Longmont, CO - First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) is proud to announce that tribal philanthropy, the oldest form of philanthropy in the United States, has gained an equal voice in mainstream philanthropy by being welcomed as full, voting members of the Council on Foundations. It is a crucial moment for Indian Country to be awarded full membership to the Council. It will allow Native communities and grantmaking organizations to help steward the strategic direction of mainstream philanthropic efforts, including directing how funding reaches and impacts American Indian people.
As sovereign nations, many tribal governments operate charitable giving programs that benefit not only Native communities, but also local, regional and national organizations. Since less than one-half of one percent of private foundation grants are given to address American Indian issues, tribes and Native organizations have stepped forward to design their own philanthropic models to address vast needs in Indian Country. First Nations alone has provided more than $25 million in grants to protect assets in Native communities, while honoring the sovereignty of tribal governments.
"At First Nations, we believe that tribal philanthropy operates from a culturally-based voice of strength, assuredness and accomplishment. We believe that this is where American Indians must and will exist in America's philanthropic reality," said Michael E. Roberts, president of First Nations. Roberts also shared, "American Indian people deserve an equal seat and vote at the philanthropy table with mainstream grantmakers. We are grateful to the Council on Foundations for partnering with us to make this a reality."
The Council on Foundations also shared their response to welcoming tribal philanthropy as full members, "We are grateful to our partners, including the First Nations Development Institute, who devoted much of their time and energy in making this possible, and to our board for ensuring that the Council's policies addressed the unique aspects of tribal philanthropies," said Steve Gunderson, president and CEO of the Council on Foundations. "This policy change reflects our commitment to supporting diverse and inclusive philanthropy in all of its forms."
About the Council on Foundations The Council on Foundations, formed in 1949, is a nonprofit membership association of grantmaking foundations and corporations. Members of the Council include approximately 2,000 independent, operating, community, public and company-sponsored foundations and corporate giving programs in the United States and abroad. The assets of Council members total more than $307 billion. The Council's mission is to provide the opportunity, leadership, and tools needed by philanthropic organizations to expand, enhance, and sustain their ability to advance the common good. For more information, visit the Council's website at www.cof.org.
About First Nations Development Institute For thirty years, using a three-pronged strategy of Educating Grassroots Practitioners, Advocating for Systemic Change, and Capitalizing Indian Communities, First Nations has been working to restore Native American control and culturally-compatible stewardship of the assets they own - be they land, human potential, cultural heritage, or natural resources - and to establish new assets for ensuring the long-term vitality of Native communities. First Nations serves rural and reservation-based Native American communities throughout the United States. For more information about First Nations Development Institute, visit www.firstnations.org.
First Nations Development Institute 703 3rd Ave. Suite B • Longmont, CO 80501 Phone: (303) 774-7836 • Fax: (303) 774-7841
First Nations Announces Historic Opportunity for Tribal Philanthropy
Greetings and happy holidays. I hope this letter finds you all enjoying the spirit of the season with family and friends.
My August parole denial was appealed in short order. We are expecting a response to that appeal sometime very soon. It has occurred to me that the viciousness of this system knows no bounds, and so I believe strongly in the coming days we will hear of another loss, another denial. This one will be timed and intended specifically as a twisted Christmas present for me, such is the nature of those in charge. With no sense of balance, fairness, or decency, I await my own personal stocking stuffer.
We all know the so-called justice system of this country is more about revenge and retribution than finding true and just resolution. It doesn’t take into account the plight of the wrongfully convicted, nor does it allow flexibility as human endeavors always require. This system has always been about making money at the top, furthering careers in the middle, and forgetting those at the bottom.
Their reason for denying my parole is that I refuse to admit guilt and show remorse for the deaths of two FBI agents. I know the righteousness of my situation. I know what I did and didn’t do. I will never yield.
I also know what this country did and continues to do to me and many others. While they demand I make a false confession for the sake of my freedom, they show no remorse for the loss of much of my life, or the lives of Joe Stuntz and countless others they have murdered over the generations simply for being who they were. Those lives are meaningless when compared to their precious FBI, I guess. And now, some of the very ones responsible for the deaths and suffering of so many of my people, are peddling books and claiming to be a friend of the Indian. We’ve seen this before, and I’ll speak more about this soon.
