Costanoan Indian Research News and Announcements

Noso-n: 'In breath as it is in spirit'

To reach Complete text files of all Noso-n newsletters to date (gopher).

Selected articles and photos from the latest issues are now available on this page . Beginning with Volume 3. Number 1, we have begun using Mutsun numbers wherever possible in headings, etc.

You can receive Noso-n in your mail by mailing $15.00 (4 issues) to Costanoan Indian Research, Inc. PO Box 28, Hollister, CA 95024-0028. Noso-n is produced by and for American Indians.

NOSO-N Volume kaphan (3), No. hemech'a (1)

March, 1995

A Journey East by Chuck Striplen Recognition report from Washington D.C.

California Indians and Public Pursuasion Part 4 The meeting of the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco on October 13, 1909 with guest speakers C. E. Kelsey, A. L. Kroeber and Cornelia Taber.

The BAR (Bureau of Acknowledgment and Research of the BIA) process - another destructive failure in California Indian Country by Russell Imrie

Mainly gopher text files for now - these are all of the articles in our newsletter and cover a gamut of subjects from legal matters, poetry, anouncements, to original research and historical accounts. Under developent is a linked index page. The gopher resource is Costanoan-Ohlone Indian Canyon Resource, in the Community folder of UCSC's Infoslug gopher server. J. Petersen's Article on the "Special Status of California Indians" and the continuing (1994-1995) transcript of the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco Meeting of October 13, 1909, where C. E. Kelsey and A. L. Kroeber were the guest speakers, are both especially interesting to students of California Indians, California History and Society, and Indigenous Oppression in Modern Industrial Society. Thank You.

NOSO-N Volume kaphan (3), No. hemech'a (1)

March, 1995

A Journey East by Chuck Striplen

Recognition and California Indians in Washington D.C.

On January 23, Ann Marie and I flew to Washington D.C. to attend the 25 January White House meeting for the nation's unacknowledged tribes. This was to be the second such meeting to take place in Washington, with the purpose of allowing representatives of unacknowledged tribes to voice concerns regarding education, health, housing, employment, and the recognition/acknowledgment process.

With more than 130 delegates attending the White House meeting, Ann Marie and I had the opportunity to meet with and share information with dozens of fellow Indian people in similar situations. In addition, we spent two days meeting with congressmen, senators, aids, chiefs, solicitors, directors, chairmen, lawyers, deputies, and an occasional enlightening conversation with limo or cab drivers. In all, a true learning experience.

My initial impression upon arriving at the Baltimore Airport was one of slight dismay. As we embarked on a somewhat cramped limousine ride to D.C., I came to the sudden realization that we had just flown thousands of miles to a place in which the trees, the birds, and even the people were completely foreign, to ask for the simple recognition of the existence of our Native Californian People. Something about this phenomenon seemed inherently wrong to me. However, I contained my dismay and submitted myself to watch, listen, and learn, trusting that my elders knew what they were doing.

We arrived at the William Penn House, a Quaker owned and operated dorm-style boarding house which would serve as our home for the next few nights. There, we met several other delegates from California and planned our individual courses of action for the next day. The following day, as I tended to my own agenda, Ann Marie, guided by the Canyon's luck and perseverance, accomplished some outstanding milestones for the Canyon. Meeting initially with her lawyer, Mary Pavel (Sonosky and Chambers), they proceeded to the Department of Interior where they met with Ada Deer (Director-Bureau of Indian Affairs), Holly Reckord (Chief-B.I.A. Branch of Acknowledgment and Research), John Dibron (Historian-B.I.A.), and Larry Morren (Chief-B.I.A. Division of Real Estate Services).Click photo to see a full scale version with caption What had been planned as a five minute "token chat" with Ada Deer turned into a lengthy briefing on the Canyon's situation, culminating in an encouraging directive. Ms. Deer, apparently taking great personal interest in our case, directed Holly Reckord to thoroughly investigate our documents, assist us with our water claims issue, and to keep [her] informed. Had this come from any other "politician", one may have taken her reaction with a grain of salt, thanked her for her time, and gone out to lunch. However, given her admirable accomplishments within the short time in her appointment, and the immediate action her words prompted, I see this as a very significant step toward our acknowledgment.

