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Never too old to learn - Indians

By Jim Beers, retired FWS May 13, 2007

As I organize my notes from my recent trip to a symposium in Oregon I am pondering how much an old duffer can learn about something as old and familiar as baseball and my grandmothers cooking. Before I can put down all that took place on my trip; my talk, the folks I met, the other speakers, the issues coiling around Northeastern Oregon like a smiling boa constrictor; I must first mention Indians.

Since my retirement from the US Fish and Wildlife Service many years ago now I have spoken all over the country and helped in various ways all manner of rural residents, animal owners, and recreationists being threatened and harmed by bureaucrats, politicians, and radical environmental and animal rights organizations. Quite often the mix of problems faced by these people has included Indian reservation claims, Indian land claims for things like "burial grounds", "holy sites", and other "culturally important lands" in the mix of threatening factors.

Having read a lot over the (many) years about history and having lived near a reservation in North Dakota, and having had numerous law enforcement encounters with Indians from Minnesota to Utah over the years: I assumed I knew about Indians. I was sympathetic to their "plight" and, like other historically abused minorities, ignored the current debilitating effects of decades of government and societal treatment as inferiors that could not "make it" unless "helped" by preferences, special government support, and a separate society to confirm their resentments and sense of always having been abused and mistreated.

When Indian land claims and numerous conflicts with local communities and their government have come to my attention during my efforts to help rural residents and animal owners and users I mistakenly dismissed them as just one more Indian incident like the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act affair when I worked for the government and the Minnesota Indians' conflict with the State of Minnesota over walleyes and wild rice years ago. It is now beginning to dawn on me how wrong I have been.

Indian land claims and aggressiveness toward off-reservation communities are increasingly coincidental with Federal programs to close down public lands to public uses like hunting and fishing and grazing and logging and recreation and access and the management of renewable natural resources and the elimination of revenues from the public lands to help pay for the management of such "public lands". Whether it is "Wilderness" proposals or "cooperative agreements" with agencies, or new "joint operations" of things like hatcheries; increasingly Indian entities benefit before any details are available to local communities and requests for "why" are answered by government silence or a knowing bureaucrats smile.

Likewise, as The Nature Conservancy silently buys lands and offers easements while Land Trusts herd rural landowners through sales schemes borrowed from timeshare salesmen. Certain "targeted" areas from Maine to Florida and Connecticut and Oregon are experiencing increased Indian claims and Indian social aggressiveness under the guise of reclaiming their history. I used to think this was just coincidence. Now, looking back, an old law enforcement officer like me should have been more alert about any "coincidence". Believing in coincidences is for suckers.

Consider the following:

- Indians are exempt from the provisions of the McCain-Feingold election contribution law.

- Indian tribes are empowered by the Dawes Act (1930's) to claim and have jurisdiction over ALL children of that tribe. This has allowed ruling Tribal governments (very similar to Democratic "machines" in many large cities) to both seize and threaten the children of political opponents and to "break the arms" of a white mother (per an "Indian judge) of an illegitimate tribal child being held by the white mother in an Indian court.

- Indian reservations are checkerboard affairs mostly and the "governments" "rule" non-Indians who neither can vote for them or have a say in their policies.

- Indians have Millions (Billions?) of dollars from casinos. They and their underworld gambling partners spread the money around to get new casino sites
(based on specious claims of "ancestral rights") in present-day cities and other "high volume" casino locations.

- Indians spend millions to stop other tribes from getting a new casino site that would compete with another Indian casino.

- When Jack Abramoff "bought" Federal politicians with Millions of dollars, the money all came from Indians buying influence. Was any Indian blamed? Was there any "backlash" like there would be if North Korea or Ted Turner or Exxon gave Abramoff millions to "buy" Federal politicians? Why? Because Indians are "victims"? Because Indians are not responsible like the rest of us (with a couple of glaring exceptions)?

- Why does everyone shrug and go along when Indians "claim" this site or that?

- Does anyone care that Federal Wilderness designations or Forest Service "Roadless" policies or other Federal land closures keep the descendants of early American pioneers or ranchers or farmers from the graves of their ancestors? Does anyone care that a planned expansion (2 Counties, million acres of private property) of Ft. Carson in SE Colorado for an artillery range while the Federal government owns BILLION acres or 25% of the nation will mean blown-up gravesites of the people that MADE THIS NATION (not some primitive tribe) great or that their descendants will be denied visits or "services"? Why?

- One tribe that has sued the federal government for poor record keeping has been offered $7 Billion but wants $140 Billion. Many other tribes are expecting to follow suit.

