Wotanin Wowapi (Poplar, Mont.) 1975-2007, February 27, 1975, Image 12

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Wotaninvowapi Page 12 Feb. 27, 1975 insprwrrion FOR A 1?SERWTIOflmemORI fIL A mach for funding for a Reserva- tion Memorial has begun. The Tribal Exe- cutive Board has approved a request from ONAP Education Coordinator Jake Bighorn to initiate a funding search for con- struction of a memorial. In a memo to the Tribal Executive Board, Bighorn stated that the memorial \will not only be a memorial in recogni- tion of certain individual effort but it will symbolize the feelings of many res- ervation members as a memorial to the continued life and progress of the res- ervation.\ Bighorn suggested a larger than life Indian man on a horse with a woman and child following. He suggested that individual contri- butions in five different social areas could be recognized by having honored individuals names engraved on plaques and placed on the memorial. The areas suggested were: Reservation Government, Education, Economics, Religion and Cul- tural Perpetuation. A target date for unveiling could be June 15, 1976, Bighorn wrote, adding that \This date is the 100th Anniversary of \Sitting Bull's Battle\ (commonly called Custer's Battle). The non -Indian culture will be celebrating their 200th anniversary of the \signing data\ to the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1976. (this document was the \ticket\ to a war of revolution). After 100 years of constant fighting on many different fronts, an effort was made by the Indian participants at Little Bighorn to turn the tide of the white invasion. This act, The Battle of the Little Bighorn, has remained as a symbolic \last battle\ between the white and the Indian. \# Fred Rayne, Poplar, has a different idea for a reservation memorial. He wants to see a 10 x 12 foot memorial constructed of native woods with the following inscription: \In memory of the following men and women who have with their best efforts honestly helped to bring a better under- standing between the U.S. Government, white people and other tribes, but most- ly for the betterment of the Assiniboine and Sioux Nations. We hereby dedicate to these men and women who did their best and that we may be strive to be proud of our heritage and work together to better our lives as first Americana, 'because we vont to.\ Helve Delbsil—thoot this was merely a &oat illblevoregen tervmgges- 'tiene. flu stole' tint he had submitted this ides to titer Tribal Executive Board four yews ago but they shoved no inter* set. The human beings were born of the earth as all living things were, and in their eyes, everything lives. This is basically a universal belief with all Indian Tribes. Tradition and Culture is of great importance. Espec- ially in a society where a variety of cultures seem to become enveloped as one. I believe that it is important to en- rich one's own culture, especially here on the Fort Peck Reservation where much seems to be dwindling away. But it is never to late to restore such things. The Indian people always believed in re- birth of the spirit and of the people. I have been among many different Tribes and reservations where the chil- dren speak in their native tongue and their religion is their own; where life is still gracious and simple with only the complexities of enriching one's own soul. But many of these tribes were able to hang on to what they had by hiding away from the oncoming changes. Hiding in such places as mountains, canyons, de- serts, or deep forests. The environment was to their advantage; But we are of the great, wide open plains where extreme changes seemed to have swept over through the night. Whether it is known to others, there are people here on this reservation working to restore our own culture. But this cannot happen unless it is brought about by the people themselves. It's about time to be born again, it is time for a rebirth.# Constructed by Lisa Ventura Across the top of the memorial, Hayne would like to see a scene painted by a local Indian artist depicting possibly a portion of the Poplar River that is fa- miliar to everyone. He feels that the theme, \the Earth is our Mother\ should be included on the memorial. In a meeting with Jake Bighorn, ONAP Education Coordinator and artist Lisa Ventura, Bighorn suggested that a memor- ial following the lines of Hayne's could be included in a Cultural Center that is being planned by the Tribes and a statue could possibly be placed in the area be- tween the Tribal Building and the BIA. Bayne was in agreement with this i- dea however, it was agreed that outside suggestions were needed. It was request- ed by Jake Bighorn that interested tri- bal members should get in ox. .act with him if they had any ideas concerning the memorial .# I I I THE MAZE a From the MAZE, published by the NCIP, P.O. Box 18554, Capitol Hill Station, Denver, Colorado 80218 Often enough we at National Center for Indian Preference have felt lost in a maze as we stumbled through BIA per- sonnel policies, Equal Employment Oppor- tunity Complaint procedures and the mum- bled evasions of low-level bureaucrats. As a result of these experiences we have decided to feature a regular column to document the more outrageous violations of laws and reason that occur. These cases show that all too often the human is forgotten in the wheels of federal machinery. -In September 1974, Ms. Janet Green, an Indian employee at the Fort Peck BIA Agency, finally won a discrimination complaint that had taken over three years to be resolved. The problem began in 1971 when Richard. Harbour, a non -In- dian Soil Conservationist was detailed into a GS-11 Realty Officer position being vacated by an Indian. Ma. Green protested this action, stating that she was better trained for the job and warn- ed that his placement in the position meant almost automatic acceptance when his detail ended. BIA officials rejected her protests. Mr. Harbour held his de- tail for over 7 months, exceeding Civil Service regulations and then was chosen over Ma. Green for the position. Al- though Mr. Harbour and Ma. Green were both listed on the certificate as \best qualified\ Mr. Harbour was chosen be- cause of his better grasp of the job as a result of having already carried out the functions for seven months. Ma. Green filed a complaint in May 1972. A hearing on the complaint was not held until October. Although the tribal council had passed a resolution calling for Ma. Green's appointment, declaring, \we advise the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Fort Peck Agency, Area Office, Washing- ton office, that our future role will be involvement in the selection and employ- ment of people who work with us in sol- ving our tribal affairs based on self-de- termination,\ the investigator denied Ms. Green's complaint. In his report, he noted that Mr. Norman Hollow, member of the tribal council, stated that \Mr. Harbour's lack of knowledge on some three occasions had put the tribe and the Bureau of Indian Affairs in a very embarrassing position whereas Ma. Green's advice was always reliable and as an Indian she was trust- ed by the Indians.\ But the investigator considered this not significant and ruled no action be taken. Ma. Green continued to contest the decision. With the aid of WICHA and NALDEF, a departmental investigation was forced to study the incident. Finally, in 1974, this investigation was com- pleted. They overruled the first inves- tigation and ruled that MS. Green be promoted to a GS -11 and paid for the back salary lost as a result of the 1971 action. Equal EMployment Opportunity al- so called for an investigation of 1971 action. Equal Employment Opportunity al- so called for an investigation of Area Equal Employment. Opportunity programs to see if they were effective. This case is a significant victory for the rights of women and Indians in the BIA. It is also a. prime example in the extremes persereerence needed to merely obtain eemsiderstion from federal agencies. • -

Wotanin Wowapi (Poplar, Mont.), 27 Feb. 1975, located at <http://montananewspapers.org/lccn/WotaninWowapi/1975-02-27/ed-1/seq-12/>, image provided by MONTANA NEWSPAPERS, Montana Historical Society, Helena, Montana.