Subsequent to her meeting with Ada, Ann Marie met with Leroy Clifford, Ph.D. (B.I.A. Branch of Water Resources) and Larry Morren, who then facilitated a meeting with Pam Williams (B.I.A.-Office of Solicitors) for later that afternoon. Ann Marie was then warmly received by Linda Fisk in Congressman Sam Farr's office. The purpose of this meeting was to inform our local representative of issues relevant to the Canyon and to the indigenous peoples within Mr. Farr's district. Ms. Fisk's generosity and kindness gave us hope for a fruitful relationship with our representative.

Perhaps the most memorable meeting, however, was that with Pam Williams, Angela Kelsey (Attorney-Division of Indian Affairs), and Scott Keep (Attorney-B.I.A. Office of Solicitor). This meeting was held to address the Canyon's water claims issue. Because of the legalities to be discussed, Mary Pavel was included via conference call. Mary proceeded to remind Mr. Keep of the Solicitor's legal responsibility to address Trust Lands' legal claims (i.e. water rights). Mr. Keep's response was to state that the B.I.A. cannot hold land in trust for unacknowledged tribes. He went on further to state that in his opinion, the Indian Canyon Trust Allotment may have been issued in "error". Mr. Keep then suggested that our best course of action was to pursue recognition legislatively advice we later learned was seriously flawed.

Click photo to see a full scale version with caption

The following day began in the Old Executive Office Building of the White House. After enduring a lengthy security check, we joined the other delegates in Room 450 where we spent the next seven hours. The meeting was facilitated by Mrs. Loretta Avent, Deputy Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs and the White House Liaison for Indian Country. Foregoing a lengthy account of the meeting's activities, I would simply like to express my extreme pride in our California People represented there. Delegates from our state represented nearly a quarter of those in attendance. The solidarity shown by our people was unparalleled by any other area in the nation. Hilton Hostler, from California's largest recognized tribe (Hoopa), was present and voiced his peoples' strong support of all of California's unacknowledged tribes. At one point in the meeting, led by Dena Magdaleno (Advisory Council on California Indian Policy), California's delegates rose and submitted our petitions for recognition... as one. To this, delegates from the rest of the nation fell silent in awe of this display of unquestionable solidarity.

It finally became apparent to the Administration representatives that California Indians, by the very nature of our culture, face historical conditions unlike any other peoples in North America. Throughout the meeting, along with other west coast representatives, California delegates helped guide the nature of the discussion, keeping to the issues and encouraging mutual respect and cooperation. Following the close of the general meeting, representatives from California continued to meet with White House staff to address issues specific to California. The White House meeting culminated in the signing of a resolution calling for the abolition of the Federal Acknowledgment Process and that any further legislation pertaining to unacknowledged tribes have a majority support. The resolution was signed by 120 tribal representatives.

We met the next day with Michael D. Jackson (Special Assistant to the Chairman-Senate Committee on Indian Affairs under Sen. John McCain). Mr. Jackson proved to be the polar opposite of Scott Keep. Having spent the last 20 years dealing with Indian Law, he provided us with useful insights into Washington politics which could only come with experience. He took two hours of his time detailing to us "how a bill becomes a law" in the context of tribal issues. He revealed that Congress restricts its legislative acknowledgments to those tribes with no other alternative, i.e. tribes terminated by an Act of Congress and therefore ineligible for recognition under the B.I.A. Since our tribe has never officially been terminated, it would seem that Scott Keep's recommendation would be an exercise in futility. With no acknowledgment process within Congress, this type of legislation would be essentially arbitrary, thereby setting a dangerous precedent. Mr. Jackson then went on to clarify Scott Keep's contention that Ann Marie's Trust Patent was issued "in error". Apparently, Congress' Allotment Policy has become a massive "thorn" in the side of the B.I.A.'s Division of Real Estate Services. Allotments under this policy comprise 17% of the Division's land base, while consuming 80% of its budget in probates, litigation, etc. This "error", which we know as Indian Canyon, slipped through an old crack.

