremely dangerous to the health of the Indians and could lead to the death of many, as has frequently happened in the past. FUNAI's report states that the noise of the dam construction has probably already pushed some of the uncontacted Indians off their land, into a territory where miners are operating illegally and where malaria and hepatitis are rife. In addition to threatening the uncontacted Indians, the dams will harm many other indigenous peoples living in the area, who were not appropriately consulted about the dams before building work began. Domingos Parintintin of the Parintintin tribe said, "Our land is still virgin. We hope that this project will not continue, because it is our children who will suffer. There will not be enough fish, or enough animals for us to hunt." The French company GDF Suez, which is part-owned by the French government, is building the Jirau dam. A coalition of NGOs including Survival, Amigos da Terra- Amazônia Brasileira, International Rivers, and Amazon Watch has protested to the Brazilian authorities and GDF Suez and called for the dams to be halted. Recently a GDF Suez shareholder questioned the company's President, Gérard Mestrallet, about the uncontacted Indians near the Jirau dam, at the company's Annual General Meeting. Mestrallet stated that President Lula supports the dam, and that, "if anyone knows what is good for the Brazilian population and at the same time (can) reflect on the preservation of the local Indians, then it is certainly President Lula." Kayapó indigenous spokesman, Megaron Txucarramãe, recently stated that, "Lula has shown himself to be the Indians' number one enemy' after the President said that the controversial Belo Monte dam on the Xingu river would go ahead despite huge opposition." For more information visit: http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/5162 and http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/5941.

Coinciding with the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, Survival International sent a report to the United Nations, March 21, with findings that the situation of the Guarani tribe of southern Brazil is one of the worst of all indigenous peoples in the Americas. The Guarani suffer high rates of suicide, malnutrition, unfair imprisonment and alcoholism, and are regularly targeted and killed by gunmen hired by the ranchers who have taken over their land. The denial of the Indians' land rights is singled out in the report as the main cause of this explosive situation. The report warns that the growing demand for ethanol as an alternative to gasoline will take more land from the Guarani and further worsen the situation. Despite living in one of the wealthiest states in one of world's largest emerging economies, many Guarani live in dire poverty. Some live under tarpaulins on the side of busy highways, others in chronically overcrowded 'reserves' where they are reliant on government handouts. One Guarani community living on the roadside, who have seen three of their leaders killed by ranchers' gunmen, said, "We are growing impatient with the excessive delay of land demarcation. It is slowly killing us and exposing us to genocide." The report documents a catalogue of horrible facts, including: 1. Violence: the Guarani suffer from violent attacks and many Guarani leaders have been assassinated. 42 Guarani were killed in Mato Grosso do Sul in 2008 because of internal and external conflicts. 2. Suicide: Because of the terrible conditions in which they have been forced to live, the suicide rate amongst the Guarani is one of the highest in the world. More than 625 Guarani have committed suicide since 1981 (almost 1.5% of the Guarani population), and in 2005, the Guarani suicide rate was 19 times the national rate. Guarani children as young as nine years old have taken their own lives. 3. Malnutrition and poor health: many Guarani suffer from malnutrition, and their infant mortality rate is more than double the national average, whilst life expectancy is more than 20 years lower than the national average. 4. Unfair imprisonment: Guarani are often wrongly imprisoned, with little or no access to legal advice and interpreters. They serve 'disproportionately harsh sentences for minor offences'. 5. Exploitation of manual laborers: many Guarani are forced to work cutting sugar cane for the ethanol factories which now occupy their land. They earn pitiful wages and are exposed to inhumane working conditions. The report can be downloaded in English at: http://assets.survival-international.org/documents/207/Guarani_report_English_MARCH.pdf, or in Portuguese: http://assets.survival-international.org/documents/208/Survival_Guarani_Report_Portuguese-2.pdf. For more information go to: http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/5671

Survival reported, December 9, that the last survivor of an unknown and uncontacted Amazon tribe has been targeted by gunmen. The incident took place in November in Tanarú, an indigenous territory in the Amazon state of Rondônia, Brazil. It is not known whether the Indian was in the direct line of fire or whether the shots were designed to scare him away. Ranchers in the area oppose government efforts to protect the man's land, and are the most likely perpetrators. Officials from FUNAI, Brazil's Indian affairs department, discovered that its protection post had been ransacked and found empty shotgun cartridges nearby in the forest. The police have investigated the incident, but no one has been charged for illegal entry. The only known images of the 'Man of the Hole' were fleetingly captured by filmmaker Vincent Carelli in his film 'Corumbiara' which documents the genocide of the Akuntsu and other tribes in the region. For more information go to: http://www.survivalinternational.org.

Pedro Alacantara de Souza, a top activist for land reform in Brazil's Amazon was murdered, police said, at the end of March, hours after a delay in the trial of a man accused of masterminding the slaying of another rain forest activist, Sister Dorothy Stang, an American nun who was shot and killed in 2005. Watchdog groups say conflicts between powerful ranchers and poor farmers over land rights have led to 1,200 murders across Brazil in the last 20 years. In only one of those killings - Sister Dorothy's - is the person suspected of being the mastermind now behind bars. As the head of a union of landless farmers, Mr. de Souza led occupations of huge farms that had land they argued was unproductive ("Brazil: Land Activist Is Fatally Shot," The New York Times, April 1, 2010, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/02/world/americas/02briefs-Brazil.html?ref=todayspaper). Survival reported, May 7, that the trial of the accused killer of Guarani Indian leader Marcos Veron of Mato Grosso do Sul state, Brazil, was suspended as the judge refused to hear the testimonies of the Guarani witnesses in their own language. The public prosecutors representing the Guarani abandoned the trial, saying all the Guarani witnesses, regardless of their knowledge of Portuguese, should have the right to express themselves in Guarani. The refusal to allow the Guarani to speak in their own language in court is a violation of Brazilian and international law. Public prosecutor Vladimir Aras said, "In seventeen years of trials this is only the second time I have had to abandon a plenary session... The court is not the place to restrict one's rights." It was not known when the trial would resume. Marcos Veron, a well-known and internationally respected Guarani Kaiowá leader, was beaten to death in 2003 by gunmen working for a local rancher, in front of family members, after he led his community's reoccupation of their ancestral land of Takuara. For more information go to: http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/5915.

Raúl Zibechi, "Toward Reconstruction of the Mapuche Nation," Americas Program Report, November 13, 2009, http://americas.irc-online.org/updater/6592, reports, "Tired of waiting for the slow transfer of lands from the state and the always problematic recognition of their rights, dozens of Mapuche communities have begun to mobilize, a process that the Chilean government has responded to with extreme harshness. Thousands of Mapuches arrived at midday on Oct. 22 at the Municipal Council in Temuco (capital of the Araucanía, 700 kilometers south of Santiago) to denounce the violence used by police when they shot pellet at children. "After arriving in the center of the city, a group of Mapuche children from the community of Ercilla opened a sack that contained the remnants of over 200 tear gas canisters, cartridges, and police issue bullet shells," according to the Azkintuwe newspaper. The protest, organized by the Mapuche Territorial Alliance (Alianza Territorial Mapuche), had as its objective to refute the claim that no children had been wounded during the intervention of police forces in the zone. The lonko (Mapuche authority) Juan Catrillanca, pointed out that in a police raid, seven children from the local school were wounded by pellets and as a result they coordinated this march that is watched over by a strong police contingent." "Despite the fact that the authorities deny it, both the church and international organizations have confirmed that children were wounded by pellets. Gary Stahl, representative of UNICEF in Chile, was very clear when he said: 'In order to ensure that another generation of Chileans is not marked by violence, we need to know what has happened, and find a solution so that this does not repeat in the future.'" "Human rights organizations have provided dozens of cases from the last two years in which minors were shot with pellets and beaten by the local police as well as militarized police in Chile. 'As of today we have not seen one impartial investigation to uncover the truth of what happened," added Stahl after demanding, on behalf of UNICEF, that the administration of President Michelle Bachelet take measures to ensure the protection of Mapuche children. The indignation overcame ethnic barriers that week when the minister of the Interior accused the Mapuche parents of using their children as 'shields' in their taking of lands. The statement provoked a wave of anger across the country from south to north. Poverty levels in Chile reached 22.7% of the population; however, among indigenous peoples it has reached 35.6%. Indigenous families earn nearly half the income that non-indigenous families do. Education among indigenous people is 2.2 years less than the national average of 9.5 years and just 3% of the rural Mapuche population has received any secondary education by the age of 15. Just 41% of indigenous households have access to sewer systems and 65% have electricity. Infant mortality rates in some indigenous municipalities are 50% higher than the national average. The human development index among the Mapuch population is less than the non-indigenous population (0.642 to 0.736). The lowest indices in the country are found in the rural areas of the Araucanía (the Mapuche territory south of Bio Bio) at 0.549, but the Mapuche woman has an even lower index of 0.513. In addition to being poor, they are discriminated against, almost completely in the media and in particular in television,' for example. The Mapuche have no representation in Parliament. However, the state has stood up to an active policy in favor of indigenous peoples and the Mapuche in particular. The National Corporation for Indigenous Development (CONADI, Corporación Nacional de Desarrollo Indígena) through the Fund for Indigenous Lands and Water (Fondo de Tierras y Aguas Indígenas) has transferred some 200,000 hectares to the Mapuche since 1994, benefiting more than 10,000 families. The numbers are insufficient as it is estimated that 200,000 more acres should also be appropriated. Additionally, many of the families have received individual titles, not communal ones. The process is very slow, leaving out many communities, and there are no support programs in place. Among the Mapuche there are many complaints in regard to the fact that none of the official programs have consulted with the communities. An evaluation of state policies in 2003 resulted in the special rapporteur from the UN Human Rights Council, Rodolfo Stavenhagen, concluding that "despite having produced important advances during the last 10 years, these [people] continue to live in a situation of marginalization and negation that keeps them separate from the rest of the country." The situation has worsened due to the impressive expansion of tree plantations throughout southern Chile for the past three decades. In 1960, each Mapuche family had an average of 9.2 hectares even though the state maintained that they needed 50 hectares to live decently. Between 1979 and 1986 each family had just 5.3 hectares, which has since shrunk to a mere three hectares of land per family. Under the Chilean dictatorship the Mapuche lost 200,000 of the 300,000 hectares that they were conserving. The advancement of tree plantations and hydroelectric plants on their lands has caused an exponential increase in poverty and emigration rates." "In response to this scenario, the communities have been engaged in a constant struggle to recuperate their ancestral lands that belonged to them just 20 or 30 years ago. That struggle clashes with the interests of the large tree plantation companies and the Chilean State that supports them. The result is growing militarization in the most active communities. This year an important growth in Mapuche activism took place. In July a hundred or more delegates from the communities sent a letter to President Bachelet that was interpreted as a kickoff of a major process of land recuperation. In August, Jaime Facundo Mendoza, a Mapuche leader, was killed when the Special Operations Group evicted dozens of families from a piece of land they had recuperated in the Ercilla zone." The communities have recently created the Mapuche Territorial Alliance that brings together between 60 and 120 communities, and there are other activist groups as well. "On October 12 some 10,000 people demonstrated in Santiago in a protest organized by Meli Wixan Mapu, an urban Mapuche organization. The biggest protest in Chile in the last few years attracted a wide array of indigenous and social groups". "This is one of the highlighted characteristics of the current stretch of the Mapuche conflict: the growing participation of the winkas (whites) in solidarity against the state-sponsored repression that employs Pinochet-era methods and laws such as the Anti-Terrorism Law. In Chile there is debate over whether this legislation should be applied in cases where property is threatened (automobiles, tree plantations, etc.) but people are not. Nearly 50 Mapuche prisoners populate the jails because the state responds to land occupations with massive reprisals against entire communities." "In September Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization, that recognizes the rights of indigenous peoples, went into effect. Chile was the last country in South America with an indigenous population to approve the legislation, 20 years late." "Bartolomé Clavero, a Spanish lawyer and historian as well as a member of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues states in a recent article that was published the same day that Convention 169 went into effect, 'The government published, without due consultation or consent of the indigenous people, the Regulation that regulates the consultation and participation of indigenous peoples. It did this precisely, in view of its content, to reverse mechanisms of control in future consultations.'" "In this new cycle of struggles a new generation has begun to intervene. This generation, as pointed out by the daily La Segunda, 'they are armed with university degrees to defend the indigenous cause.' In the southern city of Temuco alone, there are four self-managed dorms with 220 students. They tend to study anthropology, law, and journalism. During their studies they rediscover Mapuche history. Among other things, they learn that the so-called "Pacification of the Araucanía," carried out by the Republic in the late 19th century was a war designed to exterminate their people. Hand in hand with this new generation appear new themes and concepts: the struggle to recuperate land is waged to reconstruct the Mapuche territory, or in other words, the "nation;" the defense of autonomy, both from political parties as well as on a general level from the Chilean State; the fight not only to keep the culture alive but rebuild themselves as a people utilizing tools such as ancestral rights. It is an urban generation, and although the movement continues to maintain a strong rural component, the city-based organizations are growing and networking with other social movements. They have built a wide network of digital, radio, and press-based media, some from the external Mapuche community, and have woven alliances with civil society organizations like the NGO Citizen Observatory (Observatorio Ciudadano) and many others."

At a special assembly in late February, the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE), the country's largest and most powerful Indigenous organization, decided to launch a "progressive escalation" of anti-government protests, and called others to join them in opposing President Rafael Correa's "neoliberal and colonialist" policies. CONAIE sees the president of betraying the principles of the alliance that helped him come to power. Indigenous people account for nearly 40 percent of Ecuador's population and CONAIE has been one of Correa's main allies in the 2006 elections, the 2007 constituent assembly and the latest presidential race in 2009. But a falling-out between them was already evident last year, especially over the issues of mining, oil extraction and water management. Hoping to attract foreign investment to exploit the country's copper and gold deposits, the government pushed through a mining law last year creating the state mining company and paving the way for huge mining concessions. Indigenous peoples believed they had Correa's word that large mining projects would not be allowed. The president said the decision was separatist and used harsh terms to describe the Indigenous leadership. The 2008 constitution ordered the legislature to enact a new law on water use and permits, to ensure formal regulation and equitable distribution. However, not much has been done about this and local communities are constantly battling the government body set up to administer water concessions for irrigation over access. Oil has also been a source of conflict for years and Indigenous communities are angry at the government for allowing oil drilling to continue and granting mining concessions to foreign companies. Tensions are escalating. In September 2009, a Shuar high school teacher was shot to death during a police crackdown on a demonstration in the Amazon against oil and mining policies. For more information go to: http://www.ecuadorinmediato.com/Noticias/news_user_view/jefe_de_estado_emplazo_a_bases_indigenas_a_levantarse_en_contra_de_su_dirigencia--122154 ("Indigenous Leaders Call for Anti-Government Protests in Ecuador," March 14, 2010, http://www.ipsnews.net).

Emergildo Criollo, a leader of the Cofan people from the Oriente region of Ecuador traveled to California, in, from his indigenous village in Ecuador to the home of Chevron's new CEO John Watson and then to a meeting with state lawmakers, demanding that the oil giant Chevron "… take responsibility for their actions and clean up our rivers and forests - our homes." Chevron (then Texaco) was drilling in Indigenous areas of Ecuador and has been the subject of a massive lawsuit for very serious contamination, that Crillollo killed two of his sons, along with many other Ecuadorians, and caused his wife to contract uterine cancer. "I want to say to our indigenous brothers in the U.S. that we, the indigenous people of Ecuador need support to get Chevron to clean up the Amazon," Criollo said. "We need your support to push this new CEO to take action. The contamination still exists. The rainforest is sacred, and part of it is our pharmacy which has been destroyed." Criollo's visit comes at a time of another round of legal actions taken on behalf of 30,000 Ecuadorians, many of them indigenous, who are suing Chevron, accusing the company of dumping billions of gallons of wastewater from oil operations into the rainforest and abandoning nearly 1,000 open, unlined pits containing crude oil and toxic waste. The plaintiffs in the lawsuit assert that the contamination has caused tens of thousands of cases of cancer, miscarriages, birth defects and other illnesses. As part of his effort to publicize the issue, Criollo and a group of U.S.-based activists went first to the home of Watson March 2, and then to company headquarters later in the afternoon and on to Sacramento the following day. Criollo's hosts included Amazon Watch, Rainforest Action Network and Avaaz.org (Rick Kearns, "Indigenous leader confronts Chevron," Indian Country Today, March 12, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/87465362.html).

