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A Year of Justice for the Miami Indians?

Miami Chief Buchanan

Miami Chief Buchanan

As many of you know we have been involved in peacemaking and reconciliation with the Miami Nations of Indians of Indiana for over 4 years now. Out of that relationship we have been advocating for State recognition for the Miami of Indiana. This recognition was theirs back in the 1800s and then illegally stripped from them by a government official from the Bureau of Indian Affairs. By the time they were able to make a case in the supreme court the statute of limitations had run out.

State recognition will help restore dignity to the tribal members. Can you imagine the awkwardness of the original people of Indiana having to ask to be recognized officially by the State? The irony of this can’t be properly expressed!

This recognition would also provide the State of Indiana funding from the Federal Government for the education of the public regarding the Miami. It could improve tourism and provide opportunities for employment and business development for tribal members (over 4000 just in Indiana).

It costs the State of Indiana nothing to do this! I could go on but I think my point has been made.

Here is a statement from the Miami Nation website regarding State Recognition.

State Recognition, which is a completely separate status from federal recognition, is a great step towards facilitating further cooperation and communication between the Miami Nation of Indiana and the State of Indiana. It also facilitates inclusion of tribal perspectives in the state process and provides a multicultural understanding among public officials and the citizenry.

Additionally, state recognition would provide the Miami Nation of Indiana with protection under the Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990 and the Native American Free Exercise of Religion Act of 1993 which allows tribal members may proclaim their Indian status of their artwork and provides them with the freedom to practice their religion and ceremonies, which have been challenged in the past.

State recognized tribes can apply for limited federal programs such as education, job training and housing assistance; however, services offered by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Indian Health Service are not available to them. Such are only available through Federal recognition.

I have recently learned from Chief Buchanan that there is a bill before the State for the recognition of the Miami of Indiana. Here is his appeal.

“We need support and help to get a hearing in the Public Policy Committee. I have the list of Senators, their contact information, Bill 342, and the Senate District Map. I am respectfully asking for support from all of my friends and ask that you contact these Senators and ask them to move for a hearing Concerning Miami State Recognition. 

I want to inform everyone that the tribe has approximately 60 out of the 92 Counties in Indiana that city and county councils, including the Mayors of the County seats, that have already issued Proclamations of Recognition to the Miami Nation Of Indians of the State of Indiana. These are all issued and approved!

Chief Brian Buchanan, Miami Nation of Indians of Indiana.

Lets stand with the Miami of Indiana in prayer and action!

Link for Bill 342: http://www.in.gov/legislative/bills/2013/IN/IN0342.1.html

Phone numbers to call to ask for a hearing for the Miami.

Becker R.M., Glick, Grooms, Merritt, Waterman, Zakas, Arnold R.M.M., Lanane, Randolph PUBLIC POLICY COMMITTEE for MIAMI NATION Bill 342 Senator Ron Alting Committee Chair District 22 Tippicanoe County – Lafayette Phone # 317-232-9400 Toll free 1-800-382-9467 Legislative Assistant
Meredith Lizza Ph # 317-232-9517

Senator Vaneta Becker District 50 Counties Served – Vanderburgh and Warrick Phone # 317-232-9400 Toll free 1-800-382-9467 Legislative Assistant
Amy Foxworthy 317-232-9494

Senator Susan C. Glick – Republican District 13 Counties Served – LaGrange, Noble, Steuben and portions of DeKalb County Legislative Assistant: Brian Rockensuess 317-232-9493 Phone # 317-232-9400 Toll free 1-800-382-9467

 

 

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Posted by on January 22, 2013 in Author's Updates

 

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A Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation in Minnesotta

(Saint Paul) – In commemoration of the US – Dakota War of 1862, Governor Mark Dayton released the following statement calling…

Friday August 17, 2012

“A Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation in Minnesota”

“The war ended, but the attacks against innocent Indian children, women, and elderly continued.  They were even encouraged by the Governor of Minnesota… I am appalled by Governor Ramsey’s words and by his encouragement of vigilante violence against innocent people; and I repudiate them…

He also called on all to…

remember that dark past; to recognize its continuing harm in the present; and to resolve that we will not let it poison the future.”–Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton.

Dakota – US War of 1812

In this historic statement, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton, not minicing any of his words, repudiates the actions of Governor Ramsey of 150 years ago.