Our journey culminated in a meeting at the Wm. Penn House late Thursday night. The representatives from California and others from Washington, Oregon, and Alaska came together to review the week's work. We all felt strengthened by our representation at the White House and agreed that only through our union could we accomplish our goal. We went our separate ways having reached an historic agreement. Our show of solidarity in Washington would continue through to the fruition of our goal. West coast tribes will serve as advisors to each other, and as an example to the rest of Indian Country.

Throughout the week, Ann Marie and I felt the strength of the Canyon guiding and protecting us. It remains our tribe's strongest hope for federal acknowledgment, and will always be our center, and our home.


Breath, Spirit and Soul

Mr. Striplen is Mutsun Ohlone and UCSC graduate. He operates his own biological research firm and works with the Wiyot Table Bluff Tribe of Eureka.

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California Indians and Public Pursuasion Part 4 transcribed by Dave Dulany

The Meeting of the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco on October 13, 1909. The Guest speakers: C.E. Kelsey (Special Indian Commissioner and Secretary for the Northern California Indian Association of San Jose), Alfred Lewis Kroeber (Anthropologist), Cornelia Taber (Chair,Northern California Indian Association)

California's Indians and Public Pursuasion Part 4 Transcribed by Dave Dulany Transcriptions of a unique evening in California Indian history: The meeting of the Commonwealth Club of California, San Francisco, October 13, 1909 Arthur Lewis , concludes his part of the program, proposing some programs and areas where the [1909] audience might help the Indians that while sincere in their Christian liberal tradition dismally failed to augment the pride and self-esteem of many Indians. California's Indians, and especially the non federally recognized tribes such as the Mutsun, Esselen, Rumsen and Salinen yet struggle day in and day out with the paradigm of denial, determination and judgment by the United States. Many struggle to survive here amidst the most developed industrial society in the world. The strength of their values is rooted in their respect for this land but their future bends with the discourse of a community that could never bring itself to respect living first peoples of California.

One year after this program was originally presented and while Kroeber had asserted that all "wild" California Indians were gone, Ishi, a Yahi Indian walked into Oreville and into history. Ishi lived for years with Kroeber as a "living specimen" in a celebrated project that has received widespread attention. In 1914, 5 years after this [Commonwealth] meeting took place, Ann Marie Sayers' family friend Howard Harris visited Indian Canyon with his father. (SPECIAL ADD MAY 23, 2012: Jump fwd in technology to our the webmaster's YouTube posting of our video's [vhs] interview of Howard) The Harris Ranch needed to hire some ranch hands and this was a traditional living for Indians. Harris was only a young boy but remembers driving up to the canyon and then getting out to walk in. "There were Indians everywhere, maybe two hundred, living in huts and caves all along the canyon. Up at the falls smudge fires were going with sage and bay leaves smoking. Indian men and women were singing near the falls." These "extinct" Indians always managed to get overlooked when anthropologists or government agents were around - a hard learned lesson in survival [by Indians] that led to errors in government planning and more injustices for these people through disinformation. A census of Californian Indians was also undertaken during this period and resulted in the Indians Rolls of 1928 and the 1970's. Today, around thirty California tribes still wrangle with the bureaucratic minefield of recognition and denial. (Striplen, Imrie, this issue) It is hoped that the information here will make their work better known. The issue of these tribal peoples' allodial title to their lands, was of course, begged in this public forum as it is today. However, the contemporary viewpoints expressed in this piece give us a unique opportunity to consider where we all, California Indian or otherwise, stand as human beings. - ed.

We wish to thank Jim Copelan, Commonwealth Club archivist for his support in bringing you this material. We also thank J. Petersen of California Indian Legal services for his help.

The Transcript Part 4:

Arthur Louis Kroeber Continues covering historical perspectives.