TV MICC Channel 47 in the city of Latacunga, in north central Ecuador, became Ecuador's first Quechua-language community television station, July 17; it's operated by the Indigenous and Campesino Movement of Cotopaxi (MICC) and is airing 60% percent of its programming in Quechua, reaching 400 communities in the provinces of Cotopaxi, Tungurahua, Chimborazo and some parts of Pichincha and Pastaza in the east (Rick Kearns, "Quechua language TV hits the airwaves in Ecuador," Indian Country Today, December 4, 2009, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/78524522.html).

Jina Moore, "Land disputes at the root of African wars A selection of the African continent's fights over land that have turned into violent, conflict, or threaten to," Kimpa Vita Press, February 5, 2009, http://kimpavitapress.org/2010/02/land-disputes-at-the-root-of-african-wars-a-selection-of-the-african-continents-fights-over-land-that-have-turned-into-violent-conflict-or-threaten-to-by-jina-moore/ (source Christian Science Monitor), lists a number of land battles that sparked African conflicts.

Western Sudan (Darfur): In the 1970s, the government eliminated the country's native administration - a quasi-government and colonial holdover of traditional elders - and rejected traditional land rights, depriving Darfur's pastoralists of access to grazing lands. When famine exacerbated disputes about land in the 1980s, violence broke out. Land grievances were never resolved, and in 2003, a rebel movement made up in part of disenfranchised former landholders revolted against the Sudanese government, which retaliated by arming bands of camel herders known as janjaweed to repress the rebellion - and promising them hefty tracts of the land, emptied in the course of the violence the militia unleashed.

The Democratic Republic of Congo: Often called Africa's most deadly conflict, violence in parts of the northeast started over grazing cows in1999, when Hema herders evicted Lendu farmers after purchasing their land. Eviction grievances led both tribes to pick up weapons. As violence spread, the value of other mineral-rich lands contributed to the chaos in which 5 million people have died.

Ethiopia and Eritrea: A 1998 dispute over the dusty border town of Badme turned into all-out war, with 80,000 deaths in two years. The town became the flash point of an older argument over the border between the two countries. Both sides saw Badme as a symbol of their real economic concern: power over the port of Assab, the Red Sea trade gateway. Despite international court rulings, the countries consider the border dispute unresolved - and their presidents often rally support by threatening to resume the fight.

Kenya: Many indigenous tribes lost rights to traditional lands when the British privatized land holdings. When Joseph Kenyatta, the first postcolonial president, sought land redistribution, he gave the most fertile to his Kikuyu tribe. In a later backlash, many Kikuyu were pushed off their pastures. This created ethnic land grievances that have inspired violence during Kenya's elections since the 1990s, most recently after President Mwai Kabaki, a Kikuyu, was accused of stuffing ballot boxes in 2007.

Rwanda: The 1994 genocide may have been catalyzed as much by land scarcity as by ethnic tension. Africa's most densely populated country found itself nearly without enough land to make farmers trust that they and their children could support themselves. Though the slaughter of minority Tutsis was also ethnically motivated, land fears played no small part in the violence.

Zimbabwe: Land grievances helped fuel the 12-year war that led to independence in 1979. But recent violence stems from land reform efforts. In the name of economic fairness, President Robert Mugabe seized white farms and turned them over to blacks, primarily government officials who knew little about farming. As a result, agricultural production plummeted, food became scarce, and inflation spiked. Mugabe held power in a 2008 election only with violent intimidation of Zimbabweans.

Combustible land disputes that could erupt in conflict are:

Burundi: The past decade brought the return of more than a half-million refugees who'd fled violence that began with independence in 1963. Many found their homes occupied - and because laws give ownership to anyone who has peacefully occupied land for at least 30 years, many refugees lost their homes and livelihoods. Experts fear the grievance could spark renewed conflict.

South Africa: At the 1994 transition to democracy, the government planned to redistribute 30 percent of white-owned farms to blacks within 20 years. Transfers are behind schedule, and more than half have failed. After an outbreak of racial violence last year, observers fear the status quo - with expectations so high, progress so slow, and livelihoods at stake - is combustible.

Southern Sudan: The 2005 peace agreement that ended a 20-year fight for the south didn't resolve tensions between the nation's two land systems. Private property reform implemented in the north was rejected in the south, which continues to use traditional rules. Danger of a potential clash between parallel systems is amplified by what's at stake: The south is oil-rich.

Uganda: After 20 years of violence in the north, peace is bringing people home - and disputes are erupting over who owns property. Eighty percent of Ugandans have property claims based on the traditional land system, but a generation of conflict has weakened the traditional authority, of elders to resolve disputes or enforce land rules. As the government steps in to fill the power vacuum, experts fear a backlash.

Zambia: White farmers forced off land in neighboring countries, found fertile soils here, and were initially welcomed by the government (five years ago). The tone changed as some immigrant farmers agitated locals by putting down roots on traditional lands. New arrivals, especially those fleeing Zimbabwe, are closely scrutinized. Observers fear deepening tensions

Cultural Survival (CS) reported, November 17, Kenya has had a deplorable record of violating the rights of its Indigenous citizens. Beginning in February of this year, the Kenyan government has carried out massive and well-organized attacks on Samburu villages by combined police and military forces and the use of government-funded mercenaries from Somalia. The government used helicopters, bombs, apparent chemical weapons, and ground forces on unarmed villagers, and they confiscated the people's only food source, their cattle, prompting a famine that has killed hundreds more people. In January, a Cultural Survival delegation to Samburu East and Isiolo districts in Kenya conducted in-depth interviews with victims and witnesses of police attacks in five Samburu villages between February 2009 and January 2010. CS found that hundreds of Samburu women, children, elders, and men suffered extra-judicial killings, rape, beatings, theft, arson and intimidation at the hands of police forces. The most recent police attack occurred just five days before our arrival in the Samburu region during a government-proclaimed period of "amnesty." The Samburu are demanding the police to withdraw from their villages. CS reported further "police brutatity" against the Samburu people, in early June. "Following Cultural Survival's investigation and publication of our report, police have not inflicted more military-style assaults on entire Samburu villages like those of 2009 and January of this year. But we are receiving reports of apparently random beatings meted out on Samburu men. In the Lerata region, for example, police beat several men so severely that they remain hospitalized at the Archer's Post health clinic." For additional information go to: http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?et=1102821014417&s=5868&e=001IFlACIoG2LJToYNAJbCa_bTACw_TZr9Do5cwqbpi9fvc15acH-iPDC1ZDrq_803A5KxFWK-UMMQNs4iAADVU6KlQndDGThZOCCjTpkkfwwAqmH0jt_N8Y6SJBh8fug0_65Nz55QWQZwDWMVs7QxdaFanSfJxhqBh-kOwMjF1M3OWD8WVvEHOimhQ1AOLAqTeUdDw7OgQWTB; http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?et=1103462658595&s=5868&e=0015_f4kjpfYrdU6QvFPXfae5H7xnsvIRWPbYnMZ6fo3JIvTYYYmQHqns9ae8qBQ8lk232geSp1yBcgqqdikOz7BluhOSuADXNpB0k-7hYZubmnI7TBJLiA3n8RBRpx2jk3i9lq71JenhpHS_FvmP_Ph1JIn-LTnVCMkKLr6bztib7HuDHpgWuVpPJuarXLcqMQxl3hope; and http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?et=1103028952214&s=5868&e=001fGv5KS2w57L-WEYC1cJK5tgIlXzB3lCbX9m9m-kWZYlB5O79GF2Y9gMXu_Ch67xFNmpKmyE0kee_aHeOE98s7nTCG0b4cbr730T-bL_TZj4Wdv_l6wG76Du0maGoprAX8f5gR6heGGWz6piy5BhSZ0vSDVdvmiYif-W9Fn6t_Ra_C9E3_QNmA0ERAsFKQCqN.

Cultural Survival reported that the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, Africa's highest human rights body, issued a landmark ruling, February 4, in favor of the Endorois, an Indigenous group, that the Kenyan government had forced off their land in the 1970s to create a game reserve. The decision establishes two key international law precedents. It is the first time any international human rights body recognized the "right to development" that is included in the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights. It is also the first time the concept of Indigenous Peoples, and accompanying land rights, has been recognized in Africa. For more details go to: http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?et=1103028952214&s=5868&e=001fGv5KS2w57JOc478mPPhiHeqptiNjYg0ke0xNvvxQ6z8GHU1i-rDuecOyea1XSATgKy3z_y9obyMOyUdpEao3_vp8H9LkM0ZAHBQiutNTrnDQK9sE45wu-o1VlPlXu1NuPNFKC_GHNPPhKjTtf2A7OFzLAA0_RxIdukc4dGGoF5QcCWoLOF6R9eJWsWDVnRjPXcNQJR.

The Kalahari Bushman have had to continue their long struggle with the government of Botswana to return to their ancestral home in what is now the Central Kalihari game reserve, live there in peace and have access to water there. Despite the Bushman winning a decision from the country's highest court in 2002, the government continues to harass those who have returned home and denies them access to the borehole where they can obtain water. The bushman have now filed a new law suit against the government for the right to obtain water. As discussed in International Activities, above, the government has been promoting tourism in the reserve, providing water to animals, and has permitted a safari company to build a tourist lodge with a swimming pool, while denying water to the Bushmen, who must make a 400km round trip to fetch water from outside the reserve. Survival International, in January, launched a global advertising campaign supporting the Bushman in their right to water and condemning the government of Botswana. In February, Botswana President Khama, accompanied by four government ministers, met with Bushmen at the New Xade resettlement camp where they were dumped after being evicted from their lands in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve in 2002. However, President Khama refused to negotite or discuss the new litigation, choosing instead to talk about upgrades to the New Xade site, which angered the Bushmen. They are also disturbed that Bushmen living in five communities inside the Central Kalahari Game Reserve were omitted from the electoral register and were denied the right to vote in Botswana's 2009 general election. The Bushmen's political marginalization was acknowledged in the latest US Department of State's 2008 human rights report, which said that they 'lacked adequate political representation, and were not fully aware of their civil rights'. It also criticized the government for its 'narrow interpretation of a 2006 high court ruling'. Cultural Survival reported, in March, that UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of Indigenous Peoples, James Anaya, has called on the Botswana government to take "urgent" action on water for the Bushmen in his recent report. He shed light on the government's harassment of the Bushmen and Bakgalagadi tribes in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, who even after winning a 2006 High Court ruling that stated that their eviction from the reserve was unlawful, continue to face abuse, especially by being denied access to water. Professor Anaya wrote that the 'denial of services to those currently living in the reserve does not appear to be in keeping with the spirit and underlying logic of the [2006 High Court] decision, nor with the relevant international human rights standards.' 'Indigenous people who have remained or returned to the reserve face harsh and dangerous conditions due to a lack access to water, a situation that could be easily remedied by reactivating the boreholes in the reserve. The Government should reactive the boreholes or otherwise secure access to water for inhabitants of the reserve as a matter of urgent priority.' He also notes that, 'the Government's position that habitation of the reserve by the Basarwa [Bushmen] and Bakgalagadi communities is incompatible with the reserve's conservation objectives and status appears to be inconsistent with its decision to permit Gem Diamonds/Gope Exploration Company (Pty) Ltd. to conduct mining activities within the reserve, an operation that is planned to last several decades and could involve an influx of 500-1200 people to the site, according to the mining company.' He recommends that the Government should 'fully and faithfully implement' the 2006 High Court ruling and facilitate 'the return of all those removed from the reserve who wish to do so, allowing them to engage in subsistence hunting and gathering in accordance with traditional practices, and providing them the same government services available to Botswanans elsewhere, including, most immediately, access to water.' On May 27, Botswana army and police entered the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. Survival International believes this is to intimidate the Bushmen, and perhaps even force them out, because: 1) Gem Diamonds wants to open a diamond mine on their land; 2) the Botswana High in Lobatse, on 9 June, was scheduled to hear a Bushman application to reinstate their water borehole. For more information go to: http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/5352; http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/5415; http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/5535;
http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/5557; http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/5600; http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?et=1103188010927&s=5868&e=0017i3_-oNfWgVmp72oYS3B1ZmN6wVHwwRZsIY5Mp80tn6Gz9lQH0zuy6e_M6SeP5gKk6mgd1z2QXljJiESKO4YuqZoO80qQuhYpNbkhdZNp8GA1W-kIDvkYyn7XKIDzgl07nizFlP46SJXIyo0Yul7LuswFVhLB6YEZ9yJ3-ljFChgP03jGb9biVs4pXag7baqcJeOHWg; and http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/6019.

Survival reported, March 23, that a massive hydroelectric dam project on Ethiopia's Omo River will devastate at least 200,000 tribal people. Survival launched an urgent campaign, calling on the Ethiopian government to halt the dam project, Gibe III, and urged potential international funders, including the Africa Development Bank, the European Investment Bank, the World Bank and the Italian government not to support the project. Italian company Salini Costruttori has been contracted to build the dam. The same company built the smaller Gibe II dam, part of which collapsed 10 days after it was opened in January. The dam will end the Omo's natural flood, which deposits fertile silt on the river banks, where the tribes cultivate crops when the waters recede. In a region where drought is commonplace, this will have devastating consequences for the tribes' food supplies. The tiny hunter-gatherer Kwegu tribe, for example, will be pushed to the brink, as fish stocks will be reduced. Six Kwegu, including two children, recently died of hunger because the rains and flood failed. The Ethiopian government plans to lease huge tracts of tribal land in the Omo Valley to foreign companies and governments for large-scale production of crops, including biofuels, which will be fed by water from the dam. Most of the tribal people who will be affected by the dam know nothing about the project. The Ethiopian government is clamping down on tribal organizations, and last year closed down 41 local 'community associations', making it impossible for communities to hold meetings about the dam. The Omo River is the primary source of Kenya's Lake Turkana, which supports the lives of 300,000 people who pasture their cattle on its banks and fish there. The dam will threaten their survival also. Both the Lower Omo Valley and Lake Turkana are UNESCO World Heritage sites. Survival's director, Stephen Corry, said, 'The Gibe III dam will be a disaster of cataclysmic proportions for the tribes of the Omo valley. Their land and livelihoods will be destroyed, yet few have any idea what lies ahead. The government has violated Ethiopia's constitution and international law in the procurement process. No respectable outside body should be funding this atrocious project.' Survival International together with the Campaign for the Reform of the World Bank, Counter Balance coalition, Friends of Lake Turkana and International Rivers launched a petition drive to stop the dam. For more information go to: http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/5683.

ICG, "Ethiopia: Ethnic Federalism and Its Discontents," September 4, 2009, http://www.crisisgroup.org/home/index.cfm?id=6300, finds, "Ethiopia's governing coalition must improve democratic practices or risk pre-election violence that could destabilize the region." There is a potential for an outbreak of violent conflict in Ethiopia from rising ethnic tension and dissent, as the June 2010 elections approach. "The international community must stop ignoring and downplaying these problems, and instead encourage more meaningful democratic governance in the country. The Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), led by Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, transformed the previously centralized state into the Federal Democratic Republic in the 1990s, redefining citizenship, politics and identity on ethnic grounds. The stated intent was to create a more prosperous, just and representative state for all citizens. 'Ethnic federalism has not dampened conflict, but rather increased competition among groups fighting for land, natural resources, administrative boundaries and government budgets', says François Grignon, Crisis Group's Africa Program Director. 'This concept has powerfully promoted ethnic self-awareness among all groups and failed to accommodate grievances.' As numerous opposition parties gear up to challenge the EPRDF in the June 2010 elections, many fear a violent crackdown by the government, similar to the intimidation, harassment and violence experienced by opposition parties during the 2005 election. 'Continuous polarization of national politics has sharpened tensions between and within political parties and ethnic groups since the mid-1990s', says Daniela Kroslak, Crisis Group's Deputy Africa Program Director. 'Donors must convince Ethiopia to improve current standards of governance and promote democratic reform or risk future waves of violence and new destabilization in the Horn of Africa.'"

