Category Archives: My Opinion ndnstyl

spirit of the law

Disproportionate Arrest Rates among Native Americans


1.     The U.S. is a Country founded on the principles of justice and freedom and to this day the exception is for Native Americans.

·        The U.S. granted citizenship to native Americans in 1924

·        My grandmother was 26 years old.

·        My mother was born 6 years after that

·        My father was born 1 year before citizenship in 1923

·        This also was 5 years AFTER women were allowed to vote

·        59 years AFTER black males were allowed to vote.

·        The Indian Imprisonment Act of 1675 prohibited Indigenous Peoples from entering the city of Boston.

·        This Act was recently repealed in November 24, 2004

·        This Act provided States and City governments ordering Indians to stay out or get permission before they crossed State line or entering a city, Indians were NOT allowed inside the city after dark. Some of these laws are still on the books today around the country.

·        Indians were also not allowed into legally into the State of Georgia for nearly 150 years up until1980.

·        Indians had been forced from their land in the early 1830s in a journey that became the Trail of Tears.

·        170 years ago Indians were forcibly removed from Georgia after state legislature and their claims to Indian lands resulted in the Indian Removal Act of 1830

·        This act denied Indians residence, the right to testify in court and to assemble in Georgia.

·        The Trail of tears resulted in a 116 day march where 4000 Cherokees died.

·        The Indian Removal Act was recently appealed in March of 1980.

·        Indians were not legally allowed to live in these Cities or States until these Acts of Congress were repealed.

·        These Acts continue to promote the prejudice that still exist in a county founded on justice and Freedom.

ANY COMMENTS OR QUESTIONS

2.     There are many issues regarding Native Americans and the Criminal Justice System.

·        Disproportionate Incarceration at a much higher imprisonment, per capita than any other ethnicity other than African Americans.

·        A disregard for Cultural and Spiritual practices

·        Native Americans have a lack of access to their community once imprisoned.

·        There is a higher percentage of substance abuse resulting form imprisonment

3. The first is disproportionate incarceration. Estimating that the numbers are higher now approximately 26,000 are in U.S. jails, prisons and they are sent there at a rate 38% higher then the general population according to stats in the year 2000. (THE FOUNDATION FOR NATIONAL PROGRESS WEBSITE charts showing incarcerations rates-http:// motherjones .com/prisonsatlas.html-D.O.J. statistics American Indians and crime.)

4.     Between 1996-2000 in ALASKA incarcerations were:

·        White males rose 6%

·        Native males rose 26%

·        White females totals up 26%

·        Native females skyrocketed by 41% in just four years.

5.     SOUTH DAKOTA

·        Native American males and females make up to 35% of all inmates

6.     MONTANA

·        Native males make up 18.8 %

·        Native females make up 29.6% the total amount of females went up from 17 to 81 an increase of 376%

·        There is little to no research of females increasing in incarcerations Native females are vastly outpacing white females.

7.     Juveniles Similar disparities prevail among juveniles.

“We are tracking one group of kids from kindergarten to prison, and we are teracking one group of kids from kindergarten to college” – Lana Guinier

  • In the United States, youth of color are caught in the war on drugs.

  • Incarceration cost them their education

  • The Higher Education Act., passed in 1998 by the United States in 1998 delays or denies federal financial aid for higher education for any student convicted of a misdemeanor or felony drug conviction.

  • Because crimes committed on Indian reservations often fall within Federal Jurisdiction, native American Youth and Adults who engage in minor criminal conduct that ordinarily would be prosecuted in a State Court face federal prosecution and federal penalties that are often far harsher than those imposed in a state court.

  • For this reason 60% of youths in federal custody are Native Americans.

  • White youth aged 12-17 are more than a third more likely to have sold drugs than African American

  • The National Institute of Drug Abuse survey of high school seniors for 1998/1999 shows that white students use Cocaine a 7 to 8 times the rate of students of color.

  • Heroin at 7 times the rate.