Transactions of the Commonwealth Club of California Vol IV San Francisco, December, 1909 No. 7 The Rights and Wrongs of the California Indians, Discussed at the Meeting of October 13, 1909, 'Ladies' Night" (Kroeber speaks - continued from last issue on population decline)

Resistance to the Spaniard or the American was never organized, persistent, or widespread, and most of the so-called wars were only raids of a few dozen natives rendered desperate by expatriation, appropriation of their food-supply, or theft of their wives. Far more Indians than fell in battle were massacred, or exterminated almost without resistance, merely through fear, suspicion, or because they were "in the way"; and this number often included women and children. Disease has done more than the rifle. Small pox and other epidemics swept the missions, and were conveyed by fugitives to interior tribes that had never made contact with the white man. The survivors were weakened by venereal diseases introduced by Spanish soldiery, and rapidly communicated among Indians ignorant of their nature. In spite of the natural increase by births at the missions, the care and good intentions of the padres, and the constant accessions by new conversions, voluntary and forced, for which the interior was drained after the population within the mission districts had been exhausted, a point was soon reached where the number of Indians at the missions decreased rapidly. Even had the missions been permitted to continue their work unhampered, instead of being destroyed in 1834 by the Decree of Secularization, they would sooner or later have to come virtually to an end for want of subjects to missionize. It is probable that the number of Indians today would not be essentially greater than it is, even if California had continued to remain only a vast field for missionary endeavor.


Whether he lived at the mission or near a mining camp, the result for the Indian was the same. Once he came into contact with the overpowering civilization of the white man, he underwent a complete change of his method of life. This he was unable to withstand physically, and hence a few generations have sufficed for nine-tenths of the race to be swept away.

Dress, habitations, and food were altered radically. Wheat-flour replaced acorn-meal, potatoes took the place of acorn-soup, beef and canned goods of salmon and venison. The white man's dress superseded complete or partial nudity. Closed houses, shacks though they were, began to be inhabited instead of open ventilated camps of brush or loose slabs. Dress and shelter are normally a protection and physical safeguard; but to the unaccustomed and ignorant Indian they proved a source of physical deterioration. Bare feet are better than wet shoes, and the open air preferable to unventilated housed whose windows are nailed down, but this was the change that civilization brought to the Indian.

The disease that particularly followed is tuberculosis, which in some districts is responsible for half of the deaths. Some have thought that the Indian's susceptibility to this dread plague argues that he has not acquired the same racial immunity to it as white man, and that it must therefore have been brought to him by the latter, together with small pox and measles and other evils. But it is not unlikely that tuberculosis is an old aboriginal enemy of the red man, to which he is constitutionally particularly liable, and to which the sudden change of his mode of life gave for the time being added virulence. In support of this view is the fact that it has been observed of most tribes that the period of greatest diminution follows immediately on the first close contact with civilization; and that as soon as the adjustment to the new conditions has been made, the rapid decrease begins to lessen, until before long a state is reached where the population remains in equilibrium or even slowly increases. Some tribes exposed to specially unfavorable circumstances become extinct before this reaction can set in; but on the whole there need be no fear of the American Indian as a race dying out, though his numbers will probably continue for some time to decrease.


While civilization has proved disastrous to the California Indian physically, the reverse has been the case in other respects. There are but few examples in history of so rapid and willing an adaptation to a higher social life. Outside of the region formerly covered by the Spanish missions, the Indians have been nearly without religious instruction or missionary influence. Most of them are unprovided with reservations, and, until congress a few years ago took consideration of their often pitiable plight, the majority of them were landless and evicted. Without rations or support from the Government, without reservations or sectarian schools, and often denied admission to the district schools, the California Indian is on the whole much farther along the road to self-support and civilized life than the average red man elsewhere. Where he can, he farms; if fortune is favorable, he has sometimes bought or homesteaded land that is his own; and in any case he is ready to support himself and his family by turning ranch-laborer, wood-chopper, teamster, packer, road-grader, or whatever opportunity allows. What he does of this sort he does not from compulsion, but voluntarily; and what he knows of the white man's way has not been drilled into him by the benevolent but strong arm of Washington; he has picked it on the outskirts of the mining or lumber camp, or about the country store.


