Native women face patchwork of policies for Plan B
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Months after the federal Indian Health Service said it was finalizing a policy that would make emergency contraception more accessible to American Indian women, advocates say they're still waiting. And in the meantime, Native women face a patchwork of policies at hospitals and clinics that don't always ensure timely access to the medication.
Across the country, any woman 17 or older can buy emergency contraception from behind the counter at retail pharmacies. But the Indian Health Service has no retail pharmacies. Instead, Native women typically must visit a clinic, urgent care facility or emergency room and have a consultation before being prescribed the medicine that is dispensed on-site.
Critics say that system is time-consuming and burdensome, and they've been pushing for change. In May, they scored a victory when the Indian Health Service's chief medical officer, Susan Karol, said the agency was working on a new policy aimed at allowing pharmacies to give Plan B directly to patients.
But that policy hasn't been released yet, and until it is, Native women face an unreliable assortment of rules that can vary from clinic to clinic, said Charon Asetoyer, director of the South Dakota-based Native American Women's Health Education Resource Center. More...
'This Indian Country': Battling for Native American rights through nonviolent resistance
Frederick Hoxie's "This Indian Country" documents the unsung heroes who battled for Native American rights nonviolently. Hoxie will discuss his book Friday Nov. 2 at Seattle's Elliott Bay Book Co.
"Since 1492 Native people [have] spent far more time negotiating, lobbying and debating than they spent tomahawking settlers or shooting at soldiers," Frederick E. Hoxie writes in the introduction to his provocative new book, "This Indian Country: American Indian Activists and the Place They Made" (Penguin Press, 469 pp., $32.95). That statement summarizes Hoxie's theme: While warriors such as Tecumseh, Sitting Bull, Geronimo and Chief Joseph were getting headlines, other Native Americans were quietly using words to resist white conquest.
Hoxie, professor of history and law at the University of Illinois and author of several previous books, says the 1783 Treaty of Paris, which ended the American Revolution and established the United States as an independent nation, also ignored the nation's original inhabitants, effectively erasing them from the map. "The American habit of disregarding living Indians is not founded in ignorance or prejudice," he says; "it is the product of history."
Much of that sorry history is woven into this account of Native Americans who nonviolently resisted the loss of their homelands, cultures and even their lives by fighting back with words. More...
If You Aren’t Native American, Put Down That Bald Eagle Feather
The U.S. Department of Justice recently finalized its policy regarding the use of feathers or other parts of federally protected birds. For most of us, getting caught with a bald eagle feather or raptor claw would be a criminal offense, and killing one might mean jail time. In the recent clarification, however, Native Americans are exempted, allowing federally recognized tribes to use the feathers and other parts of federally protected birds.
Federal wildlife laws, like the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, were put into place to ensure that eagles and other bird populations remain healthy and sustainable. These laws generally prohibit the possession, use and sale of the feathers or other parts of federally protected birds, as well as the unauthorized killing of such birds.
These majestic birds are a national treasure, and deserve to live out their noble lives without fear of being shot from the sky or caught in a snare. Besides being beautiful and rare, federally protected birds provide a valuable service to the eco-system, eating dead animals and controlling populations of small rodents we might consider to be pests. Logging and the widespread use of a pesticide called DDT almost wiped out the Bald Eagle in the mid-20th century, and it took many years on the endangered species list before the population could recover. The two acts mentioned previously were passed to prohibit the killing, selling, trading, or possession of protected birds by anyone in the U.S., but this creates a problem for America’s original citizens. More...