I remain proud of what I have stood for and mindful of what real justice is. In this season of love and forgiveness, please say a prayer for all of those who never knew justice and others who have such difficulty in finding it still today. My love and my prayers go out to all of you. Happy Holidays,
Once again, we are being threatened with a forced eviction due to the Department of the Interior/Bureau of Indian Affairs ineptness of actions to do anything to assist or protect our Tribe. The governments’ failure or intentional lagging to correct the abuses and inflictions caused to our Tribe by the corruption within the local BIA's Central California Agency and Superintendent Troy Burdick who is personally working with and allowing outside influences to viciously attack and interfere into our Tribal Affairs is now on the brink of causing more serious concerns.
We have continued to forward documented factual information (including the criminal histories of the individuals plotting against us) to the BIA/Dept. of the Interior and our local elected officials, and they still have not stepped in to stop the continued criminal actions (fraud and identity theft) being perpetrated by Chadd Everone and his phony group. Mr. Everone continues to mislead government, court, and other agency officials to believe that he and his attorneys represent our Tribe.
We need your support. We need our story to be put out all across America and abroad. All those who can help us get justice, please come forward. Call your friends, Tribes (recognized or not), Universities, Veterans, Students, Elected Officials, and anyone who can step up and stand with us to get the government to take notice of the hardships and emotional suffering that is being cast upon our Tribe and its members Due to our local Governor, Congressman, Senators, Assemblymembers, etc… turning a blind-eye to our cries for justice, we are now asking you (the Public) to contact your Congressional representatives, Senators, and Assemblymembers, etc… to help us.
We are requesting that all people who know what its like to have an injustice done to you and who can remember how it felt for people to walk away without helping, or for those who had been wrongly accused and had to stand alone and fight through the tears and frustration to be ridiculed and finally justified in the end when the truth came out in the open, you are the ones that we are asking to step up and help us.
Please send letters, faxes, and or emails to your elected officials, and also leave voice messages regarding how appalled you are about the Bureau of Indian Affairs allowing such abuses to happen to a federally recognized Tribe, for this has gone on (years) too long!!! Do not allow the lies of Chadd Everone and his Gaming Developers (financial backers) to continue to cover up the truth of what they have been doing to destroy us. Demand that an investigation be set forth.
Appointed and elected officials get paid by our tax dollars to protect their citizens. Why is it that they have deaf ears to our situation? Is it because we are Native American Indians? Is it because they just don’t care? The last I remember, identity theft and fraud was illegal in this country, so then, why isn’t Chadd Everone not in jail? Is the Government waiting for one of us, or all of us (in the Tribe) to be seriously or fatally injured? What is going to happen on January 15th 2010 when the Sheriff’s department comes in to force the Tribe and its members out into the street? Will the American Indian Movement come to stand with us? Will the college and university students come to stand with us? Will our local community stand with us? The system of law and righteousness has failed us. Please help us !!
Again and again, we’ve tried to negotiate, we’ve tried the courts, we’ve tried to be patient but unfortunately words don’t pay the bills. One West Bank wants to get paid. WE WANT TO GET PAID!!! THERE IS NO LEGITIMATE REASON FOR THE CALIFORNIA GAMBLING CONTROL COMMISSION TO WITHHOLD OUR RSTF MONEY!!!! NOR IS THERE ANY LEGITIMATE REASON FOR THE LOCAL CENTRAL CALIFORNIA AGENCY/BIA TO WITHHOLD OUR MATURE STATUS 638 CONTRACT!!!THEREFOR E WE “THE TRIBE” ARE ASKING YOU “THE PUBLIC” TO DEMAND THAT OUR FUNDS BE RELEASED!! DEMAND AN IMMEDIATE INVESTIGATION INTO THE CRIMINAL ACTIONS OF THE LOCAL BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS/CENTRAL CALIFORNIA AGENCY, SUPERINTENDENT TROY BURDICK, REGARDING HIS WORKING WITH CHADD EVERONE AGAINST OUR TRIBE. The truth is in the files, all one has to do is investigate! !!