8.     Treatment centers become “for profit centers” at over $250 dollars a day with poor to no long term results, in other words “no bang for the buck’.

·        Most minority juveniles are sent to Out of State treatment centers. Minority youth compared to white youth make up 57%  of secure detention facilities in 1997

·        MINNESOTA Native juveniles are 23% juvenile arrest

·        71% are transferred to adult courts

·        70% are transferred to adult courts.

·        SOUTH DAKOTA Native Juveniles placements are at 27%

·        MONTANA 18% incarcerated are  Native juvenile inmates

·        ALASKA 36%  incarcerated are  Native juvenile inmates

·        Native American youth have died in the juvenile incarceration and treatment facilities from abuse and neglect at the hands of poorly paid trained staff.

9.     The Montana American civil liberties Union states: “People who claim hat racism is not an issue….their heads are in the clouds. Racism here is real and profound it’s demonstrated in the prison system, in processing, profiling, arrest, public defense and probation.”

·        Native Americans who are not institutionalized frequently tend to take the blame for offenses

·        Poor defense results in plea bargaining for lack of investigation and expense to the court at the disparity of Native Americans.

·        Chief Judge of the Jicarilla Apache states “  Among the Apache the telling of the truth is extremely important. I suspect this is a standard for most native Americans not institutionalized.”

10. Native Americans that are incarcerated are shipped to other States. Montana ships to Texas and so on……

·        Native Americans are closely bonded to their communities of origin.

·        To maintain their rehab potential they need to maintain that connection

·        SOUTH DAKOTA, where 85% on the reservation are unemployed-without drivers licenses-cars- credit cards-it is very difficult for family support when inmates are transferred thousands of miles

·        Sadly children lose the most…….

11. Steven Waucau states “ Being Indian is to uphold a justice system older than any government”

·        Tribal law is based on reconciliation not so much retribution.

·        These systems are guided by unwritten laws, and traditional practices learned by example and through oral teachings of our tribal elders.

·        Indians don’t store their laws in books, they are kept in their minds and hearts

·        American law is based on retribution, it’s hierarchical, punitive guided by codified and written rules, procedures that retribution in the form of punishment to appease society and the victim.

·        1 in 25 Native Americans 18 years or older is under the jurisdiction of the nations Criminal Justice System.

President Clinton signed the Native American Free Exercise Act, which allowed for spiritual leaders, materials used in ceremonies in to prisons. BEFORE THAT SIGNING Christian Choirs were allowed in prisons and traditional ceremonies were not.
Julienne Xene Laverdure Cross
Peace Maker/Anishanaabe
I AM INDIAN FIRST…..THIS IS THE FOUNDATION FROM WHICH I LIVE
P.O. Box 1057
Lac du Flambeau, Wisconsin -54538-