This difference of disposition come to the California Indian by temperament. He docile, peaceful, friendly, sluggish, unimaginative, not easily stirred, low-keyed in emotion, almost apathetic. Oppression does not rouse fierce hostility in him but results in either passive obedience or sullen despondency. In all his aboriginal life he showed these traits. He made no attempt to farm, as many Eastern and Southern tribes did successfully, but was content with what the bounty of nature provided. Unlike Pueblo, Cliff-dweller, and Mound-builder, he constructed no dwellings of stone, no fortifications, no earthworks, no temple for worship. Low, modest houses of brush and tulle, bark or planks, with or without covering of earth sufficed him. He lacked the totemism that resulted in the poles and sculpture of Alaska, the complex clan-ceremonies of Arizona, the elaborate social institutions of many Eastern tribes. He was also without the desire and ability to record events and ideas in picture-writing , or to express them in gesture language-those almost universal accomplishments of the North American Indian. His implements were rude and few; the arts almost uncultivated, except for basketry, the most distinctly industrial of any. In this, indeed, he excelled; or to be exact, he did not, for basketry, of course, is the work of the Indian woman.

In one respect, however, the California Indian is unique-in the matter of language. There are two common beliefs about Indian languages. One is that the aborigines talk only in inarticulate terms or random jargon of a few hundred vague terms. In reality their languages are universally rich, usually well pronounced, and for the most part exceedingly elaborate and complex in grammar. There is no native language which when properly investigated has failed to show a vocabulary of at least 5,000 terms; and some of those that are better known have been found to run to 10,000 or more different words.


The other wide-spread erroneous assumption is that there is an Indian language; in other words that all Indians speak essentially the same. We might as well believe in a general European tongue. As a rule, each tribe has its own dialect; each group of tribes its particular language, and each larger division its own stock language; that is to say, a stock or group of languages that which are related to one another, but which show no similarity whatever to any other stock. Each such group is termed a linguistic family, its characteristic being the utter dissimilarity from all other languages. Of such stocks or families, Europe shows only five or six, the whole of Asia about twenty-five; in other words, while these continents possess a multiplicity of idioms, the great majority of them are related. North America, however, was covered by about eighty families of Indian languages, about fifty of which number fell within the confines of this country-thus evidencing the much greater divergence and dissimilarity if Indian languages as compared to our own.

Aboriginal California is peculiar for the degree to which this splitting up of languages has been carried within its confines. Nowhere in the world are there so many different forms of speech per square mile of territory. A day's journey on foot usually suffices to bring one into a district where the Indian dialect is different. There are points at which one can stand and draw a circle of forty miles radius which will include within it more distinct families of language than in the whole of Europe. Owing to the extinction of many groups, the total number of distinct forms of speech in the State can no longer be exactly determined; but it appears to have been about one hundred and thirty-five, and possibly more. These dialects can be arranged in twenty-one groups or families. In other words, there are nearly as many families of languages in California alone as in all the remainder of the United States. At the time of discovery and settlement, each of these families averaged only 7,000 persons, and each dialect 1,000. At present the members of the several linguistic families are usually reduced to less than 1,000, while the average number of people speaking each of the surviving dialects is barely one hundred. The cause of this unexampled multiplicity of languages is the greatest problem that confronts the student of the California Indian, for its solution will do more that anything else to throw light on his origin and that part of his history that is now veiled in obscurity. When we know whence his languages and whence his diversity, we shall know where he came from and how he developed.


Strictly speaking, there are no such things as tribes among the California Indians. A tribe is a body of people that form a unit politically. In matters of war, in relations to strangers, and in internal affairs, they recognize themselves as one people. In short, the tribe is a nation in miniature; small of course, but with a strong sense of nationality and coherence.