Intertribal fighting in the south of Sudan has been on the increase in recent months, and threatens to undo the 2005 North-South Sudan peace treaty, as well as undermine security in the region, including to oil production. For example, "Tribesmen Attack a Village in Southern Sudan, Killing 20," The New York Times,: September 5, 2009, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/06/world/africa/06sudan.html, reported, at the beginning of September, that Shilluk tribesmen attacked the village of Bony-Thiang in Upper Nile State of south Sudan, killing 20 civilians of the Dinka tribe, including a chief and his family, in an attack on a village in the latest violence in the oil-producing territory, the southern Sudanese military said. This was followed by Dinka fighters mounting a retaliatory attack on the nearby Shilluk village of Buol, killing at least five people. "Rival tribes from Sudan's underdeveloped south have clashed for years in disputes often caused by cattle rustling and long-running feuds, but violence has soared this year. The United Nations said the attacks could mar preparations for Sudan's first multiparty elections in 20 years, scheduled for April 2010. They could also affect the security of oil installations. Southern politicians accuse north Sudan's dominant party, the National Congress Party, of trying to destabilize the south by provoking and arming rival tribes." A spokesperson in the north dismissed the accusations as "absolute nonsense" and an attempt to smear his new political party. Similarly, Jack Healey, "Sudan Clashes Seen as Threat to Peace Treaty," The New York Times, January 7, 2009, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/08/world/africa/08sudan.html, reported at least 140 dead in the escalating ethnic fighting, increasing fears of a collapse of the peace treaty. The International Crisis Group (ICG), "Jonglei's Tribal Conflicts: Countering Insecurity in South Sudan," December 23, 2009, warned, "A failure to stabilize Jonglei and other areas of concern risks seeing South Sudan become increasingly unstable ahead of next year's national elections and the 2011 self-determination referendum." In 2009 increased intertribal conflict took some 2500 lives and displaced 350,000 people. It "has taken on a new and dangerously politicized character, with the worst violence in and around the vast, often impassable state of Jonglei." Zach Vertin, Crisis Group's Horn of Africa analyst, stated "The Government of South Sudan has its hands full negotiating a variety of key issues with the National Congress Party in the North, but it must also focus internally. It must recognize the primarily local nature of the conflicts, extend state authority, and prove itself a credible provider of security lest violence become an obstacle on the road to self-determination and beyond." "While NCP meddling is plausible given past policies, claims of Northern involvement in the year's deadly confrontations have not been substantiated. Despite a shared goal of independence, local and tribal identities remain stronger than national consciousness in the South. These identities are central to politics, and Jonglei is no exception. The escalation of violence has deepened divisions among its communities and leaders, some of whom may be manipulating conflict to their own ends. Like much of the South, Jonglei is awash with weapons. While the need to collect arms from civilians is paramount, a campaign in which force may be used is cause for concern. Given heightened mistrust and increasing uncertainty about their future, communities feel the need to guarantee their own security, and government forces are likely to encounter some resistance. Authorities must make every effort to ensure public awareness about disarmament and secure buy-in of local communities and traditional leaders to ensure as peaceful a process as possible. The Government of South Sudan should make police reform a greater priority, as they are unable to address domestic security threats. Meanwhile, it should standardize and clarify army policy on engagement in tribal conflict and increase deployment to undertake law enforcement in areas of concern. Long-term reform efforts for both institutions should be harmonized with immediate security concerns for the election and referendum periods. The United Nations Mission in Sudan should undertake a more pro-active civilian protection role, as per its mandate, and better define the circumstances under which it will provide protection. 'A more consistent security presence and some gains on South-South reconciliation could prevent further division along tribal lines', says François Grignon, Crisis Group's Africa Program Director. 'Such steps could bolster confidence in the government and help it refute Khartoum's claim that 'the South cannot govern itself.'"

The situation in Sudan has continued to deteriorate. Yasir Arman, the presidential candidate for the Sudan People's Liberation Movement, the leading opposition group in Sudan, announced on March 31, that he was dropping out of the race because it was "impossible" to hold an election in the conflict-racked region of Darfur and that the whole electoral process had been "rigged." At that time, he stated that the SPLM, which fought a long and costly war against Sudan's government, would participate in the parliamentary and local elections across the country, except for Darfur (Jeffery Gettleman, "Challenger in Sudan Elections Quits," The New York Times, April 1, 2010, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/02/world/africa/02sudan.html). However, By April 1, BBC News reported that nearly all of Sudan's opposition parties joined the boycott of the April 11-13 election initiated by SPLM, holding the election process rigged (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8599567.stm). A number of human rights organizations have reported that the election has been completely compromised as a result of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) intimidating and torturing opponents, skewing the census in its favor, manipulating the media to disempower any viable opposition, and employing government funds to bribe local chiefs. In the face of these reports, some Western election observers advised the Sudanese government to postpone the vote. Sudan's President, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, responded by threatening to cut off the election observers' fingers. President Bashir has also threatened, that if the SPLM boycotts the election, he would cancel the referendum in which the people of the south of the country are to vote on whether to become independent, or remain part of Sudan, scheduled for early 2011, and part of the peace agreement with southern Sudan. That could restart the north south war. The European Union withdrew its election monitors from Sudan, April 7, saying their work had been hindered by fears fro their safety ("Sudan: European Union Pulls Election Observers," The New York Times, April 8, 2010, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/08/world/africa/08briefs-sudan.html). President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and his party's candidates were declared winners by the election commission, in mid-April, in an election widely condemned as rigged. The south of Sudan will vote soon on secession, and is expected to form a separate country (Jeffery Gettleman, "Bashir Wins Election as Sudan Edges Toward Split," The New York Times, April 26, 2010, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/27/world/africa/27sudan.html?ref=todayspaper).

ICG, "Rigged Elections in Darfur and the Consequences of a Probable NCP Victory in Sudan," Africa Briefing Nº72, March 30, 2010, http://www.crisisgroup.org/home/index.cfm, warns, "The principal preoccupation of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) is to win the elections now scheduled for 11-13 April 2010. It has manipulated the census results and voter registration, drafted the election laws in its favor, gerrymandered electoral districts, co-opted traditional leaders and bought tribal loyalties. It has done this all over Sudan, but especially in Darfur, where it has had freedom and means to carry out its strategy, since that is the only region still under emergency rule. Because of the fundamentally flawed process, the international community, working closely with the African Union High Level Implementation Panel for Sudan (AUHIP), should acknowledge that whoever wins will likely lack legitimacy; press for Darfur peace talks to resume immediately after the elections; insist that any Darfur peace deal provides for a new census, voter registration and national elections; and lay the groundwork for a peaceful referendum on southern self-determination and post referendum North-South relations. One indication of the NCP's long-term plans to rig the elections was the management of the 2008 census. The flawed results were then used to draw electoral districts, apportion seats in the national and state legislatures and organize the voter registration drive. Census takers - aided by NCP party organizers - expended great efforts to count supporters in Southern Darfur (mostly inhabited by Arabs), nomads of Northern Darfur and some tribes loyal to the party. They also reportedly counted newcomers from Chad and Niger, who had settled in areas originally inhabited by persons displaced in the Darfur conflict, and issued them identity papers so they can vote as Sudanese citizens. However, most of the estimated 2.6 million internally displaced (IDPs) living in camps, as well as people from groups hostile to the NCP living in "insecure" neighborhoods of cities and the population of rebel-controlled areas were not counted. Darfur is important for the NCP because Southern Darfur is the second most populous state and Northern Darfur is the fifth. The three Darfur states combined have 19% of Sudan's population (according to the flawed 2008 census), slightly less than the South. Darfur has been allocated 86 seats out of 450 in the national assembly (the latter number may increase to 496, if the assembly approves an agreement the NCP reached with the Sudan People's Liberation Movement, SPLM, the dominant party in the South). Winning big in Darfur is thus central to the NCP's hopes of capturing enough votes in northern Sudan to ensure its continued national dominance. The NCP was able to gain advantages by dominating the drafting of election laws, despite opposition from the SPLM and other parties, and through the demarcation of favorable new electoral districts based on the flawed census results and organized by a National Elections Commission (NEC) heavily influenced by NCP members appointed to its various branches. As a result, constituencies have been added in areas where NCP supporters are the majority and removed in areas where they are not. The voter registration process in Darfur also favored the NCP. According to national and international observers alike, many groups targeted in the conflict, especially IDPs, were unable to register or refused to do so. In many instances, people were deliberately denied sufficient time and information, while teams worked hard in remote areas to register nomads who support the government. NCP party organizers aggressively helped register likely supporters and new immigrants; security personnel deployed in remote areas were registered in contravention of the NEC regulations. Lastly, the NCP has co-opted local leaders and played the ethnic card, further polarizing the population. It has used money and offers of positions of power to buy the loyalty of tribal and community leaders, who in turn have been mobilizing their constituencies to support the ruling party. The result is an almost certain victory for the NCP. And the consequences for Darfur are catastrophic. Disenfranchising large numbers of people will only further marginalize them. Since the vote will impose illegitimate officials through rigged polls, they will be left with little or no hope of a peaceful change in the status quo, and many can be expected to look to rebel groups to fight and win back their lost rights and lands. Ideally, elections would be held after a peace deal has been negotiated and the problems with the census, voter registration and demarcation of electoral districts resolved. However, this is not likely. The NCP is desperate to legitimize President Omar al-Bashir, who has been indicted by the International Criminal Court, and the SPLM fears any delay may risk jeopardizing the South's January 2011 self-determination referendum. To contain the damage from rigged elections to both the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that ended the North-South conflict and the Darfur peace process, therefore, it is necessary that: electoral observation missions in Sudan take note of the severely flawed process, and governments and international organizations, especially the UN Security Council and AU Peace and Security Council, state that whoever wins will lack a genuinely democratic mandate to govern; the international community, working closely with the AUHIP, demand that CPA implementation and Darfur peace negotiations resume immediately after the elections, and any new peace deal in Darfur include provisions for a new census and voter registration drive in the region and new national elections at that time; and the AU, UN and Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), as well as other key international supporters of the CPA act immediately after the election to encourage the Khartoum government and the Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) to agree on the critical steps needed to ensure a peaceful self-determination referendum in the South in January 2011 and stability in both North and South in the aftermath of that referendum."

The International Criminal Court, on February 2, reversed an earlier decision not to charge Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir with genocide. With Bashir already wanted for crimes against humanity and war crimes in Darfur, the court will now reconsider whether to charge Bashir with the crime of genocide (Save Darfur Foundation: http://action.savedarfur.org/campaign/sudanelections/8is8sgi207dew7w5).

Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD Centre), "Humanitarian needs recognized despite conflict in Darfur," February 11, 2010, http://m1e.net/c?50573564-J7vzu29CUacFw%405032491-cMcw.Ny/XLvj2, RSS: http://m1e.net/c?50573564-1lJH122JnAlF6%405032491-inzsQ/vd2r8yw or on twitter http://m1e.net/c?50573564-205kbPHQDBbzY%405032492-w8qgB5qAok7TU, reported that 20 national security officials from the government of Sudan met for the first time, in February, with representatives of international humanitarian organizations, time in El Fasher, Sudan, to discuss critical humanitarian issues in Darfur, as part of a series of workshops with parties to the Darfur conflict organized by the Swiss-based mediation organization, the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue in collaboration with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). "Discussions addressed a range of topics that included safe humanitarian access, hijacking and kidnapping, protection for refugees and internally displaced populations, and the need to improve humanitarian mechanisms. Concrete outcomes included an agreement to establish a hotline between humanitarian agencies and the Government to deal with urgent humanitarian issues. Participants also agreed to make additional efforts to ensure that such valuable dialogue continues." A similar workshop then took place with twenty senior field commanders of the Sudan Liberation Army-Abdul Wahid (SLA-AW) and representatives of the humanitarian agencies to address similar humanitarian issues. At the meeting, aid agencies' representatives emphasized that the participation of the African Union/UN Hybrid operation in Darfur (UNAMID) in humanitarian convoys was necessary for the delivery of basic assistance to the affected population. Visits to SLA-AW law courts by UN experts on the rule of law were also agreed upon. Dennis McNamara, leading the HD Centre's Humanitarian Mediation Programme, stated, "Conversations at these meetings are essential if we are to address the negative impact of pockets of conflict and lawlessness on people caught in the middle," going on to say that both meetings were "extremely positive in their attendance and discussions," with "Both the government representatives and the commanders of the armed opposition movement showed a strong commitment to ensuring the safe access that the humanitarian agencies need." he said. These workshops follow similar discussions between the World Food Programme (WFP), the United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF), Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and other organizations. For further details contact Andy Andrea, +41 79 257 9974, pr@hdcentre.org, or Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, 114 rue de Lausanne, Geneva 1202, Switzerland, www.hdcentre.org.

A peace agreement was signed between the government of Sudan and the principle rebel group in Darfur, largely as a result of a shift in regional politics. Given the failure of earlier truces, many in the region doubt the accord will hold (Jeffery Gettleman, "Regional Shift Helps Darfur, Amid Doubts," The New York Times, February 25, 2010). A rebel group. the Sudan Liberation Army complained that it was attacked in three locations by Sudan government forces on the day that President declared the war over. The government denied the attacks took place, but aid workers report 100,000 people fled the fighting ("Sudan: Rebels Accuse Army of Attack," The New York Times, February 26, 2010). In late April, Fighting in southern Sudan, between soldiers, reported to be members of the south's Sudan People's Liberation Army, and Arab tribes in Darfur killed 58 people, raising tensions along the border with the north of the country ("58 Dead After Clashes in Sudan," The New York Times, April 25, 2010, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/26/world/africa/26sudan.html?ref=todayspaper). Further fighting was reported April 29 ("Sudan: Base Attacked in South," The New York Times, April 30, 2010, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/01/world/africa/01briefs-Sudan.html).

In Nigeria's oil producing Niger Delta, the government's amnesty program is failing, as the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta ended its ceasefire because the Nigerian Government failed to follow through with promises of jobs and development in the impoverished region. Indeed, the government has done little after announcing the amnesty and gaining several cease fires. Shared development is the issue there, as huge amounts of oil continue to be pumped out of the Delta, with extremely little return to its people (Adam Nossiter, "Group Says It Is Ending Cease-Fire In Nigeria." The New York Times, March 1, 2010).