Here is the full text of Governor Dayton’s statement:

August 17, 1862 marked a terrible period in Minnesota’s history. The first victims of the “US -Dakota War of 1862” lost their lives on that day,150 years ago. The ensuing attacks and counter-attacks killed hundreds more U.S. soldiers, Dakota braves, conniving traders, and innocent people. Tragically, those deaths started a vicious cycle of hate crimes, which continued long after the war was ended.

The events leading to those atrocities actually began before 1862. The United State Government, through its agents in the new State of Minnesota, either persuaded, deceived, or forced the state’s long-time inhabitants from Dakota and Ojibwe Indian tribes to give up their lands for promises of money, food, and supplies. Many of the government’s promises were repeatedly broken.

The displaced Dakota and Chippewa tribes watched newly arrived settlers claim the lands that had been theirs. They were denied their treaty payments of money and food, which resulted in starvation for many of their children and elderly. Often, when annuity payments did finally arrive, they were immediately plundered by some dishonest officials and traders.

On August 17, 1862, a group of Dakota braves attacked and killed five new settlers at Acton in Meeker County. The Dakota community was not unanimous in the decision to go to war; some of them helped the settlers. Nonetheless, the war began. Atrocities were committed by combatants on both sides against combatants and noncombatants alike. Hundreds of people were killed. Many more Indian and immigrant lives were ruined. And the lives of Minnesotans were altered for the next 150 years.

The war ended, but the attacks against innocent Indian children, women, and elderly continued. They were even encouraged by the Governor of Minnesota.

On September 9, 1862, Alexander Ramsey proclaimed: “Our course then is plain. The Sioux Indians of Minnesota must be exterminated or driven forever beyond the borders of the State. . . .”

“They must be regarded and treated as outlaws. If any shall escape extinction, the wretched remnant must be driven beyond our borders and our frontier garrisoned with a force sufficient to forever prevent their return.”

A Minnesota newspaper chimed in, “We have plenty of young men who would like no better fun than a good Indian hunt.”

I am appalled by Governor Ramsey’s words and by his encouragement of vigilante violence against innocent people; and I repudiate them. I know that almost all Minnesotans, living today, would be just as revolted. The viciousness and violence, which were commonplace 150 years ago in Minnesota, are not accepted or allowed now.

Yet hostile feelings do still exist between some Native Americans and their neighbors. Detestable acts are still perpetrated by members of one group against the other. Present grievances, added to past offenses, make it difficult to commemorate the past, yet not continue it.

I call for tomorrow, the 150th anniversary of August 17, 1862, to be “a Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation in Minnesota.” I ask everyone to remember that dark past; to recognize its continuing harm in the present; and to resolve that we will not let it poison the future.

To everyone who lost family members during that time, I offer my deepest condolences for your losses. I ask you especially to help lead us to better attitudes and actions toward others.

To honor the American soldiers, Dakota people, and settlers who lost their lives in that war, I order that all state flags shall be flown at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on August 17, 2012.

And I urge everyone participating in the events commemorating this 150th Anniversary to practice not only remembrance, but also reconciliation.

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2012 in Author's Updates

 

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Exposing the Works of Darkness

Jesus wept over Jerusalem because its leaders and the people of his day both failed to understand “the things that make for peace” or recognize “the time of [their] visitation.” Because of this they were not prepared for the judgment that was soon to come upon them. They interpreted the signs wrong!

And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.” —Luke 19:41-44 ESV

I am often asked, “Why bring up the past?” But, the fact remains; every time we quote the Bible we are bringing up the past—whether good or bad. I believe the problems we face in America today find their roots in our beginnings. If we can dig down to those roots I believe we have a chance to see judgment averted—or at least lessened. I am of the opinion that God’s judgments are, for the most part, him letting us reap what we have sown—which means he doesn’t intervene in that natural process. I believe that God has temporarily intervened many times in this nation to postpone judgment, but ultimately—if we don’t get to the roots—time may run out. If we don’t, as the scriptures warn, judge ourselves, then we will certainly fall under the judgment of God.

But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world. —1 Corinthians 11:31- 32 ESV

If “judgment begins in the household of God” (1 Peter 4:17) then how much more important is it that the followers of Jesus in America see the truth about our past and begin to separate ourselves from the political and social attitudes that  allowed us to carry out so much damage in the name of God and Christ.

Rather than try to paint a “christian” foundation upon this nation, let us, rather cling to the light and “expose the works of darkness”.

Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. Ephesians 5:11 ESV

Miigwech Bizandowiyeg (thank you for listening).

 
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Posted by on March 14, 2012 in Author's Updates

 

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