In California, the Indians lacked this national feeling, even on a small scale. The only real unit of government or organization was the village, or rancheria, as it is popularly known. A number of adjacent villages possessed a common uniform dialect or language; and several such areas of common uniform dialect constituted the area held by one linguistic stock or family. These dialect groups and language groups are, however, only convenient means of classification, and the Indians comprised in them were often cemented by no political or other organizational bond, and usually possessed no common tribal name. Frequently, in fact, neighboring and related villages were at war; they rarely acted in concert, and never otherwise than by mutual agreement, which, however, was only for the particular matter in hand and time being. In other words, the true character of California Indian life can be correctly understood only by forgetting that there is such a word as tribe, or by detaching from this term all its usual significance; and by bearing in mind that all there is to deal with in California, is on the one hand the village-community, named after the locality which it inhabited, and in the other hand the linguistic area, usually without a native name.

The intensely local feeling of the California Indian is something that must always be taken into account in dealing with him. The Federal government ignored this fact and for years attempted to herd together on one reservation distinct and often hostile people speaking different languages. In consequence the imported Indians left the reservation; and when brought back by the military, escaped at first opportunity. The supposed civilizing effect of the reservations was thus a failure, while the Indians suffered great misery from being unable to occupy their old lands which they had ceded or been deprived of, and at the same time being unwilling to live on government land together with hereditary foes or with strange Indians that their fathers had taught them to view with suspicion. In the end, Indian clannishness prevailed over the Government well-meaning but misguided intentions, and such reservations as there are to-day are with one exception occupied by substantially homogeneous and unmixed groups


To the ethnologist, the conviction is carried home very strongly that the solution of the California Indian problem lies above all in giving him land. Not money, not food, not advice, not even education, is what he primarily needs, but land- property which he can call his own, and by which he can at least subsist and thereby be independent. For our own good as well as the Indian's, we do not want a class of homeless, propertyless peons. Land of course means land that is good for something, not a quarter section on a granite hillside barely able to furnish pasture for a cow. Where land to be worth anything must be irrigated, the Indian's allotment needs water rights. When this foothold of independence is given to him, and he is no longer the football of circumstance or of the caprice of his white neighbor, he will become a useful if humble member of the community, instead of squalid half-outcast; and besides being self-supporting, will be self-respecting,-which under American institutions is equally important. (Applause.)


The President: We will now hear from Mr. H.B. Wright, of the Indian Rights Association.

Mr. Wright: (Sings:) Song, "The Coming of Montezuma," by H.B. Wright

Watch ye the clouds above, the clouds above the sun Great Father God, he will come He's coming Montezuma-

Montezuma, he comes. Bend lower, he is coming,

Montezuma he comes. We'll watch the golden clouds, The clouds above the sun. They rise above the sun of life

When Montezuma comes. When Montezuma comes to us he takes us far above- Beyond the cloudy skies.

He's coming, Montezuma, Bend lower, he is coming, Montezuma. He comes!

(Applause) <

The President: We will have a few words now from Miss Taber in regard to the association in whose aid this meeting has been called. I trust that we shall all remain to hear what this good lady has to say. It is she who has had charge of that exhibit displayed to-night. She made the collection largely. Her heart is in the work and she has devoted a great deal of labor to it, and let us hear now what she has to say about the Indian Rights Association in California.