Khadija Sharife, "DRC's magic dust: Who benefits?," Kimpa Vita Press, February 5, 2020, http://kimpavitapress.org/2010/02/drc%e2%80%99s-magic-dust-who-benefits-by-khadija-sharife/ examines how commercial and political interests in the Democratic Republic of Congo's mineral and natural resources have shaped the country's history, with devastating consequences for its people, wildlife and environment. "In a report entitled, 'The Business of War in the DRC', research analyst for the World Policy Institute, Dena Montague, has shown how Bechtel executive Robert Stewart quickly became an important advisor and traveling companion of Laurent-Désiré Kabila (president of DRC 1997-2001), a friend of the US as opposed to the ousted notorious dictator, Mobutu Sese Mobutu, who had been a friend of France despite the US$400 million peddled by the US government during the Cold War. According to hearings instituted by US Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney in 2001 on ending the conflict in the Congo, the company also provided intelligence, reconnaissance and satellite data to track Mobutu's troops. Montague's report has also shown that under Kabila, American Mineral Fields, a small mining operation headed by Mike McMurrough, a close friend to Bill Clinton, secured a US$1 billion deal in May 1997, negotiated soon after Kabila's army occupied Goma. US Special Forces, for instance, were spotted alongside Rwandan troops." "Yet in the DRC, the resource-rich fragmented underbelly of Central Africa and home to an estimated US$24 trillion in known mineral resources, the only gorilla that stands a chance of winning is the 800 pound gorilla - so named in Africa for the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The thrust of the IMF's external intervention in the DRC's political economy was evident as late as 2007, when, according to Congolese finance minister Athanase Matenda Kyelu, the state's draft budget of US$2.4 billion (a similar value in gold is looted annually) was more or less formulated in line with the IMF's agendas. This ensured that much as 50 per cent of state budget was earmarked for debt repayment - US$13.5 billion contracted by former French- backed dictator Mobutu, in the name of development. Among these lenders were two primary institutions: The IMF and World Bank. When the National Assembly acted against the IMF's order by pushing up portions of the budget allocated for services on 14 June 2007, the IMF maximized pressure on select persons within the government to intervene. On 23 June - four days prior to the successful amendment - Congolese newspaper Le Potentiel reported that Kyelu 'expected the Senate to amend the 2007 draft budget, in order to meet, in particular, the requirements of external partners, one of which being the IMF.' What did the IMF - who, in conjunction with World Bank were, according to the Jubilee Debt Campaign, on the receiving end of some US$560 billion (in debt servicing of an outstanding US$2.9 trillion, 2006) - eviscerate from the state budget? Part of the 'reform' process imagining away unnecessary and excessive costs included education, infrastructure, police services and healthcare. For every one dollar expended on healthcare, four dollars were sent North via the 'debt sustainability' program of the World Bank and IMF. In 2006, Professor Stanis Wembonyama, director of the main hospital in Lubumbashi, revealed to the BBC, 'The hospital did not have a single thermometer, armed robbers had set up their base in some of the buildings and there was human excrement everywhere. Doctors and nurses had not been paid for five years.' This, he stated, was an improvement from 'how things were.' For the DRC, possessing a landmass equivalent to that of Western Europe, the issue of medical care and food is critical: Of the near six million people considered collateral damage during the war, more than 90 per cent died from disease and lack of food, often deliberately deprived. The DRC's killing fields, the veiny patterns criss-crossing the East bordering Uganda and Rwanda, directly correspond to the billions in looted mineral resources, namely coltan, cobalt, gold and diamonds in addition to illegally logged timber, wildlife and human trafficking." More recently China has been developing a joint venture mineral extraction in the DRC.

The Congo remains full of continuing atrocities. For example, fleeing members of the Lord's Resistance Army, defeated by a U.S. backed government offensive killed hundreds of villagers and kidnapped hundreds more, in March (Jeffrey Gettleman, "Fleeing Rebels Kill Hundreds of Congolese," The New York Times, March 28, 2010). A few days earlier, soldiers of the Congolese Army - which is charged with many serious human rights violations - were reported by Doctors Without Borders to have invaded a hospital in the Eastern Congo, harassed medical staff, and removed four patients at gun point, following an increase in fighting in the area (Jeffrey Gettleman, "Congo" Soldiers Seize Wounded Patients at Gunpoint," The New York Times, March 19, 2010).

Keith Harmon Snow, "The Rwanda Hit List: Revisionism, Denial, and the Genocide Conspiracy," Posted by Kimpavitapress, March 12, 2010, http://kimpavitapress.org/2010/03/the-rwanda-hit-list-revisionism-denial-and-the-genocide-conspiracy/, and on March 5, 2010, at: www.consciousbeingalliance.com, tells us, "Eastern Congo's north and south Kivu provinces are effectively controlled to this day by criminal networks from Rwanda: there are Rwandans who have fled Rwanda there, and others who are allied with the Kagame regime. 2In DRC, I investigated numerous cites of atrocities committed by the Rwandan Patriotic Army/Front (RPA/F) and Ugandan People's Defense Forces (UPDF) as they marched across Zaire (DRC), calling themselves the Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Zaire/Congo (ADFL), and hunted down and slaughtered perhaps as many as 600,000 unarmed refugees, 1996-1997, mostly women and children under 15 years old. 3I have also interviewed European expatriates who are direct witnesses regarding massacres and/or the creation of mass graves, and the destruction of evidence (including the collection, removal and incineration of bodies and/or skeletons)." In the Eastern Central African Republic, the Lord's Resistance Army remains active, in March, an attack on 3 villages left at least 11 dead while more than 50 were kidnapped ("Central African Republic: Rebels Attack," The New York Times, March 23, 2010).

Suspicion of Arson in fires at the tombs of the Buganda Kingdom brought deadly clashes in Uganda, in mid-March, an aspect of tension between the Ugandan government and the Buganda traditional kingdom, whose people want more local power (Jefefery Gettleman and Josh Kron, "Suspicion of Arson at Royal Toms Fuels Deadly Clashes in Uganda," The New York Times, March 18, 2010). Meanwhile, The government of Uganda has hired, and is deploying, special squads of former members of the Lords Resistance Army (LRA) - mostly impressed into the LRA as children - to attempt to capture its leader in the hopes of ending a bloody and pointless war that encompasses Sudan, Central African Republic and Congo - two of which border Uganda (Jeffery Gettleman, "The Hunted Become the Hunters as Uganda Enlists Former Rebels to End a War," The New York Times, April 11, 2010. ICG, "LRA: A Regional Strategy beyond Killing Kony," Africa Report N°157, April 28, 2010, http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/regions/africa/horn-of-africa/uganda/157-lra-a-regional-strategy-beyond-killing-kony.aspx, finds, "The Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) has become a regional problem that requires a regional solution. Operation Lightning Thunder, launched in December 2008, is the Ugandan army's latest attempt to crush militarily the one-time northern Ugandan rebel group. It has been a failure. After the initial attack, small groups of LRA fighters dispersed in the Democratic Republic of Congo (Congo), South Sudan and the Central African Republic (CAR), where they survive by preying on civilians. National security forces are too weak to protect their own people, while the Ugandan army, with U.S. support, is focused on hunting Joseph Kony, the group's leader. The Ugandans have eroded the LRA's numbers and made its communications more difficult. But LRA fighters, though disorganized, remain a terrible danger to civilians in this mostly ungoverned frontier zone. National armies, the UN and civilians themselves need to pool intelligence and coordinate their efforts in new ways if they are to end the LRA once and for all." (The report gives detailed proposals for a solution to the situation).

ICG, "Radicalization and Dialogue in Papua," March 11, 2010, http://www.crisisgroup.org/home/index.cfm asserts, "A substantive dialogue between the Indonesian government and Papuan leaders could help stem political radicalization in the country's easternmost province." A small group of activists from the central highlands, the province's mountainous spine, are linked to the pro-independence National Committee for West Papua (Komite Nasional Papua Barat, KNPB), responsible for "some of the violence that erupted in Papua in 2009. The KNPB is not broadly representative and its tactics are decried by other activists, but its message - that peaceful methods have failed to produce results - resonates more widely." "The urgency of dialogue is underscored by the upsurge of violence in the second half of 2009 and early 2010." "Violence and radicalization in Papua could increase unless political frustrations are addressed. The path to talks will not be easy, however. Some in the central government believe that any discussion of non-economic issues will only fuel support for independence. Some Papuan activists believe that dialogue should only take place with international mediation and with the political endgame left open. Even some of those who accept Indonesian sovereignty as a given believe that Jakarta has a history of promising but not delivering. But the radicalization of the KNPB is proof of the dangers of leaving political grievances to fester. Papua is not the land of horrors that some activists would like to portray. It has huge problems, but there also have been huge changes over the last decade. The Indonesian government repeatedly shoots itself in the foot by restricting access and preventing a full picture of Papua from emerging." Jim Della-Giacoma, Crisis Group South East Asia project director, believes, "The best way to marginalize the radicals is not to lock them up. It is to throw the doors wide open to the central highlands and elsewhere in Papua, and let NGOs and journalists report back."

CS stated, in June, "On May 28, the Papua New Guinea legislature amended sections of the country's Environment and Conservation Act to shield corporations from any responsibility for environmental damage caused by their operations, whether intentional or accidental. The law effectively strips Indigenous land owners of the right to go to court to protect their lands. The action was prompted by a Chinese nickel mine being built in the highlands above Madang." For More information go to: http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?et=1103462658595&s=5868&e=0015_f4kjpfYrc2h6Hho6i2YPLm2Z9rhBujJPTl5QlA5Vqg8ATILDOmlVCuHbbTfmyYX2H9vMETE_s0bpqM-4Eeq-6gOv9XehI56Jo6nAesQ9r9vir2UQB3Gr_nAPZaBOHypTfiQR7Uj5-eGQOIOreO-Hrtgc9Pu2enS-DirHSXzpPZcP_CbRYPdcPk7T-Aj3rsvjuq6Qy.

The Dongria Kondh tribe of Niyamgiri Hills, in Orissa, India continue their long struggle to keep British mining firm FTSE-100 Vedanta Resources from digging a major bauxite mine in the sacred mountain that is their home, and destroying their ability to live there, as is partly discussed in International Actions, above. Survival International reported, December 21, that Human rights investigators in Orisa have been harassed and intimidated by large gangs of men, apparently paid to stop any outsiders reaching the site of a controversial proposed mine in India, even as the company complained to the police that human rights investigators were inciting the Dongria to violence. The men, known locally as 'goons', have become increasingly active in villages around the Niyamgiri Hills, where the bauxite mine is planned. The gangs, equipped with new mobile phones and motorbikes, harassed the investigators shortly before Pavan Kaushik, Vedanta's head of corporate communications, wrote a letter to selected journalists attacking 'foreigners' for 'freely moving in the region' and 'forcedly interacting with tribals', alleged they were circulating 'false information', and asked journalists to 'do this story'. Despite the harassment, the Survival researchers and Mr. Bennett eventually evaded the 'goons', and visited several of the Dongria villages likely to be affected. One of the team, Dr. Jo Woodman, said, 'These men have taken it upon themselves to put the Dongria under siege. They are trying to keep outsiders from hearing the strength of the Dongria's resistance, but they failed: all the Dongria that we met were united in their determination to save their sacred mountain.' One Dongria elder told the team, 'Vedanta wants to take our bauxite, but we will not let them take it. We are all together - you and me. Like this we are strong. But if one of us falls we all will fall. You have the language. You can carry our voices to the outside - we cannot do that without your help.' In late February, the Dongria Kondh tribe held its annual festival of worship on the top of their sacred mountain, which UK company, Vedanta Resources is determined to mine for aluminum ore Hundreds of people danced and sang at the mountain top site. The festival is usually only open to worshipers but this year the Dongria Kondh allowed journalists and activists to attend, to demonstrate the importance of their mountain to the outside world. Neither Vedanta nor the Orissa government has consulted the Dongria Kondh about the mine planned mine. Vedanta needs the ore to feed the refinery it has already built at the foot of the hills. The building and operation of the refinery, recently condemned by Amnesty International, left more than a hundred families landless and polluted the groundwater, a fact acknowledged by the state pollution board. The central government of India has not issued final clearance to Vedanta's mine, and the Minister for Environment and Forests told journalists that 'there is still hope for Niyamgiri'. However, June 30, Survival reported that, "in a highly unusual move, India's Prime Minister has intervened directly in the approval process for one of the world's most controversial mines. The office of Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has written to the Environment and Forests Ministry urging it to clear Vedanta's proposed Niyamgiri mine in Odisha. The mine cannot go ahead without official clearance from the Ministry. Stephen Corry, Survival International's director, said in February, 'This weekend, the Dongria Kondh have demonstrated to the world how vital their sacred mountain is to them. Yet Vedanta is determined to destroy this site in blatant breach of its duty to respect the Dongria's human rights. The tide is turning: investors are showing Vedanta that it cannot get away with such behavior. Now the Indian government must protect the rights of its citizens and stop this mine once and for all.' In February, the Church of England sold its shares in Vedanta Resources, because of the mining company's behavior in threatening the Dongria Kondh's sacred mountain, and their improper actions related to their doing so. Three other organizations also divested themselves of Vedanta shares just after the Church of England. The Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, the Marlborough Ethical Fund and Millfield House Foundation, have also sold their shares. Survival is campaigning for all shareholders to pull out of the company, and had been lobbying Rowntree Trust since July 2009. A week earlier, Amnesty International released a report condemning the company for 'failing to respect the human rights' of the Dongria Kondh tribe. The British and Norwegian governments have both condemned the project, and Martin Currie Investments has also disinvested following pressure from Survival International. The BP Pension Fund has reduced its shareholding over similar concerns. For more information go to: http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/5373; http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/5585; http://survival-international.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=b14580b05b832fb959c4ee444&id=f254a00393&e=CqQTrZoCrQ; and http://survival-international.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=b14580b05b832fb959c4ee444&id=4cc7550b92&e=CqQTrZoCrQ.)

Elsewhere in India's Odisha (formerly Orissa) state, at the beginning of June, Survival International called for an urgent investigation into the increased violence against tribal peoples in Odisha, including police and private militiamen firing into crowds demonstrating in the Kalinganagar area against construction of a steel mill and its roads owned by UK-linked company TATA, which owns Jaguar and Land Rover. One man, a member of the Munda tribe, died and at least nine others were injured when police fired into a crowd demonstrating against the steel plant and its roads. The tribes of Kalinganagar region are bitterly opposed to TATA's project, and have been resisting it for years. In 2006, at least twelve tribal people were killed when police fired on demonstrators. In March this year, police and others opened fire on the tribal village of Baligotha, injuring about twenty people. Witnesses say houses were destroyed and kerosene poured into drinking wells. The Odisha administration has been actively supporting companies such as TATA, Vedanta and with projects that have failed to get the consent of affected communities on whose land they operate. The industrialization of the state has led to further unrest and police crackdowns. In Jagatsingpur district, farmers have been resisting a POSCO steel project for five years. This month police broke up their long-term peaceful demonstration using teargas and batons. For more information visit: http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/6030.

Survival International reported, Match 8, that on March 10, India's Supreme Court ordered that the company, Barefoot India, must close its resort near the Jarawa's reserve in the Andaman Islands, pending further deliberation by the court. The decision came several weeks after the last member of the Bo tribe died on the Andaman Islands, and was taken to protect the neighboring Jarawa tribe, which is vulnerable to disease, and other problems from contact with outsiders. Although the issue of threat to the Jarawa had been the basis for establishing a buffer zone designed to protect the Jarawa, by preventing tourism and other commercial activity near their land, Barefoot had challenged the legality of a 'buffer zone' around the reserve, as its resort lies within the disputed zone. Even if the order remains permanently in force, concerns remain over a highway running illegally through the tribal reserve, and the poachers, tourists and other outsiders it brings into daily contact with the Jarawa. The Indian government has ignored a 2002 Supreme Court ruling that the road must be closed. Most of the Bo tribe, whose last member Boa Sr died in January, died of diseases brought by British colonists in the nineteenth century. The Jarawa, who resisted contact with outsiders until 1998, are expected to have little immunity to many outside infections and could be wiped out by an epidemic. For more information go to: http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/5634; and http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/5509.

Survival reported, July 1, Member of the Indian Parliament, Bishnu Pada Ray wants to 'wean' Jarawa children away from the tribe in order to 'drastically mainstream' them and plans to propose to India's Island Development Authority in July that 'quick and drastic steps be taken to bring the Jarawa up to the basic mainstream characteristics'. He describes the Jarawa as being 'in a primitive stage of development' and 'stuck in time somewhere between the stone and iron age'. Similar schemes in the US, Canada and Australia are now acknowledged to have been disastrous, and to have left hundreds of thousands of indigenous people traumatized. Mr. Ray is also demanding that restrictions on developments in the Jarawa reserve be lifted, so that a highway running through the reserve can be upgraded, and a railway built. India's Supreme Court ordered in 2002 that the existing Andaman Trunk Road must be closed to protect the Jarawa. Survival International's director Stephen Corry stated, July 1, 'These scandalous proposals are contemptuous both of indigenous peoples' rights and the UN's standards for their protection. Attempts to force the Jarawa to abandon their way of life will simply destroy them.' The full Andamans MP's proposals regarding the Jarawa and additional information can be found at: http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/6160.

