What's Up

    Indigenous woman recieves human rights award

    New York, New York (AP)

    One of Brazil’s first female Indigenous lawyers, Joenia Batista de Carvalho, a Wapixana who defends her people’s right to their ancestral lands against hunting and fishing business interests, received a 2004 Reebok Human Rights Award on May 5 in New York City. Award recipients receive $50,000 grants to help them further their work. Since the Reebok award was established in 1988, 76 human rights activists from 35 countries have been selected for contributing to human rights, often at great personal risk.

    BIA official sentenced for setting fires on reservation

    Aberdeen, South Dakota (AP)

    Dennis Shipman, a fire chief for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, was sentenced May 4 to 30 days in federal prison and ordered to pay $1,500 in restitution for starting grass fires on the Sisseton-Wahpeton Reservation. A federal jury in January convicted him on three counts of setting fires. The jury acquitted him on one count and could not reach a verdict on a fifth count.

    Newspaper exec charged with lewd, indecent proposal

    Tulsa, Oklahoma (AP)

    The general manager of a New Mexico newspaper has been charged with soliciting sex from a person he thought was a 14-year-old girl, police said. James Gardner Dalton was arrested May 6 at the Pueblo Journal office in Albuquerque, Tulsa police said. He was awaiting extradition. Dalton, 44, was charged May 4 in Tulsa County District Court with one count of making a lewd, indecent proposal to a child, court records show. The Pueblo Journal, is owned by the Flandreau Santee Sioux of South Dakota.

    EchoHawk named

    BYU faculty athletics rep

    Provo, Utah (AP)

    Brigham Young University law professor and former Idaho Attorney General Larry EchoHawk has been named the university’s faculty athletics representative to the National Collegiate Athletic Association and Mountain West Conference. EchoHawk succeeds Kevin Worthen, who recently was appointed dean of BYU’s J. Reuben Clark Law School. In his new position, EchoHawk will work with BYU’s administration and athletics administrators in monitoring the athletic program within the BYU community and its relationships outside the university.

    Drug roundup nets 34

    Muskogee, Oklahoma (AP)

    Law enforcement officers arrested 34 people May 5 in a major methamphetamine roundup in eastern Oklahoma and western Arkansas, the U.S. attorney’s office said. The operation was the result of a six-month investigation by undercover agents in and around the LeFlore County town of Pocola. Initial information gathered by the Pocola Police Department indicated a number of major methamphetamine distributors were using the Choctaw Gaming Center in that city as a base of operations.

    Connecticut seeks to overturn recognition

    New London, Connecticut (AP)

    The state has gone to a federal appeals court seeking to overturn the federal recognition of the Eastern Pequot two years ago. Attorney General Richard Blumenthal April 22 asked a panel of judges in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York for a “do over” of a case that was dismissed a year ago. Blumenthal again argued that it was an “infected” and “flawed” process that led to the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ recognition of the North Stonington Tribe.

    2 teens arrested for allegedly setting school fire

    Scottsdale, Arizona (AP)

    Two high school students have been arrested after admitting they set a fire that destroyed a Scottsdale elementary school building, police said. The boys – a 14-year-old freshman at Coronado High School and a 15-year-old sophomore at Saguaro High School – told police they didn’t mean to torch five classrooms after an April 17 night break-in at the Navajo Elementary School. The fire destroyed three classrooms, a special-needs preschool and a Title I resource room, school officials said.

    Richardson appoints Jemez Pueblo Native

    Santa Fe, New Mexico (AP)

    Benny Shendo Jr., a Jemez Pueblo Native with an extensive background in education, during April was named the state’s Secretary of Indian Affairs by Gov. Bill Richardson. The governor earlier this year signed into law the legislation that established the department as a cabinet-level agency. The department replaces the former Indian Affairs Office and is the coordinating agency for programs involving tribal governments and the state. Shendo currently is senior manager for Native American programs at the University of New Mexico. He took over his new duties May 1.

    Seneca Nation

    withdraws legal

    challenge to Internet sales

    Buffalo, New York (AP)

    The Seneca Nation has withdrawn its challenge to New York state’s ban on Internet tobacco sales. The tribe sued in U.S. District Court in January claiming the 2000 law, enacted in June, was unconstitutional and interfered with the nation’s sovereignty. A lawsuit filed earlier by the owners of two Seneca smokeshops also was withdrawn after being consolidated into the January action. “We changed our strategy on this issue and decided to address it in a different way,” said Seneca President Ricky Armstrong Sr. He declined to elaborate. The Seneca Nation sells large quantities of tax-exempt cigarettes over the Internet. The ban on Internet and mail-order sales of cigarettes was passed as public health law, with advocates saying the goal was to limit children’s access to cigarettes.

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