Miss Taber: Robert Louis Stevenson said some time ago, in looking at the devastated side of a mountain, that the redwoods and the redskins were the two noblest living indigenous things in the State and both were condemned. The redwoods have been saved. The noblest, at least the majority, the greatest number of redskins have gone before effort was made to do anything for them. But enough remain to repay effort; because, as Mr. Kelsey has stated, it is not through inherent weakness on their part that this decrease has come, but through forces no race such as theirs could have resisted. And there is evidence showing responsive effort and result through the work that has been done in the last few years, that has been accomplished on their behalf. Undoubtedly the white man had come to California. Not even the most rabid friend of the Indians would deny that. The only thing is that there is opportunity for all if only we will think of others besides of thinking of ourselves, and this matter of the land appealed to us as an Association. Our investigation showed that there were 10,000 Indians in California without land- evicted. One particular instance came to our notice where the Indians had cleared land for a white rancher and had been promised and had been given homes on forty acres of this ranch. The man died leaving no legal title to the Indians and his successor swept them all off. We heard of it in time to get them a little land in the neighborhood. Mr. C.P. Huntington helped us. Mrs. Hearst, Mrs. David Starr Jordan and many others here and in the East have endeavored in many ways to help us. The Indian Rights Association in Philadelphia, the National Association of which we are a branch, the Women's Christian Temperance Union, many clubs-they helped in getting us the land.

We are now face to face with the problem of getting the Indians placed on the land. Mr. Kelsey has secured about thirty-two plots; the Indians are going on them now. You know the little homes that he has found so unsatisfactory. We want them to have better homes. Don't you know how you would respond to a bright picture and better surroundings? And this hopeless condition can be brightened by the things we do for them. One of these agencies is the government field matrons. These women go into the homes. They try to abate all these evils which have been sketched before us. You can imagine what courage that means, what singled-minded purpose, and the petty abuse and local prejudice that these women find in the places that they go. One of the ways we try to help them is by supplies. They have sewing classes among the women. they need material. The Government does what it can, but it is a case of working without supplies. One of the special works we try to do is to send boxes of material that they can use in these sewing classes, teaching the women and making better clothes for them. They teach them how to train their children; and how to feed these little children who are dying so rapidly. They care for the sick. They need medical supplies. Some of the doctors go miles-the local doctors-to these rancherias and give their services, but they are not all altruistic. We need a fund for paying doctors and for medicine. Many, many lives could be saved by prompt attention. These women give it as they can, but they are not trained, and they need assistance of the local medical advisors. Then all sorts of things are needed. Just now I ask for a horse and wagon and harness and a phonograph to help a matron who is holding Sunday meetings. They want school supplies and hymn books. There are two localities where these workers are too far away or else where the local prejudice is so strong we cannot overcome it, one with forty families, and one with fifteen. Just now we are especially active in trying to get Christmas boxes. The Indians have just one holiday which we are trying to teach them and in every way it can be made an uplift to these Indians if we can make them a center to cluster around with a Christmas tree. It is just a tree brought out of the woods. They must have candles, and ornaments and little gifts, and a bag of candy for the children; and you can imagine the requests from so many- it means thousands and thousands of Indians- our boxes are getting low, and if anyone can help it would be appreciated. If anyone wants to know what would be suitable I would say they want just the same things that we do. We are trying to teach the Matrons not to give old clothing for Christmas trees. The Christmas tree needs to be made attractive with things like a handkerchief, a bright ribbon, toys for the children, all the kinds of things that we are perfectly familiar with ourselves. We have the authority of Commissioner Morgan that the Indian nature is the same as our own.

You have seen the work of Indian baskets. That is one of the special works we are trying to do. We are trying help them to be self-supporting. We are fighting against pauperizing them, and so as labor is scare in many places we are encouraging this industry as much as we can. During the last year as secretary I paid them fifteen or sixteen hundred dollars. That might be largely increased; and if any of you feel that an Indian basket or Indian rug would make an acceptable present or wedding gift or anything of that kind, we should be very glad to communicate with you and see if we cannot find you something to suit the occasion. But as Mr. Kelsey has said, one of the greatest works you can do is to first place belief in them yourself and then try to make others believe in them. Mr. Kelsey in his trip around the northern part of the state, in Modoc county, met a man and inquired about the locality of the working Indians. The man replied, "I don't know anything about them; I don't know anything about those cattle."