Survival International informs, that one year after the Bangladesh government promised to halt the persecution of the country's indigenous peoples, reports of abuses continue to emerge, and Survival has been circulating an online petition calling on the government to fully implement the peace accord it has signed with Bangladesh's indigenous Jummas. On February 22, Survival published that "Reliable sources report that at least six Jumma tribal people were killed, and hundreds of houses burnt to the ground, in an attack by soldiers and settlers on tribal villages in the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh on Saturday [February 20]. The attacks took place in the Sajek region, where tensions have been rising since Bengali settlers, supported by the army, have been expanding their settlements on Jumma land. Local reports state that soldiers shot indiscriminately at Jumma villagers after one soldier was injured during clashes. Many other Jummas were hurt. Settlers, aided by the security forces, set fire to, and destroyed, five villages, consisting of at least 200 houses. A Buddhist temple and a church have also been burnt down. Thousands of Jummas have fled to the jungle to escape from the soldiers and settlers. The local administration has imposed an order known as section 144, which prohibits the assembly of five or more people and the holding of public meetings. This is hampering the Jumma's efforts to establish the whereabouts of missing people and to confirm the numbers killed. Two bullet-ridden bodies have been recovered (those of Mr Lakkhi Bijoy Chakma (40) and Ms Buddhapati Chakma (36), but tribal leaders report that the army has removed the bodies of several other Jummas who were killed during the incident. Hundreds of thousands of settlers have been moved into the Hill Tracts over the last sixty years, in a policy supported by successive governments, displacing the eleven Jumma tribes and subjecting them to violent repression. In 1997 the government and the Jummas signed a peace accord that committed the government to removing military camps from the region and to ending the theft of Jumma land by settlers and the army. The accord offered hope, but military camps remain in the Hill Tracts and violence and land grabbing continue. Survival International's director, Stephen Corry said, 'This horrific incident is just the latest in a long line of brutal attacks on the Jumma tribal people. They have been killed, tortured and raped, and their lands stolen, for far too long. We call on the government of Bangladesh to put an end to army violence in the Chittagong Hill Tracts and to withdraw the army camps, as promised in the peace accord. Those responsible for this atrocity must be brought to justice.'" On February 24, Jumma people living in London protested outside the Bangladesh High Commission. Survival has pictures of the attack. For more information go to: http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/5581.

The Myanmar Military continues to fight with rebels, mostly Indigenous, in the North (Thomas Fuller, "Myanmar Military Gains On Rebels as Villagers Flee Safety," The New York Times, August 21, 2009; and "Rebel Region Resists Being Brought To Heel in Myanmar," The New York Times, November 9, 2009). ICG, "China's Myanmar Dilemma," September 14, 2009, http://www.crisisgroup.org/home/index.cfm?id=6308, Asserts, "After two decades of failed international approaches to Myanmar, Western countries and China must find better ways to work together to push for change in the military-ruled nation." "The Myanmar army's recent raid against the Coking ceasefire group, resulting in the flight of 37,000 refugees to China, highlights the complexity of China's relationship with Myanmar. China was unable to dissuade the generals from launching their bloody campaign. Tensions along the border remain the highest in 20 years." Robert Templer, Crisis Group's Asia Program Director. States, "The insular and nationalistic generals do not take orders from anyone, including Beijing. By continuing to simply expect China to take the lead in solving the problem, a workable international approach to Myanmar will remain elusive". "While China shares the aspiration for a stable and prosperous Myanmar, it differs from the West on how to achieve these goals. China will not engage with Myanmar on terms dictated by the West. To bring Beijing on board, the wider international community will need to pursue a plausible strategy that takes advantage of areas of common interest as well as China's actual level of influence. The West should emphasize to China the unsustainable nature of its current policies and continue to apply pressure in the Security Council and other fora. At the same time, China is just one among many countries courting Myanmar. International pressure should not exclude other regional states pursuing their own narrowly defined self interests in Myanmar. 'Both Chinese and international policies towards Myanmar deserve careful reassessment,' explains Donald Steinberg, Crisis Group's Deputy President for Policy. 'An effective international approach also requires a united front by regional actors as well as multilateral institutions such as ASEAN and the UN.'"

A deadly ethnic riot broke out, May, 19 in Kyrgyz, a major southern city in Kyrgyzstan, "where the country's interim government has only tenuous control and where the police have largely stopped working rather than take sides in a political conflict. Since the overthrow last month of the former president, Kurmanbek Bakiye, people in the turbulent and ethnically divided south have been arming themselves with everything from sharpened sticks to military rifles. Late last week, two people died and scores were wounded in street fighting (Andrew E. Kramer, "Fatal Ethnic Street Fighting Erupts at Kyrgyz University," The New York Times, May 19, 2010, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/20/world/asia/20kyrgyz.html). Ethnic conflict has continued in 'south Kyrgyzstan, becoming very serious in June, with the national government petitioning Russia to send military aid, to restore order and peace.

Cultural Survival (CS) reported in mid-December that President of the Philippines, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, replied to CS's letters calling on her government to stop a mining project in the Indigenous village of Didipio. For nearly two decades, the Indigenous community of Didipio has been fighting to stop a gold and copper mine that threatens their environment, farmlands, and families. The President referred the letters to the Chairman of the Minerals Development Council for further action. The Philippine Commission on Human Rights carried out a site visit in Didipio in late October. Its report was expected in late December or early January. Scores of Indigenous Ifugao farmers in Didipio gave testimony of human rights violations committed by the mining company and the national police who are guarding the mining company instead of defending the citizens of Didipio. Meanwhile, the Regional Trial Court Branch 30, February 27, 2008, had granted a temporary restraining order in favor of the Indigenous Peoples, ordering OceanGold to cease demolishing Didipio, citing the actions of OceanaGold's demolition of houses as "tainted with irregularity and contrary to law." OceanaGold had filed the petition with the Court of Appeals, December 29, 2009, seeking to annul the order of the Regional Trial Court. On February 22, 2010, the Philippine Court of Appeals denied OceanGold's appeal for lack of merit, apparently stopping the mining operation. CS reported, March 14, that there we six Indigenous anti-mining candidates running in the province of Nueva Viscaya in this May's elections. This includes Manong Peter Duyapat, chairperson of the Didipio Earth Savers Multi-Purpose Association (DESAMA). He is running to become a council member of the municipality of Kasibu, Nueva Viscaya. For more go to: http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?et=1102878715713&s=5868&e=001qBXoNMr5lDv_dWBeO99Jp3OtLwmhAlFbKDqPYZylDy5zHOItsla4IOBf5_VDtH3E0qGCf2OfJQhnPLIi5rdcqI5SCAWIh0-gpI4XFzOeH__p06KDrzHAvA6pdEIMDjG9VEIci1OigE_vQoxp5s-4NR2AKCvqAiZmupWxHxF4_MU=; and http://www.culturalsurvival.org/take-action/philippines-stop-mine-indigenous-lands.

Cultural Survival (CS) reported in January, in the islands that surround the Savu Sea in eastern Indonesia, which are among the most biologically diverse regions in the world, home to the Komodo dragon and to half the whale species on the planet, Indigenous Peoples are strongly opposing governments issuing more than 100 mining permits in a single month, as the commercial exploitation of gold, copper, manganese and marble are a direct threat to their homes, and to the environment in which they live. CS has been supporting a campaign to bring pressure on the Indonesian government to halt all mining in East Nusa Tenggara Province in order to conduct an authentic consultation process with local communities. For more information go to:
http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?et=1102941870207&s=5868&e=001Pis85v9FOSpC13VyrM9aNvMXqnMCab7-rdvn4Ad6ad1O2-zsdlbBCIVv0It5ki8CDic2EqkbN_YUR0OhsztNLITqcWDUrPHD-oj9flfqaSp-zp_splyUDm_WnI9F0wKlNR9qBuQPBq2duhz9WZh7CP08l1cEmo2wRZeiC2yc1u8Ye7k5W5dOo5j_Ect9Wstzun5UfCPEUY7.

Cultural Survival reported, in March, that following a fact-finding visit to Australia, in August, UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of Indigenous Peoples, James Anaya, issued a report, at the end of February, that is highly critical of the Northern Territories Emergency Response program. The program, which has been highly controversial among Indigenous communities, imposes a number of restrictions and allows the government to seize land and control individuals' income, among other things. According to Anaya's report, the program violates almost all of the human rights agreements that Australia is party to and also violates the country's own human rights standards. The legislation that underpins the Emergency Response program was hurriedly passed in 2007 in response to an investigation that found a shocking level of child abuse in rural Aboriginal communities. The laws, which involved no Indigenous consultation or involvement, were intended to solve that problem, but took an approach that caused more problems than it solved. For example, says Anaya, one provision in the program gave the government five-year leases on the lands of 64 Aboriginal communities, to allow the government to provide better housing. Those leases were set up with no input from Indigenous leaders, and gave the government complete control over the communities' land. Another provision in the program allows the government to intervene in the functions of Aboriginal community councils and control how money is spent and services delivered. That same provision lets the government appoint its own service managers in the communities with no regard for community opinion. One of the most egregious elements, that Anaya cites, diverts half of Aboriginal social security benefits to an "income management account" controlled by the government. "The quarantined funds," Anaya writes, "can only be spent in specially licensed stores on 'priority needs,' such as food, clothing, and household items, using a bright green Basics Card that clearly identifies its holder as someone subject to income management. This regime applies to all those living in prescribed areas inhabited by indigenous peoples, regardless of whether or not they have responsibilities over children or have been shown to have problems managing income in the past." The laws also require signs at the entrance to Aboriginal communities prohibiting alcohol and pornography, a seemingly innocuous action that has had a profound impact on communities' self-esteem. The problem, Anaya says, is that in addition to giving the government control over Indigenous land and money, the program is racist in its design. It applies only to Aboriginal areas, and it applies to communities as a whole, not just individuals who have demonstrated issues with child abuse [and not all those committing child abuse in the territory are aboriginal]. It stigmatizes all Aboriginal people, suggesting that they are, as a group, incapable of raising children safely, managing their money, or staying sober-a perception that seems to have informed the structure of the program from the beginning. Moreover, Anaya says, there is no indication that the program is working to solve the problem of child abuse. There is a broader problem that Anaya points out, which is the effect of the program in reinforcing "perceptions of Indigenous Peoples as being somehow responsible for their present disadvantaged state." He quotes a government review of the program that found that "there is a strong sense of injustice that Aboriginal people and their culture have been seen as exclusively responsible for problems within their communities that have arisen from decades of cumulative neglect by governments in failing to provide the most basic standards of health, housing, education, and ancillary services enjoyed by the wider Australian community." Anaya will present his full report to the United Nations Human Rights Council in September. In the meantime, he recommends dismantling the program and replacing it with something that respects Indigenous rights, involves Indigenous leaders, and has some hope of addressing the problem. The current Australian administration, which has been more favorable toward Aboriginal rights than the conservative administration that set up the Emergency Response program, says that it agrees with most of Anaya's concerns, and will take steps to reform the program. For additional information go to: http://www.culturalsurvival.org/news/australia/un-rapporteur-finds-australian-program-violates-aboriginal-rights.

Following the passage of legislation by the Australian Parliament, at the end of June, the Indigenous Land Corporation (ILC) will receive a minimum Australian Government payment of $45 million each year to continue its role in purchasing and managing land to benefit Indigenous communities. This delivers on a 2007 election commitment to provide the ILC with a steady and reliable income stream. For more information go to: https://feedads.g.doubleclick.net/~a/Nd-tAHmdh1UdrYWSkZEjWnA6WSo/nNd2FHvvujVUHIJxsvwvimhLyos/1/pa.

Other Indigenous Developments

The Episcopal Diocese of Maine Committee on Indian Relations, in April, filed a complaint with the United Nations Human Rights Council on Maine's human rights record against the Wabanaki nations and the federal government's failure to rein in state violations of domestic and international laws and standards meant to protect indigenous peoples. The U.S. government's human rights record is currently under assessment in a process called the Universal Periodic Review, which was created by the U.N. General Assembly in 2006 as a mechanism by which the human rights records of all 192 U.N. member states are reviewed every four years. After three years of groundwork initiated by committee member John Dieffenbacker-Krall, the national Episcopal Church last summer passed a repudiating the Doctrine of Discovery and urging the U.S. government to endorse the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Other churches have since passed similar resolutions (Gale Courey Toensing, "Treatment of Wabanaki questioned: Episcopal Committee files human rights record critique with UN," Indian country Today, April 26, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/national/91904109.html).

The first United Nations, "State of the World's Indigenous Peoples " was published January 14, stressing that land rights, self-determination, and the principles of free, prior and informed consent are necessary for the survival of the world's indigenous peoples both in developed and developing countries. The report confirmed that the world's 370 million indigenous peoples, 5% of the world population, suffer disproportionately high rates of poverty, health problems, crime, unemployment, human rights abuses, and their cultural, and in some cases, their physical survival is threatened with extinction. Among the reports statistics, In the United States, a Native American is 600 times more likely to contract tuberculosis and 62% more likely to commit suicide than the general population; In Canada in 2006, the tuberculosis rate among First Nations peoples was 35 times higher than that of the non-aboriginal population. The Inuit rate is just over 150 times higher than the non-aboriginal population. Suicide rates among the Inuit are the highest in Canada, at 11 times the national average. 60% of aboriginal children in urban areas in Canada live below the poverty line. In Canada, around 70% of First Nations students on-reserve will never complete high school. While indigenous peoples in Canada represent only 3% of the total population, they make up around 19% of federal prisoners. In Australia, an indigenous child can expect to die 20 years earlier than his non-Native compatriot. The life expectancy gap is also 20 years in Nepal, 13 years in Guatemala, and 11 years in New Zealand; In parts of Ecuador, indigenous people have 30 times greater risk of throat cancer than the national average; Worldwide, more than 50% percent of indigenous adults suffer from Type 2 diabetes - a number predicted to rise. Between 1978 and 199i the Batwa population of Rwanda fell by 40% because of extreme poverty, little access to healthcare, loss of land and traditional livelihood, while the rest of the Rewandan population increased by 50%. Indigenous peoples constitute about one-third of the world's 900 million extremely poor rural people. The report notes, "Every day, indigenous communities all over the world face issues of violence and brutality, continuing assimilation policies, dispossession of land, marginalization, forced removal or relocation, denial of land rights, impacts of large-scale development, abuses by military forces and a host of other abuses." However, "Although the state of the world's indigenous peoples is alarming, there is some cause for optimism. The international community increasingly recognizes indigenous peoples' human rights, most prominently evidenced by the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Indigenous peoples themselves continue to organize for the promotion of their rights. They are the stewards of some of the world's most biologically diverse areas and their traditional knowledge about the biodiversity of these areas is invaluable. As the effects of climate change are becoming clearer, it is increasingly evident that indigenous peoples must play a central role in developing adaptation and mitigation efforts to this global challenge." For the complete report, go to: www.un.org/indigenous. (See also, Gale Courey Toensing, "UN report: Indigenous peoples' cultural/physical survival threatened," Indian Country Today, January 19, 2010, http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/81755467.html).

The Ninth Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

The Ninth Session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues took place at the United Nations in New York, April 19 to 30, 2010, with the participation of some 1,300 representatives of indigenous peoples' groups and caucuses, 30 United Nations entities, 25 indigenous parliamentarians, and 70 Government representatives, a record number. It is important to note that UNPFII is not an Indigenous organization, as such, but as part of the UN, it brings together Indigenous peoples, states and international organizations for joint discussions, with the purpose of including Indigenous views and interests in international decisions. This is a summary report of the meeting, with links to more detailed reports and statements. (See also the Closing Statement by the Global Caucus in Dialoguing, below). The special theme of the session was Indigenous Peoples: Development with Identity and Culture; Articles 3 and 32 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Based on its new methodology of organizing in-depth dialogues with UN agencies, the Forum held the dialogue with the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity. The special regional focus of the Forum was on indigenous peoples of the North American region, comprising Canada and the United States. Other special features of the Forum's eighth session included a dialogue between the Forum and two Governments based on their reports to the Forum, Bolivia and Paraguay. This dialogue is a follow-up to the Forum's visit and reports last year on the slavery-like situation of the Guardant people of the Chaco region. Representatives of the Guardant and the UN agencies working in the two countries also participated in this first in-depth dialogue: this is the first time that an in-depth dialogue with States held by the Forum. Other special foci were a discussion on forests and indigenous peoples, and discussions on a number of studies completed this year by the UNPFII. Approximately sixty Special Events were scheduled during the session, organized by governments, agencies, Indigenous organizations. A preparatory meeting of the Indigenous Caucus preceded the Forum meeting, April 17-18, the Global Indigenous Women's Caucus met April 16, and the Youth Caucus April 20-30.