- Indians claim that the "right" to hunt and fish equates with the "privilege" to hunt and fish and some camp on private property and threaten and defy owners to evict them. Law enforcement turns a blind eye in almost every instance.

- Indian robberies and break-ins on non-Indians in many rural areas are treated differently than when non-Indians are perpetrators, that is they are not prosecuted.

- Indians increasingly sell untaxed cigarettes and fireworks in defiance of state laws over ever-expanding areas further eroding State Constitutional authorities.

- Indian "donations" to state and Federal politicians are enormous and unnoticed and unmentioned thanks to casino profits that grease mobs as well as the politicians.

So what does this old wildlife biologist hope to gain by writing about something "he knows nothing about"? He must be a bigot. Not at all. My mother is buried next to a chapel on an Indian reservation.

Ask yourself, why do Indian "claims coincide with "destroying" dams on the Columbia River? With shutting down Klamath irrigators? With the Federal takeover of the Everglades, Eastern Oregon, Western Montana? With wolf protection in Idaho? With Federal chicanery to control Eastern Connecticut Rivers and roads? With TNC campaigns in Maine? With law enforcement on National Forests? With operation of new Federal fish hatcheries? With operation of National Wildlife Refuges? With wolf protection or salmon "management"?

Whether you subscribe to the "coincidence" theory or the "conspiracy" theory, one thing is sure. As rural communities are threatened and disrupted by the Federal government (whether for extinct woodpeckers or owls or wolves or grizzlies or black bears) or for new National Parks or Wilderness closures or Forest shutdowns of roads and logging and grazing and hunting and fishing and camping or by the "Non-government" behemoths like The Nature Conservancy or the Land Trusts buying land or selling easements
(to be "monitored" by Federal satellites): the various tribes see opportunities.

Opportunities to further disrupt the rural communities to get more Indian claim lands by "cooperating" with and to the advantage of the Federal bureaucracies and their radical partners. Also, the locals are less able to fend off the takeover of land and rights while they try to understand and oppose what the Federal government is doing. It is a vacuum that Tribes manipulate to their advantage while amoral bureaucrats and radicals manipulate the Tribes with offers of "partnerships" and "joint ventures" to their advantage. Remember that the Federal oversight of Tribes is the Secretary of the Interior, the same guy or gal that controls their Federal dollars; the same person that is being sued for gazillions of dollars for not keeping good books; the same person behind the Wilderness and Endangered Species and National Parks oppression; AND THE SAME PERSON THAT ENABLES TRIBES TO GET NEW CASINO LICENSES AND LOCATIONS. At least it isn't the same guy that got them their exemption from McCain-Feingold oppression that unconstitutionally restricts the rest of us, that guy is running for President.

I guess if I was asked I would say that Indians, like every other "minority" would be best served by becoming American citizens that sink or swim like the rest of us that must rely on hard work and sacrifice. However that is not why I wrote this. The Indian phenomenon of 2007 is an integral part of the Federal (bureaucrat/politician)/State/radical coalition that is threatening rural America and ultimately the nation as a Republic. They are part of the Federal power growth and State power elimination growing in this country. They are an important part of what is killing hunting and fishing and ranching and grazing and logging and dog and horse ownership and rural economies. They are committed to eliminating rural American life even more than most radical environmentalist and animal rights extremist organizations. Their goal is their own aggrandizement just as the radicals and bureaucrats and politicians only see their own benefits.

I am writing this because this self-evident fact has stunned me because it has been right before my face for years but I just didn't see it, like Poe's Purloined Letter. I guess it is true that you are never too old to learn new things, even if they have been there all the time. But we must heed this lesson and take it into account as we try to "save" our Constitutional rights and traditions and the Republic.

Jim Beers

13 May 2007

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- This article and other recent articles by Jim Beers can be found at

http://jimbeers.blogster.com (Jim Beers Common Sense)

- Jim Beers is available for consulting or to speak. Contact:


- Jim Beers is a retired US Fish & Wildlife Service Wildlife Biologist, Special Agent, Refuge Manager, Wetlands Biologist, and Congressional Fellow. He was stationed in North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York City, and Washington DC. He also served as a US Navy Line Officer in the western Pacific and on Adak, Alaska in the Aleutian Islands. He has worked for the Utah Fish & Game, Minneapolis Police Department, and as a Security Supervisor in Washington, DC. He testified three times before Congress; twice regarding the theft by the US Fish & Wildlife Service of $45 to 60 Million from State fish and wildlife funds and once in opposition to expanding Federal Invasive Species authority. He resides in Centreville, Virginia with his wife of many decades.

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