Sexual Assault Boys to Men

I recently listened to a story from an Indian man who is a survivor and is encouraging other men to speak up about the sexual abuse they have suffered in their lives.
He is doing this for several reasons, most importantly it is breaking the silence, and the road to healing can begin. Another reason is that perpetrators may be held accountable and other young boys may be saved from the same abuse.
It is harder for males to admit they have been victimized sexually by other males for reasons we as a society play a role in. First of all, there is a stink about homosexuality that permeates this country and the world. This stench denies male victims justice, for fear of social ostracism. Secondly, society has equated masculinity to strength as in not having human emotions and the main perpetrators of this is men themselves. Myself, as a women, witnessing a man showing human emotion attribute this to integrity and balance. Lastly, we as women and mother’s of both sexes, male and female are not acknowledging these issues exist and our children are suffering and most likely will die or commit suicide with this socially perpetrated injustice. Following is an article to prove my point further:
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
April 1, 2009
“Trail of Tears”
Police are digging into two possible suicides, a drug death and the molestation of at least 28 boys.
TRACKING ACKER’S TRAIL
By Tom Kertscher
GREENFIELD, WI– At least one and possibly two of Daniel Acker’s suspected victims committed suicide and a third died because of complications from drug use, according to the police official who is supervising the Acker investigation.
And Greenfield police now believe that Acker, 61, a longtime West Allis resident before moving to Waukesha last year, molested at least 28 boys.
In an hour long interview Tuesday with the Journal Sentinel, Deputy Inspector Bradley Wentlandt retraced the “trail of tears” detectives have followed in their investigation, which could reach a pivotal stage this week.
And he detailed how Acker, who is suspected of assaulting boys in his homes, on the lakefront, in a park and elsewhere, managed to cloak his actions over four decades.
“I guess you could say that over time, he got better at it,” Wentlandt said.
Prosecutors have charged Acker with a 2005 assault on a boy who is now 19 and are expected to decide this week whether to file charges involving two other suspected victims.
In an interview Sunday from jail, where Acker admitted to “weaknesses,” and “poor choices” but denied having sexual relations with boys.
Greenfield police are investigating the case because on of Acker’s accuser’s, a man now in his 40’s said he was molested by Acker in Greenfield in the 1970’s.
Wentlandt said the man reported the alleged assaults in a voice mail message left march 19 with West Allis-West Milwaukee Recreation Department, which has employed Acker as a part-time swim instructor for 37 years.
Wentlandt said a supervisor of that department spoke to the man the same day, then informed Greenfield Police March 23 Acker was arrested that day while teaching a youth swim class in West Allis.
Wentlandt said he didn’t know why the supervisor waited four days to make the report but doesn’t believe the delay hampered investigation.
Since then, more than 100 people have spoken to investigators. Police say the 28 males they have identified as victims were molested by Acker between 1972 and 2005.
The boys generally were between the ages of 7 and 15 when they were abused, although some continued to be molested into their later teen years, according to Wentlandt.
The assaults occurred over the years at Acker’s homes, first in Greenfield and later on the northwest side of Milwaukee and in West Allis, where he lived from 1990 to 2008, Wentlandt said.
Acker also molested boys at Whitnall Park, near Like Michigan, in Eagle River and in Waterford in Racine County, Wentlandt said.
Acker met the boys from among the literally thousands of children who took his swim classes, through a previous job working at the Milwaukee County Mental Health Complex and through other people, Wentlandt said.
Acker befriended boys from troubled families, bought them things and took them places, let them hang out at his home and sometimes gave them alcohol and marijuana.
After a period of months, he would ask the boys if he could take nude pictures of them; later he would touch them sexually.
Some of the boys refused to be photographed nude and never saw Acker again, but others-thankful for the attention Acker showed them-succumbed to indecent touching and eventually to more advanced sexual activity, Wentlandt said.
“They’re already being assaulted before they know what happened,” Wentlandt said.
“I GUESS YOU COULD SAY OVER TIME HE (Acker) GOT BETTER AT IT.”
One of the suspected victims committed suicide as an adult, another death is considered a possible suicide and a third died from complications stemming from drug use, Wentlandt said. He said relatives of the drug user tied the drug use to Acker’s suspected assaults.
Other men identified as Acker’s victims suffer from broken marriages and can’t hold jobs, Wentlandt said.
Even though the number of suspected victims has reached 28, it is not known whether police will be able to seek charges involving more than the three cases already submitted to the district attorney’s office.
In 15 of the cases, the alleged abuse would have occurred before 1989, beyond the statute of limitations. In 10 cases the suspected victims were unable or unwilling to provide enough information.
Equally frustrating is the belief that Acker likely continued molesting boys after 2005, the year of the assault involving the 19-year-old, Wentlandt said.
But Wentlandt said he understands, having witnessed the anguish of men in their 30’s and 40’s recounting their allegations of abuse by Acker, how a teen molested more recently would not come forward. Victims often feel a stigma about having been abused, believe they somehow consented to it or fear being labeled homosexual, he said.
“I can’t imagine how a 14 year old boy would feel in the same circumstances” said Wentlandt.
Despite police allegations that Acker committed hundreds of attacks, neither West Allis nor Greenfield police have records of any prior reports of abuse by Acker. Milwaukee police said they have no record of any other contact with him.
After his arrest, Acker would not volunteer any information about sexual contact with boys, Wentlandt said.
But after being confronted with the details about the 19 year old and about five other victims from the 1970s, he admitted to assaults involving these boys, Wentlandt said.
Wentlandt said he hoped to exhaust most leads this week and then turn over information to other law enforcement authorities about alleged assaults in their communities.
As a mother and a tribal victim advocate I am pleading with you boys and men to break your silence and bring these perpetrators to justice so we may can put a stop to this on our lands!