The annual United Nations forum on indigenous issues opened with Secretary-General Ban Kid-moon calling on Member States to promote development while respecting indigenous cultures and traditions, and with the Government of New Zealand taking the opportunity to announce that it would reverse its decision and support the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of the Indigenous Peoples (http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs//2010/hr5012.doc.htm). Shad Nuking, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs and Coordinator of the Second Decade of the World's Indigenous Peoples, said the Permanent Forum had convened at a time of "extraordinary progress" and its work had influenced the agendas of other organizations and financial institutions -- a "ripple effect" which testified to the Forum's ability to change awareness levels. For its part, the United Nations would mark the midway point of the Second Decade with a report by the Secretary-General that evaluated progress towards the civil, economic, cultural, political and social rights of indigenous peoples. Despite such advances, "we must recognize that the situations of indigenous peoples in many parts of the world are critical", he stressed. Development efforts had damaged, rather than improved, their well-being and, in many cases, land rights, traditional sources of knowledge and cultural priorities had not been recognized, much less respected. Echoing the Secretary-General, he said that society at large lost out when development approaches ignored customs and ancient practices, and he urged examining how indigenous perspectives could become central to international, regional and national development agendas. In such discussions, the voices of women and youth must be incorporated in meaningful ways. He also asked the Forum to consider how Declaration articles 3 and 32 -- which respectively covered the right to self-determine political status, and how lands, water and other resources were used -- could be used to empower indigenous peoples. Such work must be undertaken with an awareness of the Millennium Development Goals. "The Forum gives voices to people who, in many cases, would be otherwise voiceless", he asserted, and he encouraged delegates to share best practices and strategize on new development models that protected and incorporated the wisdom of indigenous cultures.

Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, Forum member from the Philippines, introduced the report of the expert group meeting on the special theme (document E/C.19/2010/14), which took place from 12 to 14 January. The Forum had invited indigenous experts from the various regions and observers from United Nations agencies, Governments and non-governmental organization. The aim of the annual meeting was to provide an opportunity for the Forum members to delve more deeply into the theme of the upcoming substantive session. This year, she continued, the participants had stressed that development models most often reflected the values of the dominant society, often referred to as "the Washington Consensus". That view, which promoted rampant consumption and the destruction of indigenous lands and cultures, was seen as the main cause of the recent global financial meltdown. Many also felt that it was at the heart of the current environmental crisis that was driving climate change and increasing weather anomalies. She said that many people said that the dominant view, which did not respect individual or cultural rights, was becoming a driving force behind the current trend in which indigenous people had begun to create their own development strategies and plans. Speakers had also highlighted plans and initiatives to ensure sustainable development in their homelands, many of which had focused on boosting local economic capacities; for example employing indigenous knowledge to promote repopulation of salmon stocks in regions where communities depended on those fish for survival. She said the experts had noted that it was vitally important to reverse the view that indigenous people, their lands and cultural practices were obstacles to progress. Rather, indigenous people were "knowledge producers" and should be seen as vital development partners.

An important focus of this years meeting was on what UN and related organizations are doing to implement, and act consistently with the Declaration of Indigenous Rights. Susanne Schnuttgen, representative of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), introduced the report of the Inter-Agency Support Group, saying that 14 members of the group had participated in the compilation of the survey. The report provided an opportunity for United Nations agencies to jointly consider a broader development paradigm that integrated indigenous peoples' views, and to reflect on how development with culture and identities could be taken forward through their work. She said the report discussed how the notion of development had broadened within the United Nations from a relatively narrow principle to one that took into account cultural and social rights, as well as political and economic rights. Indeed, Member States were learning that development was not culture neutral, but was in fact rooted in the culture of peoples in all their diversity. The report analyzed the different processes in which diversity and culture could be integrated into development initiatives. It also highlighted the special needs of women and children, and discussed the importance of international treaties and covenants on, among others, protecting biodiversity and on intellectual property. The report also highlighted several key areas in which United Nations agencies were very active, including sustaining the livelihoods of indigenous peoples; mother-tongue and intercultural education; and advocating for the human rights of indigenous peoples. The analysis also showed that culturally sensitive development policies might not be successful if standards of community control and participation were not respected. Development interventions could be detrimental if they were founded on preconceived assumptions, rather than on listening and integrating the concerns of local populations. Overall, she said that development with culture and identity would require serious intercultural dialogue, among indigenous and non-indigenous stakeholders. Rebeca Grynspan, Associate Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), speaking also on behalf of the United Nations Development Group (UNDG), recalled that the 2004 Human Development Report, on "Cultural Liberty in Today's Diverse World", had stressed the need for people worldwide to be able to choose who they were without being denied opportunities for leading a full life. She said that cultural exclusion had many consequences, but it also made invisible the societal contributions of marginalized groups and prevented the transfer of knowledge, ideas and experiences. Fostering cultural liberty, therefore, required policies that explicitly combated discrimination to ensure that contributions of particular groups were not overlooked. Ms. Schunuttegen later added that UNESCO had developed two important standard-setting instruments, the first, the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Heritage, included calls for the protection of knowledge systems. The second, the Convention to Protect and Promote the Diversity of Cultural Expression, explicitly mentioned indigenous people. It also highlighted their value to sustainable development for all. She noted that the International Year of Rapprochement of Culture also highlighted the importance of indigenous cultural experience.

Amy Muedin, International Organization for Migration (IOM), said that globalization had facilitated the movement of indigenous peoples from rural to urban areas, which could be difficult for those needing to adapt their cultural practices to new urban locations. In a broader context, international and internal migration of indigenous peoples could dilute their customs and cultures or, on the contrary, make them more visible. The IOM was paying special attention to protecting indigenous migrants' identity and culture in delivering programs, notably in Colombia, and by updating its 2009 guide: "How to Incorporate a Differential Focus for Ethnic Groups in Programmes and Projects". Poverty among indigenous peoples could be double that of non-indigenous communities in some countries. To change that, indigenous migrants were becoming more active, from a distance, in their places of origin. In their host countries, some had commercialized arts, crafts and medicines to ensure their survival. Programmes, co-sponsored by Governments and foundations, also promoted cultural exchange between communities of origin and host societies.

Birgitte Feiring, International Labor Organization (ILO), expressed her commitment to making the rights contained in articles 3 and 32 of the Declaration a reality, including through the application of Convention 169, which, among other things, enshrined indigenous peoples' right to decide their development priorities. Ensuring their rights were respected required constitutional recognition, policy development and the allocation of resources. The ILO was developing the outline for a monitoring framework that would help avoid fragmented approaches, while making maximum use of existing institutionalized mechanisms. In addition, per an agreement outlining the Forum's contribution to the application of Convention 169, a Forum member participated in the 2009 ILO Conference. The ILO was scaling up its long-term support to regional and national processes for implementing indigenous peoples' rights. In 2009, a regional program in Latin America, and subregional programs in Africa and Asia, were reviewed by indigenous experts who found that they provided valuable support and needed long-term commitment. That was an important message to the multilateral system and bilateral donors.

Sharon Brennen-Haylock, Senior Liaison Officer, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), said biological and cultural diversity was integral for food and livelihood security. As such, the Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems Initiative aimed to reinforce ecological and socio-cultural processes that had sustained agricultural practices of a given area, to empower smallholder communities. Giving an overview of last year's activities, she said FAO participated in the Forum's open dialogue, clarifying issues that influenced its work on indigenous issues. FAO was also elaborating improved methodologies for participatory land delimitation and titling. A draft policy on indigenous and tribal peoples was finalized in February and approved by one management level thus far. Among the newest developments was the reform of the Committee on World Food Security, in which indigenous organizations could now play a significant role.

Forum Member from Bolivia, Elisa Canqui Mollo said living well should be the paradigm for indigenous peoples, one that was based on respect for and harmony with nature. How could one feel well when someone else felt unwell. She recognized Bolivia and Ecuador for taking a vision for living well into national planning systems, which could later set indicators for measuring life quality among various countries. Also, Millennium Development Goal reports and States' reports left out indigenous peoples' circumstances. "We are just not in these reports", she said. Data collection did not reflect indigenous peoples' realities, and it would be important for the plan of action for the September summit to incorporate indigenous peoples concerns. The Forum hoped for a favorable reaction for those responsible for Millennium Development Goals projects in the United Nations system. Forum Member from Spain, Bartolome Cavero, said the United Nations Development Programme report reminded him that the Forum often discussed how the theme should be presented. Articles 3 and 32 were added to this year's theme, as culture identity and development could be interpreted in a way that did not respect indigenous peoples' rights. In recent years, Human Development Reports, at least in Latin America, had not taken account of indigenous peoples' rights. It was one thing to be visible; it was something quite different to have people enjoy their rights, especially for development. By contrast, he appreciated the ILO report's reference to the Declaration's articles.

Tonya Gonnella Frichner, Forum member from the United States, said it was important that indigenous peoples contributed to the work of the special representative on human rights and transnational corporations, to advance a special framework for indigenous rights. The three pillars in the report should include indigenous peoples. United Nations entities also should collaborate in research evaluation at local, national and international levels. Moreover, the Forum should adopt a code of conduct for those entities regarding research in indigenous communities. She agreed that the paradigm for development should be applied with the "living well" standard. Regarding the "tyranny of averages" outlined by the UNDP representative, she agreed that disaggregated data would help deal with that tyranny. Luz Angela Melo, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), said global demands for goods and services, and growing populations, were placing increased pressures on indigenous lands, territories and cultures. As culture, human rights and development were interlinked, advancing human rights would become an "empty exercise" if cultural diversity and identity were not taken into account. While progress towards the Millennium Development Goals had been encouraging, there were often wide gaps between national averages and indigenous peoples' situations. Intercultural human rights approaches to sexual and reproductive health helped ensure that those rights were respected among indigenous peoples. Maternal mortality was a complex phenomenon related to financial barriers, geographical isolation and cultural factors, and UNFPA supported sexual and reproductive health models that produced lessons for scaling up interventions at different levels. Trisha Reidy, representative of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), highlighted that agency's Training Programme to Enhance the Conflict Prevention and Peacemaking Capacities of Indigenous Peoples' Representatives. That program was created in 2000 to provide training for such representatives in conflict analysis, negotiation and conflict transformation. It also provided information on United Nations and regional human rights mechanisms to further the promotion and protection of their rights. She said that the marginalization from political and economic processes, and conflict over land and resource issues, were two of the main challenges indigenous people faced. The UNITAR program, therefore, reviewed both rights-based and problem solving negotiation processes to strengthen the capacities of indigenous representatives to analyze conflict, and engage in negotiation and intercultural dialogue with Governments, the private sector and others to address the priorities of their respective communities. She added that, in its work, UNITAR actively sought the participation and contribution of indigenous women and they composed more than 40 per cent of the participants in the training program.

Werener Obermeyer, representative of the World Health Organization (WHO), said the health status and living conditions of indigenous peoples, which were invariably lower than the general population, were of great concern to the agency. While some of the threats to the health and well-being of indigenous people were based on their lifestyles (such as tobacco use), most were due to the destruction of indigenous lands and cultural resources, on which they depended for food and spiritual sustenance. As for curbing tobacco use, the WHO sought to engage whole communities in a process of change. He urged the Forum to raise awareness about the problem of tobacco use by indigenous communities as a way of jump-starting much-needed discussion of the matter inside and outside the Organization. Yamina Djacta, representative of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), said her agency's mandate included, among other things, working towards improving living conditions and ensuring adequate shelter for all, including indigenous people. The agency had also begun to focus on the situation of indigenous people in the urban context. It provided technical assistance and policy guidelines to public authorities to address the specific needs of indigenous people living in cities. To face the challenges of urbanization and improve the living conditions of indigenous people in cities, UN-Habitat looked forward to bolstering its cooperation with the Permanent Forum and indigenous civil society groups.

Andrea Carmen, speaking on behalf of the Food and Agriculture Organization and the International Indian Treaty Council, discussed cultural indicators for food security, food sovereignty and sustainable development, which were completed in 2006 and allowed indigenous peoples to measure the effects of programs, methods and technologies originating outside their communities. In 2007, over 450 indigenous representatives from 66 communities and five countries and territories had participated in workshops on implementing the indicators. The indicators had consistently provided a useful methodology to measure program impacts. They also were a starting point for discussions that led to the development of community-based initiatives to strengthen traditional knowledge systems. A report containing the responses and an assessment of the "field testing" process had been submitted to the Forum. She asked the Forum to take note of that program in its report on the session and recommend that the inter-agency support group, among others, apply the indicators in assessing programs and policies that served indigenous peoples. Jean-Philippe Audinet, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), said development was a people-centered endeavor. That was particularly true for indigenous people facing discrimination or marginalization. The Fund's policy for indigenous peoples had been approved in September and its principles were in line with the Declaration. He called on the Fund's Member Governments to help the organization comply with those principles, as there were growing commercial pressures on land and resources around the world. In addition, the indigenous peoples' assistance facility financed self-development projects and, in 2009, had funded micro-projects in 33 countries. Indeed, development happened when people celebrated their diversity and shaped their future. By complying with the Forum's principles, the Fund, and others, could better support and protect the self-determined development of indigenous peoples.

Daniel Seymour, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), said his organization had recently taken stock of its work on indigenous issues, with case studies conducted in Congo and Peru. The study revealed that UNICEF's processes, methods and tools for managing programs for indigenous peoples should be fine-tuned, and that staff should be trained. UNICEF would address those issues through the road map and action proposal developed during its consultation on indigenous peoples' and minorities' issues last year. Expressing commitment to implement the Forum's recommendations, he said UNICEF's regional office in Latin America and the Caribbean was studying the prevalence of suicide among indigenous youth. In May, that office would publish a study on migration and indigenous children in Latin America. UNICEF continued to incorporate a cultural perspective into its health policies. Education was a key area of UNICEF's programming and intercultural bilingual education programs were directly related to this year's special theme, notably in Guatemala. On other issues, he said UNICEF supported programs to promote birth registration in indigenous communities. He also urged indigenous children and adolescents' participation in decision-making that affected them.

Mr. Djoghlaf said the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity was working for an international conference on cultural and biological diversity for development to be held from 8-10 June. It would aim to adopt a joint program of work between the Convention and UNESCO to advance understanding of biological and cultural diversity. Mr. Mamani, Chairperson and Forum Member from Bolivia, cited the importance of self-governance and the need to have free, prior and informed consent. There also should be observance of rights contained in ILO Convention 169. The devastating impacts of logging, mining and land conversion had displaced indigenous peoples from their ancestral lands, commercialized their cultures and politically repressed their leaders, speakers in the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues stressed today, as they pressed the 16-member advisory body -- and their Governments -- for help in achieving equitable and "restorative" development in their countries (http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs//2010/hr5014.doc.htm).