“Chadd Everone” (who is a non- Indian and is not in any way associated with our Tribe, other than trying his best to steal it) has an agenda to cinch his Gaming Agreement with Albert D. Seeno, to build “the Biggest Casino in Northern California” but to do that, he must replace us with his phony group.
We the California Valley Miwok Tribe are asking all of you out there, to please make the calls, write the letters, emails, blogs, twitter messages, radio and tv announcements. Contract your friends, if anyone knows of any actors who are willing to help us get justice, any one who has influence in the media whether it be youtube, rez radio, newsletters, newspapers, banners, flyers, one-liners…. Anything helps!!
While (as another year is set to pass), once again, Government Officials (Bureau Officials included), etc… are readying themselves for the holidays!! Again, they have NO TIME for our concerns, our fears, our cries or our suffering, or our REALITY!!!. SCROOGE IS ALIVE AND WELL . . . WE NEED YOUR HELP!!!
For more information on how to help the Tribe, please contact us at the Tribal office at 209.931.4567 or by fax 209.931.4333 or you may contact the Tribal attorneys at Rosette & Associates, PC at 480-889-8990.
IT SHOULD BE THE GUILTY BEING PUNISHED . . . .. NOT THE INNOCENT!!!
Put yourself in our place and think about how you’d feel if you were the one that was quiet and shy and had a bully constantly abusing you. Please make a difference, make the contacts, get President Obama’s attention… let him know that you want change, and that the American public supports the rights of the Native American Indians. Let him know that the California Valley Miwok Tribe needs him to step in and save it from being destroyed due to the lack of action(s) by appointed and/or elected officials who are either unwilling or unable to step up and do their job to protect this Tribe from those individuals who are causing the “Tribe” GREAT harm by using illegal tactics such as identity theft and fraud to discredit it, destroy it financially, and leave us homeless and without any recourse to defend ourselves.
Recently, the IRS has seized and auctioned 7100 acres of our prime development land on the Crow Creek Reservation. We have tried to raise funds for months to save our land. Unfortunately, we were unsuccessful. We have tried to stop them from auctioning off our land through the justice system, however justice did not prevail.
It is no secret that Buffalo County is the poorest county in the nation and that 78% of the people on our reservation live far below the poverty line; this is why we are reaching out to our Native Brothers and Sisters. Only you know the importance of retaining our land base.
Recently, we were granted a trial for a judge to decide whether or not we should be allowed to keep this property, which they already sold to a non-Indian. This allows us 120 days to raise 4 million dollars to purchase our land back and clear up the levy that the IRS ($600,000) has on the property.
Any financial assistance that you could give to us would be greatly appreciated. We have set up an account at Wells Fargo in Chamberlain, South Dakota and all donations are tax deductible. The bank can be contacted at 605-734-6001 or contact Leroy Bear Thompson at 605-245-2304. Your kindness and generosity is greatly appreciated.
Contact: Wells Fargo Bank
Attn: Cindy Adams
201 S Main
Chamberlain, SD 57325
Account Name: Save CCST Lands Fund
Account Numer: 9917827345
Contact: Cindy Adams 605-734-6001
Contact: Leroy Thompson, Jr. 605-245-2304 or 605-730-0091
Leonard Peltier's first full parole hearing was held in 1993, at which time his case was continued for a 15-year reconsideration. On Wednesday, it was announced (in Portland, OR) that Mr. Peltier has recently applied for and been granted a parole hearing. The hearing is scheduled for July 27, 2009. All supporters are encouraged to step up their efforts in support of parole for Leonard Peltier.
Letters in Support of Parole
It is really important that everyone write letters in support of Leonard's petition for parole. These letters can be quite simple and should cover the basic points important for parole decisions. A sample letter follows. Feel free to use it, but know that it's even better if you write one in your own words. Be courteous and concise.
Get as many people to sign similar letters, as well. Carry a sheaf of spare letters with you. Get one signature per letter, that is, rather than using a petition format. Mail them to the Parole Commission, but also send copies to the Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee (contact information below).