One of the ways we are trying to help is by publication, and you know printers' ink does not come absolutely free; and therefore we need a fund for publication and postage to the matter out among the people. We need the help of all who believe in Indian manhood. We do want you as members. When Dr. Finnie addressed the Twilight Club in Pasadena and closed with an appeal for members they said, "Why, we will all join in a body." So we would be glad to welcome you in a body, and if San Francisco does not want to join the San Jose Association you can start your another association. We have a great deal of help from the East, but they are telling us what is perfectly true; California should take care of their own. We are hearing about conservation of natural resources. We all believe in it, and surely one of the natural resource is man. They are natural logicians, natural artists, natural warriors. An Indian is endowed with a keen sense of what is just and has a keen sense of appreciation of kindness. We cannot spare out of our Anglo-Saxon population the qualities which the Indian could bring into our civilization. California has risen up in her might and has protected her glorious trees, she has legislated for her song birds, her native game birds. There is thought taken for the wild flowers, to keep them from being entirely swept away. Will you not help us save this race, these native Sons and Daughters of the Golden West? (Applause)

The President: This lady's heart is in her work. You have the opportunity now to join. But before we leave we will have now the song which is printed next to the last on the programme, by Mr. Wright, and after that we will disperse and the ladies can remain as long as they like in the Red Room and look at the baskets and the gentlemen can go elsewhere and have a smoke.

Mr. Wright: (sings:) Song "Lover's Wooing," Mr. H.B. Wright

Oh! What happiness! how delightful! When together we 'neath one blanket walk.

Can it be that my young maiden fair Sits awaiting all alone to-night? Is she waiting for me only?

May I hope it is, my young maiden, Sitting all alone and awaiting me.

Will she come then? Will she walk with me? We two. Will she come?

The Club then adjourned.

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The BAR (Bureau of Acknowledgment and Research of the BIA) process - another destructive failure in California Indian Country by Russell Imrie

A Native American perspective on a failed policy.

The Bureau of Acknowledgment and Research (of the BIA) is a misnomer. The Bureau of Denial and Red Tape (pun intended) is more appropriate nomenclature. Since its creation in 1978, the BAR has recognized 1 tribe (the Timba-Sha Shoshone) and that was part of an ongoing legal action. Another tribe, the Ione, was administratively recognized by Ada Deer, outside of the BAR and 1 tribe (Lumbee) had its application denied. So functionally, according to one's viewpoint, the BAR enjoys a 100% success rate - not one California tribe "by the book" acknowledged in 17 years. It helps to write the book. All federal bureaus should be so efficient.

Failure in United States Policy - The BAR

ICNation Graph by Russell Imrie-Click the small graph picture to see a full scale version

Of course, there is an alternative point of view and we think we will stick with that one. In 1992, Mr. Bud Shepard, the individual responsible for authoring the BAR regulations said:

"the present regulations can not be revised, fixed, patched, dabbled with, redefined, clarified or administered differently to make them work. Additional money, staff, computer hardware or contracts with outside organizations will not solve the problem; In short, the regulations should be scrapped in their entirety."
Three years later, the BAR is still "at work", failing both the California Indians who so rightly deserve tribal recognition and the course of human rights and social progress, to which this country is so fervently committed.

The Advisory Council on California Indian Policy is working with the California Tribes. They are accumulating information and exercising leadership in the process of drafting legislation which can equitably address the special case of California's Non-Federally Recognized Indian tribes. (Petersen, in Noso-n Dec 1993) The largest recognized tribe in the state, the Hupa, support recognition and a delegation of California Indians has just returned from the United States Capitol where they met with officials and officers of the American government. (see Striplen, this issue) Noso-n strongly supports this initiative by California's Indian tribes. We urge our readers to send letters, E-Mail or voice messages to their representatives and the administration to speed up this process.

The United Nations will be meeting in San Francisco this April to celebrate 50 years of existence. The theme for the decade is indigenous rights. President Bill Clinton will be delivering an important address. Will he administratively act on the acknowledgments? The irony of convening this meeting on the world stage on the very [California] lands stolen in fraud and violence would be excruciating if it wasn't so typical of California, past and present. It is time for a change.

(recently the Auburn and Paskenta Bands were legislatively acknowledged without the BAR-ed.)


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