In day two of the Forum's ninth session, speakers representing indigenous associations from Asia, the Pacific, North America and Australia called for broad adherence to the landmark 2007 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, whose articles 3 and 32 outlined respect for self-determination and land-use rights, respectively. Some emphasized the ongoing conflict between indigenous peoples' development perspective and that of the West, which was dominated by free-market capitalism, and pointed out that such models violated the collective rights of traditional cultures. Others called for the establishment of a special rapporteur on water. "Our water is being poisoned. Our woods are being cut down," said a speaker from the Andean Platform of Indigenous Organizations. Another speaker, representing people living in isolation in the Amazon and Gran Chaco region of Paraguay, said mega-projects that attracted "external agents" and damaged forests were threatening people's lives. He asked the Forum to carry out research to ensure that people were not being forced into contact. A delegate of the Sand Hill Band of Indians said his people were descendents of the original inhabitants of the present-day United States state of New Jersey. While they had signed treaties with early Europeans -- "sovereign to sovereign" -- by 1802, the newly formed state had completely disregarded their most basic human rights, even for the indigenous to exist. He asked for assistance from the international community in restoring their international rights. The day also featured a dialogue with Governments, whose representatives voiced concern at the persistence of entrenched social ills such as discrimination, xenophobia and exclusion that were difficult to change in the short term. Taking a broader view, however, Canada's Assistant Deputy Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs said his Government would take steps to endorse the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in a timely manner consistent with its Constitution. In the same vein, the United States representative said her Administration would formally review its position on the Declaration. "There is no American history without Native American history [and] there can be no just and decent future for our nation that does not directly tackle the legacy of bitter discrimination and sorrow that the first American still lives with," said the United States delegate. Indeed, indigenous communities in her country continued to feel the heavy hand of history, she explained, particularly though disproportionate and dire poverty, unemployment and bitter discrimination. To rectify the situation, the Administration had moved quickly to launch programs to improve the lives of Native Americans. The President had also appointed, early on, a Native American Policy Adviser and had begun to reach out to tribal leaders.

Discussing his country's national efforts, Peru's delegate said his Government had started series of dialogues with indigenous peoples and formed a group for coordinating the development of the Amazon peoples. The aim was to reach agreements covering that area and analyze events in Bagua province last June, in which many people had been killed. Showing that indigenous rights were not only a matter of national concern, Germany's delegate said that, in line with a new paradigm -- "development with identity" -- his Government was implementing a new type of development project, which revived cultural traditions as a means to facilitate common visions of indigenous communities in the highlands of Borneo, Indonesia. Participating in the Permanent Forum's dialogue with indigenous groups were representatives from the Pacific Caucus, Global Women's Caucus, North American Indigenous Peoples' Caucus, Global Indigenous Peoples' Caucus, Indigenous Parliament for America, Asia Indigenous Peoples' Caucus, Indigenous Youth Caucus, Asia-Pacific Indigenous Youth Network (APIYN), International Indigenous Women's Forum, Seventh Generation Fund, Enlace Continental de Mujeres Indiginas and Consejo Nacional de la Mujer Indigena Argentina. Also participating in that discussion were representatives from the Association Rohutu No' Ano'A, Innu Nation, "Project Access Global Capacity Training", Foundation for Aboriginal and Islander Research Action and Indigenous Peoples' Organizations of Australia, Commission juridical para el autodesarrollo de los pueblos originarios andinos (CAPAJ), International Organization of Indigenous Resource Development, Inuit Circumpolar Council, !Kwa Ttu - San Culture and Education Centre, Mayas of Guatemala and the Nepal Indigenous Nationalities Preservation Association. The dialogue between the Permanent Forum and Governments presentations from the Minister of the Institute of Fishing and Agriculture of Nicaragua, the Minister of the Interior, and Justice of Colombia, the Vice-Minister of Decolonization of Bolivia, representatives of Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Australia, Finland, Spain, Cuba, Venezuela, Mexico, Nepal, Russian Federation, Sweden and Norway., as well as the Deputy Head of Delegation of the European Union, and the Permanent Observer of the Holy See, plus a Forum member from Australia and a representative of the Torres Strait Regional Authority.

The World Bank presented a new study at an UNPFII side session, confirming that indigenous people, making up 5 per cent of the world's population, were still among the poorest of the poor, although findings indicated that indigenous peoples in Asia were closing the gap faster than indigenous peoples in other parts of the world (http://www.un.org/News/briefings/docs//2010/100426_Indigenous.doc.htm). Harry Patrinos, co-author of the study Indigenous Peoples, Poverty and Development, said the status of indigenous peoples from Latin America, compared to that of indigenous peoples in Asia, had changed little in recent years, raising questions about the benefits of targeted initiatives, such as bilingual education programs, which was popular in that region. He stated that there was no evidence that bilingual education had contributed to improved income gains among indigenous peoples in Mexico, although it was possible that it had improved school enrolment levels within that population. However, he praised Mexico's cash transfer program, whose beneficiaries included indigenous peoples, saying it had probably contributed to their increased access to schools and other social services, such as health care. But, there was no way to tell if the quality of schooling received by indigenous pupils was adequate, and unless it improved, the income gap between indigenous and non-indigenous peoples would likely persist. He added that Mexico now had a policy of allowing parents from indigenous communities to participate in the design of school programs, where they were given funds and special materials, which he said was promising, and noted that Bolivia had a program modeled on the Mexican program. He stated that by contrast, Asian countries such as China, India and Viet Nam relied less on targeted programs, preferring the adoption of strategies aimed at the economic growth of entire regions, he said. Poverty rates declined more rapidly in those countries compared to Latin American nations, indicating that, perhaps, there were merits to pursuing broad-based policies. Mr. Patrinos said the study's findings pointed to the value of placing the needs of indigenous populations at the centre of poverty reduction strategies, and also called for more disaggregated data. And, while it was important to promote widespread and sustainable economic growth, better designed programs targeting indigenous people were also needed.

The Forum on Indigenous Issues reconvened, 3 p.m., Wednesday, April 21, to take up matters related to human rights, including implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. "The violations of indigenous peoples are deep, systemic and widespread," United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous peoples, James Anaya, told the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, as he briefed delegates on the second year of his mandate. During a half-day dialogue with representatives of Governments and indigenous caucuses alike, Mr. Anaya said he had been struck with fear to hear one speaker describe the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples -- whose 2007 adoption by the General Assembly was a milestone event -- as a "potentially empty instrument" amid continued setbacks in education, health care and justice (http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs//2010/hr5016.doc.htm). To ensure that appropriate institutions were in place was not an easy task; it would take cooperation over many years. Acknowledging State efforts to implement the Declaration, he urged concerted action to tackle deep-seated problems. On the issue of development, he described the irony of conservation programs that, on the one hand, worked to secure the natural environment and, on the other, ignored indigenous peoples' rights. He continued to receive urgent information about indigenous peoples being forcibly removed from their lands in the name of conservation. In opening remarks, Mr. Anaya voiced concern at "mega-projects" that aimed at developing the State as a whole, but actually had negative impacts on indigenous peoples. There was no adequate way for indigenous people to participate in their design or implementation. Moreover, to reduce indigenous peoples' social and economic disadvantages, efforts must include those to advance their self-determination. "Self-determination in the development process is a matter of basic human dignity," he stressed. Also briefing the Forum, Jenn Lassimbang, Chairperson of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, said the expert body she chaired used the Declaration as a framework for its work. The status of its implementation was a yearly agenda item. The Expert Mechanism was composed of five experts, and had been established in 2007 to assist the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council in providing thematic expertise on indigenous rights. The Expert Mechanism, the Permanent Forum and the Special Rapporteur coordinated their work and actively participated in their respective annual sessions. "For the Expert Mechanism to become an effective vehicle and process for the advancement of indigenous peoples' rights, it is crucial that Member States, indigenous peoples and other stakeholders actively engage in its work," she stressed. Bolstering that point, she said the body was completing its two-year study on "Indigenous peoples and the right to participate in decision-making". Experts were also continuing to encourage the establishment of national and regional human rights mechanisms.

The Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues held an in-depth dialogue with representatives of two United Nations entities working to better integrate the concerns of indigenous peoples and enhance their participation in the Organization's work in two vital areas: access and benefit sharing from genetic resources; and protecting the practices and innovations of indigenous and local communities (http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs//2010/hr5017.doc.htm). The discussion, featuring presentations from John Scott, Focal point for non-governmental organizations of the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, and Yamina Djacta, Deputy Director of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), on behalf of the Inter-Agency Support Group on Indigenous Issues, aimed to help Permanent Forum members, representatives of indigenous peoples' groups and Governments take stock of the challenges and opportunities United Nations entities faced in discharging their mandates related to the rights of indigenous peoples. Mr. Scott discussed the most recent report of the work undertaken, or in the planning stages by the Secretariat of the Biodiversity Convention regarding indigenous peoples' issues in relation to that treaty. He said that 2010 marked the International Year of Biodiversity and that the Convention's three main goals were: conservation of biological diversity; sustainable use of the components of biological diversity; and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources. Among others, areas of the Convention that are of particular importance to indigenous peoples include article 8(j) on traditional knowledge of indigenous and local communities, article 10(c) on customary sustainable use, and article 15 on access and sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources, he said. One issue that cut across all those areas was traditional knowledge. Indeed, it affected many aspects of biodiversity, he explained, noting that, seven years ago, the Permanent Forum had recommended developing a code of ethics to protect traditional knowledge. That code would be adopted this year at the Convention's tenth Conference of Parties, to be held in Nagoya, Japan, from 18 to 29 October 2010. Mr. Scott said that, while parties seemed to agree on free, prior and informed consent, there had not been universal consensus on approval. That issue had yet to be resolved. "You can imagine how difficult it is to get 193 Governments to agree on anything," he said. He said that indigenous peoples participated in Government delegations and parties remained open to indigenous positions on traditional knowledge. Most disagreement had arisen over the many ways Governments approached traditional knowledge, and access and benefit sharing issues. Some had expressed concerns that indigenous groups lacked the skill to negotiate effectively on their own behalf, he said, adding that the talks had been very complex. He highlighted a recent indigenous negotiators meeting to provide training for the access and benefit sharing negotiations. He said there was some funding left that could be used to enable other indigenous groups to participate. He called for States to contribute to the Voluntary Fund, so more indigenous people from the developing world could participate and make the process more inclusive. The final Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing must be adopted by consensus, he said. Indigenous peoples and their customary laws were extremely diverse and a way forward that accommodated that diversity had yet to be found. Under human rights law, resources were owned by peoples; national sovereignty could fit with that, depending how it was interpreted. "I don't think people should be overly pessimistic," he said, noting that Governments had moved to the position of wanting to adopt a legally binding protocol. "We are in a very difficult negotiation," he added. "The game is not over yet".

Ms. Djacta presented the annual report of the Inter-Agency Support Group on Indigenous issues, which had been co-Chaired by United Nations Human Settlements Programme and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The meeting, held in Nairobi from 28 to 30 September 2009, had focused on the challenges facing indigenous peoples and communities in Africa. She said that the participants felt it was time to move beyond the mainstreaming of indigenous issues to a program dedicated to indigenous peoples that would bring together the various agencies working on their behalf. They had also stressed that the United Nations was well placed to help indigenous peoples engage constructively with their Governments. In addition, speakers had insisted on the need for scaled-up investment in capacity-building for indigenous peoples to ensure they understood their rights and received adequate, alternative livelihoods options. It was proposed that the Inter-Agency Support Group should draw up a list of recommendations on how to identify indigenous peoples' issues in Africa and implement policies related to them, based on more country-level data, and consultations with indigenous communities. Highlighting other discussions at that meeting, she said matters regarding constitutional and legislative protection of the rights of indigenous peoples had been raised, and case studies on indigenous people in the context of climate change, pastoralism, security and mobility had been presented by Kenya-based indigenous peoples' organizations.

The Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues tackled emerging issues and matters related its future work, grappling with how to change a host of discriminatory policies - and attitudes - that had landed high numbers of indigenous youth in prison, perpetuated cyclical unemployment, favored corporate interests over indigenous land rights and generally ignored native peoples' vulnerability to climate change (http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs//2010/hr5018.doc.htm). Forum members provided insights from seven reports and studies undertaken within the last year to spotlight indigenous peoples' realities. Those reports examined the themes of: the impact of the financial crisis on indigenous peoples; indigenous youth in detention; indigenous peoples and corporations; climate change policies vis-à-vis the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; indigenous fishing rights; Mother Earth rights; and the impact of climate change on reindeer herding. Discussing the report on the International Expert Group on Indigenous Children and Youth in Detention, Custody, Foster-Care and Adoption, Andrea Carmen, Rapporteur of the Expert Group Meeting, said that the cycle for indigenous peoples often began with foster care, continued to youth detention and went on to custody in the adult criminal justice system. Experts at the Meeting, which was held from 4 to 5 March, also noted the high numbers of indigenous youth in criminal detention in many States, versus the rest of the population. There was an urgent need for rehabilitation programs that were culturally relevant and reflected indigenous spiritual and cultural practices. Neil Gillespie, of the Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement in Australia, proposed a focus on justice reinvestment programs, which would divert funds from incarceration and towards reducing the incentives to offend. States should use detention only as a matter of last resort and consult with indigenous peoples to identify both causal factors and strategies to address the over-representation of indigenous youth in justice systems. It was also important to increase the participation of indigenous youth in the United Nations, including through an international complaint mechanism. Later in the meeting, Andrea Carmen, Rapporteur of the Expert Group Meeting, which had been held in British Colombia, Canada, said that local experts had noted that 50% of the children in government care in British Columbia - foster care and detention - were aboriginal, and in the northern part of the province that number was close to 75%. Poverty and poor housing conditions were considered major causes, and those rights also needed to be addressed. The participants were asked to consider, among other questions: How could those numbers be reduced? How can indigenous children be kept in their own communities? And what could be done to ensure that children who were already in custody stayed connected to their communities and cultures? The meeting touched on some tough issues, including the continued legacy of removal policies in countries such as the United States, Canada and Australia. Several experts had addressed the ongoing major negative impact of economic marginalization and racial discrimination on indigenous children and had expressed the need to ensure the direct involvement of indigenous representatives in all matters regarding the placement of indigenous children, she said. They had also suggested ways to ensure that such children stayed with their families. Further, she said the participants considered the freedom to exercise indigenous spirituality and religion on an equal basis to other religious and spiritual traditions as essential in preparing indigenous youth, their families and communities for their return home. That was a basic human right that was too often violated, or denied for incarcerated indigenous youth. She stated that the experts had agreed to a number of recommendations and conclusions, among them that discrimination, economic inequalities and racially discriminatory policies and practices continued to play a major role in the disproportionate placement of indigenous children and youth in detention, custody, foster care and adoption in many countries. Examples of that included, among others: defining suitable households for care giving primarily based on economic factors, both in justifications for the removal of children and in determining placements for children in foster or adoptive homes; significant disparities in funding levels and services provided to indigenous communities; border security laws that failed to acknowledge the specific needs and rights of indigenous children and youth; and blaming the over-representation of indigenous youth and children in custody and care on indigenous peoples themselves, rather than on State systems and policies. The experts agreed that solutions to the systemic barriers leading to the over-representation of indigenous youth and children in detention, custody, foster care and adoption must also consider the particular impacts on, and effects of discrimination experienced by indigenous women. Those included lack of support provided to single-parented, low income families, the majority of which are headed by Indigenous women. That contributed to the over-representation of indigenous children in the child welfare system, as well as to the criminalization of indigenous girls who are sexually exploited at a young age. For indigenous youth already in detention, there was an urgent need for rehabilitation programs and policies, developed in conjunction with indigenous families, youth, communities and indigenous leaders that were culturally relevant and reflect indigenous spiritual and cultural practices.

In the area of education, a heavily debated emerging issue, the Forum was urged to request action plans from States to reduce the gap between education for indigenous and non-indigenous youth. One speaker asked that it work with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) to empower future indigenous leaders. Adequate financial support for education in traditional languages was also needed, several speakers stressed. Describing the situation of the Basque people, Jean Georges Bidart, of Traits d'Union Garabide Elkartea, said that when language disappeared, people disappeared with it. "What is the use of having economic development if we don't help people survive?" he asked. His language, like others, was severely ill and would die without care.