My Opinion NDN STYL

I read many books by many authors. A thought or a think may stay with me. I interpret quotes like this “Tribes may be but a stick before a tank” by Vine Deloria as follows:
First of all, I’ve written about this theory on the web,
Awaken The Sleeping Giant.
I am Anishanaabe, I am not the non-Indian interpretation as in Otjipwe, and so on. It is my experience that there is power in our original language and I have witnessed this in our ceremonies.
I would like to submit a peace treaties to my brothers and sisters of the Great Sioux Nation…..the Nakota, Lakota and Dakota. I have two sons of yours. One is Impetu Luta Hokshela, named by Orville Looking Horse”s father (if I remember correctly Stanley) in Green Grass S.D. 23 years ago. I did not ask him he sent an interpreter to me as I helped with the Sun Dance. It was a time he mentioned handing down the sacred pipe to Orville. Impetu has completed six years in the National Guard and at 25 working on his thesis to become a Doctor of Psychology. The other a hero I will not mention.
We have had a long history together. I recently watched Bury My Heart In Wounded Knee, again. This is a painful movie for me. We have walked that journey together when we think of Anna Mae and many others.
When I think of the
stick it is part of a tree. This tree being those Sovereign Nations in the United States that have Jurisdiction over their Tribal memberships and limited lawful abilities to govern or adopt ordinances in the best interest of their membership.
When I think of the dominant society primarily the lawmakers of State and Government who continue to be ruled by special interest or their own ego’s, these injustices to humanity continue. Not only injustices to humanity but also the natural world, in which we Indigenous of Turtle Island know in our teachings and prophecies are inherently responsible as keepers. “WE ARE TO LEAVE NO TRACKS.” This meant we take only what we need and return what we take from our mother the Earth. This tree has the ability to be an example of humane leadership and improve and protect the natural world.
This tree could become greater than that tank. It’s roots may spread through-out Turtle Island. In order to become this tree we must come to- gather or stand as one heart and mind. Our number must be as one. Our nations must be as one. Our Laws must be as one. Our children and those not yet born must be protected as One.
We once respected and understood that those that were born with same sex interest were special and we held them up. Why do we continue to subject them to the same bias as Christian America. They are our people and they must leave our small societies from persecution and go into the persecution of cities in the U.S. They are dying and contracting Aids. They are bringing this disease home to our people. Is our attitude so assimilated that we feel it is their just deserves or have we forgotten that the creator is in the spirit of all living creation including that unseen? Let them marry in our Tribal Courts.
Those that call themselves the lost tribe that are in the urban area’s. Those that we know when we see them that they are Indigenous, the children, the young adults in the system that assert lawful authority over them are getting abused sexually and physically in foster homes and in the streets. We can adopt them as tribal members and protect them under the Indian Child Wefare Act or our own tribal authority. Give them their spiritual names and begin to undue the genocide.
I know we are told by our elders that we cannot write certain things and I know why. These things are spiritual it is and always has been in our spirit to do what is right and just for the good of all even that tree has value equal to you and me.
We are told not to write things down because it breaks that connection from your heart and mind that promotes the acts that are just in the spirit of the law. It is Indoctrination and it is evident in the wars killing humanity around the globe and the disconnect between the DNC, RNC, and our own tribal leadership, it is a fruitless tree.