Next, draft correspondence to the U.S. Parole Commission. A sample letter follows.
United States Parole Commission 5550 Friendship Boulevard Suite 420 Chevy Chase, MD 20815-7286 (Insert Date)
Re: LEONARD PELTIER #89637-132
Convicted in connection with the deaths on June 26, 1975, of Ronald Williams and Jack Coler, agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Mr. Leonard Peltier remains imprisoned at the United States Penitentiary in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.
The court record in this case clearly shows that government prosecutors have long held that they do not know who killed Mr. Coler and Mr. Williams nor what role Leonard Peltier "may have" played in the tragic shoot-out.
Further, in a decision filed by the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals on December 18, 2002, Mr. Peltier's sentences "were imposed in violation of [Peltier's] due process rights because they were based on information that was false due to government misconduct," and, according to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, in 2003: ".Much of the government's behavior at the Pine Ridge Reservation and its prosecution of Leonard Peltier is to be condemned. The government withheld evidence. It intimidated witnesses. These facts are not disputed."
Despite these admissions, Leonard Peltier has served over 33 years in prison.
After careful consideration of the facts in Leonard Peltier's case, I have concluded that Leonard Peltier does not represent a risk to the public. First, Leonard Peltier has no prior convictions and has advocated for non-violence throughout his prison term. Furthermore, Leonard Peltier has been a model prisoner. He has received excellent evaluations from his work supervisors on a regular basis. He continues to mentor young Native prisoners, encouraging them to lead clean and sober lives. He has used his time productively, disciplining himself to be a talented painter and an expressive writer. Although Leonard Peltier maintains that he did not kill the agents, he has openly expressed remorse and sadness over their deaths.
Most admirably, Mr. Peltier contributes regular support to those in need. He donates his paintings to charities including battered women's shelters, half way houses, alcohol and drug treatment programs, and Native American scholarship funds. He also coordinates an annual holiday gift drive for the children of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
Leonard Peltier is widely recognized for his good deeds and in turn has won several awards including the North Star Frederick Douglas Award; Federation of Labour (Ontario, Canada) Humanist of the Year Award; Human Rights Commission of Spain International Human Rights Prize; and 2004 Silver Arrow Award for Lifetime Achievement. Mr. Peltier also has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize six times.
Leonard Peltier is now over 60 years of age-a great-grandfather-and suffers from partial blindness, diabetes, a heart condition, and high blood pressure.
I recognize the grave nature of the events of June 26, 1975, and I extend my deepest sympathy to the families of those who died that day. However, I find aspects of this case to also be of concern and I believe Leonard Peltier deserves to be reunited with his family and allowed to live the remaining years of his life in peace. I also believe that, rather than presenting a threat to the public, Mr. Peltier's release would help to heal a wound that has long impeded better relations between the federal government and American Indians.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
(Your Name) (Your Street Address) (Your City, State, and Zip Code)
For Family and Friends
As with any professional correspondence, your support letter should be on letterhead (if you have Microsoft Word or another similar program you can easily create professional-looking letterhead from a template). The letterhead should include all of your contact information including your name, address, phone number(s) and e-mail address if applicable.
Describe your relationship with Leonard -- how do you know him, for how long, etc. Write about his character, and his accomplishments both before and during imprisonment. Discuss improvements made since being incarcerated such as education and his philanthropic work. Discuss Leonard's positive attitude and, despite his innocence, the fact that he has openly expressed remorse and sadness over the deaths that occurred on June 26, 1975.
Finish your support letter by telling the Parole Board how you will support Leonard once he is granted parole. Your support might be financial, such as a place to live, use of a vehicle, or help finding job offers. Your support can also be emotional such as providing advice and encouragement.
IMPORTANT NOTE TO ALL SUPPORTERS: When you write a letter in support of Leonard's parole, mail the letter directly to the U.S. Parole Commission, but also please send a copy of your correspondence to the Peltier Legal Team, c/o LP-DOC, P.O. Box 7488, Fargo, ND 58106. Time to set him free... Because it is the RIGHT thing to do.
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