Hassan Id Balkassm, Forum member from Morocco, presented the Study on the extent to which climate change policies and projects adhere to the standards set forth in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (document E/C.19/2010/7). The six-part study relied on the definition of climate change as the change of climate attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that altered the composition of the global atmosphere. It was mainly caused by greenhouse gas emissions, largely resulting from fossil fuel combustion. Its impacts included the contraction of snow-covered areas, sea level rise and increased intensity of severe weather events. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) aimed to stabilize emissions at a level that would prevent dangerous interference with the climate International law revolved around the concepts of mitigation and adaptation. The competing interests behind climate change positions translated into contention over issues, especially scientific assessments of impacts, he explained. Developed States were concerned at the financial burden of such efforts, while developing States sought not to be hampered in their energy use, especially as developed States had not been so in the past. The lowest carbon emitters with the greatest vulnerability to climate change were among the States calling for strong commitments. Oil producers were concerned at lower oil use resulting from climate change measures. Paimaneh Hasteh, Forum member from Iran, noted that indigenous peoples had participated in the Fifteenth Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC. Importantly, reference to community engagement was included in the draft Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) agreement. Some climate change impacts were, as yet, unknown and law was evolving. Indigenous peoples' right to participate in law formation was outlined in various articles of the Declaration, including 3, 4, 5, 18 and 20. Indigenous peoples' rights to participate in decisions that affected them were particularly stated in article 18. Moreover, the United Nations REDD Commission report stated that consultation with indigenous peoples, among other stakeholders, was necessary to maintain the legitimacy of any national or subnational REDD scheme. Despite such provisions, indigenous peoples had not been adequately consulted during the creation of the UNFCCC or the Kyoto Protocol, she said, stressing that other requests for participation had been rejected. But climate change law could support indigenous peoples' right to self-determination. For example, if REDD funding was channeled through a State that did not recognize indigenous peoples' authority over forests, indigenous peoples' self-determination could be perceived to be undermined. Likewise, climate change law or policy attempting to limit indigenous peoples' use of their resources could be perceived as undermining their self-determination. She said the report discussed securing ancestral lands and waters in a manner that provided the basis for indigenous peoples' economic, social, cultural and spiritual development. Those areas were particularly vulnerable to climate change policies and laws. Policies and laws that sought to build dams and wind farms, or to plant biofuels, for example, could create incentives for relocating indigenous peoples and denying their rights. The right to free, prior and informed consent was closely related to those for self-determination participation. "Free" meant that indigenous peoples should not face any coercion or intimidation. "Prior" meant that their consent must be sought sufficiently in advance of the start of any activities. It also should include accurate information about the nature and reversibility of any project. Indeed, opportunities had to be provided for indigenous peoples to debate any proposal that might affect them. Paimaneh Hasteh, Forum member from Iran, who co-presented the Forum's study on whether climate change policies adhered to the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, said it also should include accurate information about the nature and reversibility of any project. Speakers zeroed in on the vast economic, social, cultural and educational discrepancies between indigenous peoples and their non-indigenous counterparts.

Pavel Sulyandzig, expert from the Russian Federation, presented the Study on Corporations and Indigenous Peoples (document E/C.19/2010/9), saying this was a difficult time for most indigenous peoples, because "mega projects" were under way across the globe and were corrupting ancestral lands and threatening the spiritual and ethnic survival of those peoples. The future of many such cultures would require the joint efforts of tribal governments and State structures to ensure the recognition of indigenous rights. More than ever, he continued, the issue was affecting the economic relations between indigenous peoples and States. Industrialized countries were implementing policies of paternalism and domination and the result was acute social problems, including alcoholism and high suicide rates in indigenous communities. It was almost impossible for indigenous people to overcome such practices because, by and large, they did not have the "voice", money, education or training to face down multinational corporations. Efforts must be made to ensure that indigenous people were able to manage their own lands. Some progress had been made in Canada, where indigenous and aboriginal corporations were on the rise. That movement had put a spotlight on indigenous entrepreneurship and raised general awareness about the need to protect the rights of native communities when major industrial projects were launched on traditional lands. Citing another example of progress, he said that, in the Russian Federation, indigenous peoples were now being included in project management in the northern region, and were also being asked to participate in studies examining the social and ecological impact of projects on indigenous communities. Further progress would require bolstering international standards on the rights of indigenous peoples and their relations with multinational corporations. Also, national Governments must act as guarantors of indigenous peoples' rights when contracts with such corporations were signed. He said that the tenets of the United Nations Declaration and relevant conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO) on protecting the rights of indigenous must be integrated into the framework of national laws concerning contracts, project management and corporate responsibility. Regarding relations between indigenous peoples and the multinationals themselves, he said there were indications that some companies were beginning to implement policies that helped improve the socio-economic conditions of indigenous peoples. Nevertheless, all efforts should not be based on paternalism. Rather, they must recognize that past policies had been unfair and that indigenous economic, community and governance structures should be considered on an equal footing with State structures, especially when projects under consideration had an impact on indigenous lands and territories.

Introducing the report on the impact of the economic crisis, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, Forum member from the Philippines, said the report synthesized the short-and long-term impact of the crisis on indigenous peoples, and was linked with the Forum's special theme on indigenous peoples' development, culture and identity. "We are now witnessing the most severe global recession since the 1930s", she said, citing Nobel laureate Joe Stiglitz's conclusion that it was also the first serious global downturn of the modern era of globalization. The Commission of Experts of the President of the General Assembly on reform of international monetary and financial regulation had analyzed the origins of the crisis, determining that its spread from developed countries to the global economy provided tangible evidence of the need to reform the international finance and trading systems. One common conclusion was that the financial market self-correction had failed, she said. While there were claims of recovery, evidence showed that nations were still in decline. Indigenous peoples viewed the crisis as just one side of the coin; the other side was the global crisis of biodiversity laws, climate change and environmental degradation - all of which stemmed from an economic model that fostered over-consumption and production. Absolute consumption had only increased, with growing populations and gross domestic product (GDP). It was clear that social inequalities were not being reduced. The extent of the impact on indigenous peoples depended on how well indigenous peoples had been integrated into their countries' populations. Turning to the United States, she described the social impacts on Native Americans. Between 1990 and 2000, the poverty rate among them was more than two times the average for all United States citizens. Cyclical unemployment, rising food, energy and health-care prices had only worsened their situation. Further, gaming revenues had declined by 9%, affecting 60 or 70 tribes with lucrative casinos. In 2002, nearly 3 in 10 Native American-owned businesses were in the timber sector, which was among the hardest hit by the crisis. The United States' decision to formally review its position on the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was very much welcome. Elsewhere in the world, she said that overseas workers in developing countries had been severely affected. In Tonga, for example, remittances contributed to between 55 and 60 per cent of GDP. Fiji's decrease in tourism had brought down the average retirement age, while Thailand's hill tribe people also had been affected. The downturn had also hit farmers in Thailand, Viet Nam and other exporting countries. Their loss of income, and an increase in food commodity prices, had led to food insecurity. The same was true in Africa. She recommended that stimulus packages be used to redesign development priorities and bring them in line with indigenous culture and values. Safety nets for indigenous peoples should be increased, while rights and accountability mechanisms of States and intergovernmental organizations should be put in place. National institutions should change their policies to be inclusive of indigenous peoples. While the crisis had been devastating, it was an opportunity for indigenous peoples to bring into the fore their vision for social and economic development.

The expert members of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues turned their attention to the historical root of ongoing violations of indigenous peoples' human rights, so-called "discovery doctrines", which for centuries served as "legal" rationale for stealing land and dehumanizing aboriginal peoples, as well as justification for the establishment of boarding schools throughout North America to "civilize" Indian children. Special Rapporteur Tonya Gonnella Frichner, Permanent Forum member from the United States, presented to the 16-member body her preliminary study of the impact on indigenous peoples of the international legal construct known as the "Doctrine of Discovery" (http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs//2010/hr5019.doc.htm). The just-completed survey revealed that the Doctrine, along with papal bulls dating back to the fifteenth century, and other such Vatican documents and royal charters, had evolved - with disastrous effect on the world's indigenous nations and peoples - into an interpretative framework that had become institutionalized in law and policy, at national and international levels. "That interpretive framework is the root problem facing indigenous peoples," she continued, emphasizing its two elements: dehumanization and dominance. For centuries, the terrible scenario played out thusly: A Christian monarch who located or "discovered" non-Christian lands and territories had the right to claim a superior and paramount title to those territories. Further, the Doctrine held that non-Christian lands were considered to belong to no one, and once a Christian monarch had claimed the right of dominion, that claim was transferred to other political successors. Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, Permanent Forum member from Philippines and one of six expert panelists to engage delegates on the topic, said an estimated 60 million people lived in or near the world's tropical rainforests (http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs//2010/hr5020.doc.htm). Sadly, studies had revealed that those people lived in some of the most poverty-stricken conditions on the planet, and that their local Governments were among the most corrupt. Another challenge, she said, was that conservation initiatives, such as the creation of national parks and wilderness reserves, had led to the ejection of many indigenous communities, primarily because conservationists believed that the only way forests could be preserved was by "throwing out all the people". "It's about time that international community and States really recognize the rights of indigenous peoples […] by reforming colonialists polices and giving indigenous people the rights to manage their own lands," she said. While indigenous peoples made undeniable contributions to humanity's cultural diversity, representatives of aboriginal and native groups appealed today for help from the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, saying they still faced systemic discrimination and exclusion from political and economic power, forced ejection from their ancestral lands, and depredation from profit-hungry corporations bent on destroying their life-giving forests (http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs//2010/hr5021.doc.htm).

The 16-member expert body's planned discussion on the agenda for its tenth anniversary session next year was interrupted by passionate pleas from several speakers for the Forum to stand by its founding principles and provide space for indigenous peoples to express their opinions free from intimidation. This followed interventions by observer Governments of China and Bangladesh calling into question the status or existence of indigenous groups living, respectively, in " Inner Mongolia", and the Chittagong Hill Tracts region. However, a Youth Caucus delegate declared that the Forum was supposed to be for all indigenous peoples, even those that were mislabeled as ethnic minorities, and asked: if indigenous people did not have a voice in the Permanent Forum, under what mechanism could their concerns be heard? Similarly, a speaker for the Asia Indigenous Peoples' Caucus urged the Forum to provide an opportunity next year for a full-day discussion on human rights. He stressed the importance of implementing indigenous peoples' rights in the Forum, without Government intimidation, and added: "It would be a shame if such interference was allowed to continue." Several experts took the opportunity to comment, with Victoria Tauli-Corpuz of the Philippines saying that, as an expert from the Asian region, she truly appreciated all the work China had done for the ethnic minorities in the country. But, the fact remained that the Forum had received reports regarding the arrest of a Mongolian activist who was scheduled to participate in the current session. That matter needed to be addressed, she said, adding: "We are not doing this out of political motivation. We are concerned about this person."

Stressing that prevailing development paradigms had often destroyed the political, economic and spiritual systems of indigenous peoples, the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues closed its ninth session adopting its draft report, which, among other things, urged the United Nations to support indigenous peoples' efforts to formulate their own development models based on concepts "underpinned by indigenous cosmologies, philosophies, values, cultures and identities" (http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs//2010/hr5022.doc.htm). That report, adopted as orally amended, was one of 10 texts approved by consensus and based on the 16-member expert body's discussions during its 2010 session. Further to the draft report (document E/C.19/2010/L.2), the Forum decided to appoint one of it members, Pavel Sulyandziga of the Russian Federation, as Special Rapporteur to conduct a study on indigenous peoples' models of development in line with the special theme. The report recognized the importance of indigenous knowledge systems as the basis of their development and recommended that global processes - including ongoing talks on creating an international access and benefit-sharing regime of the Convention on Biological Diversity - integrate such systems into their work, in accordance with the 2007 Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The Forum hailed that Declaration, saying it "provides a strong basis from which indigenous peoples can affirm their rights and define their aspirations in their relations with States, corporations, the United Nations system […]and other institutions around development with culture and identity". They welcomed New Zealand's decision to endorse the Declaration, the United States announcement to officially review its position and Canada's decision to take steps to endorse the accord. States that had abstained during the original vote were urged to reverse their positions and endorse the Declaration to achieve full consensus. In other action, the Forum recommended that the Economic and Social Council decide that the Forum's tenth session be held in New York from 16 to 27 May 2011 (document E/C.19/2010/L.8) and that it authorize a three-day international expert group meeting on the theme "indigenous peoples and forests", the results of which to be reported to the Forum's tenth session and the ninth session of the United Nations Forum on Forests (document E/C.19/2010/L.9 (Part I)). By a text on matters calling for action by the Council, or brought to its attention (document E/C.19/2010/L.9 (Part II)), also adopted as orally amended, the Forum decided to hold a half-day discussion at its tenth session on the theme "The right to water and indigenous peoples", and recommended that interested parties organize an international expert group meeting on "indigenous peoples: sacred plants and sites", the conclusions of which would be submitted to the tenth session. The Forum expressed concern at the long-term negative impacts of large dams on indigenous peoples, as well as at conservation efforts -- including the designation of national parks and biosphere reserves -- which often led to the displacement of indigenous peoples from their traditional lands and territories. In other areas, the Forum recommended that States include ethnic identification in vital statistics and health records, and allocate more funding for intercultural services that ensured indigenous women's access to quality health care, including emergency obstetric care and voluntary family planning. The Permanent Forum also adopted a set of recommendations on human rights matters, including issues that emerged during its dialogue with the Special Rapporteur (document E/C.19/2010/L.3). The experts deemed it "urgently necessary" for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to develop a deeper understanding of indigenous peoples' world views. That would require the agency to enhance its own capacity in the area of human rights, by having at least one full-time adviser on indigenous peoples' rights. That person should be an indigenous professional with experience in working in or with indigenous organizations. In its set of recommendations on follow-up to the experts' 2009 missions to Bolivia and Paraguay (document E/C.19/2010/L.4), the Forum's members suggested that Bolivia speed up implementation of constitutional provisions regarding the freeing of individuals, families and communities [in the Chaco region] in light of the fact that "forced labor and servitude are serious human rights violations that must be addressed with urgency". It was also recommended that Bolivia continue to ensure that its policies dealing with the Chaco region pay particular attention to the territorial reconstitution of the Guarani people, "which both the Government and the Guarani People's Assembly consider the ultimate objective". As for Paraguay, the Permanent Forum recommended that the country's Government remain firm in its commitment to cooperating with indigenous peoples' organizations to find "emergency solutions to the extremely serious situation of the indigenous communities that have been wholly disposed of their land, and to implement policies to ensure the reconstitution of their territory". Noting that forced labour and all forms of servitude were serious violations of human rights, the Forum recommended that the Government move swiftly to combat such practices - with particular attention to the exploitation of children - including that those responsible for such practices be prosecuted under Paraguayan law. The Forum also recommended that Paraguay should propose the negotiation of international agreements for the protection of the rights of indigenous peoples in the other States that shared the vast Chaco region - Argentina, Brazil and, especially, Bolivia - with a view to the development of additional policies aimed at the freeing of individuals, the recovery of land and the rebuilding of peoples. In line with the issues raised during its half-day discussion on North America, the Permanent Forum adopted a host of relevant recommendations (document E/C.19/2010/L.5), among others, urging the Governments of Canada and the United States to work in good faith with indigenous peoples for the "unqualified endorsement" and full implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. It further urged that such endorsement and implementation honor the spirit and intent of the Declaration, consistent with indigenous peoples' human rights. The Forum urged the Governments of both the United States and Canada to eliminate all assimilation policies that further exacerbated the socio-economic disparities between indigenous peoples and the rest of the population, and to financially support community education systems and efforts to protect indigenous languages. It also recognized that the issue of missing and murdered indigenous women, as well as other forms of violence, including domestic violence and human trafficking, were gaining public attention in Canada, and urged the Canadian Government to provide more emergency shelters for such women, as well as better victims' services, and specific programs to assist indigenous women who have been trafficked. Following up its comprehensive dialogue with the secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Forum adopted a set of recommendations and decisions (document E/C.19/2010/L.6), including a call on the parties to the Convention to adopt the terminology "indigenous peoples and local communities" as an accurate reflection of the distinct identities developed by those entities since the adoption of that treaty some 20 years ago. The Forum also decided to appoint members Mick Dodson of Australia and Victoria Tauli-Corpuz of the Philippines as Special Rapporteurs on organizing and undertaking a technical review of the proposed international regime on access and benefit-sharing. The Forum adopted the provisional agenda for its tenth session (document E/C.19/2010/L.7), which would include a half-day discussion on Central and South America and the Caribbean, as well as a dialogue with United Nations agencies and funds. For further details of the Permanent Forum, go to: http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unpfii/en/session_ninth.html. The documented statements made by indigenous and other groups, organizations, UN departments and states area available by following this hyperlink.