This Week's Program: Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Abramoff Scandal's Impact on Indian Country; Native American Author Gabriel Horn on "Contemplations of a Primal Mind"

Abramoff Scandal Rocks Indian Country: Is There Going to be Permanent Damage as a Result?

Disgraced Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff was sentenced to almost five years in prison in a Miami case for wire fraud and conspiracy in a $147.5 million casino-boat purchase in 2000. For his lead role in orchestrating the use and misuse of between $66 million and $82 million in tribal fees and political contributions, Abramoff has pleaded guilty to the attempted corruption of public officials, among other things. Federal prosecutors praised his cooperation in the Washington case to the Miami court. They have suggested they'll ask for less than the 30-year prison term possible on the Washington charges, contingent on Abramoff's continuing cooperation. We get a report on the latest from Washington. We also look at the scandal's impact on Indian country. David Wilkins discusses American Indian nations' relationship with Washington lobbyists, the issues of sovereignty that are at stake, and mainstream media coverage of the issue. Wilkens recently wrote in a column for Indian Country Today that "Indian nations must end their dependency on non-Indians and instead look to develop a Native crop of strategists, liaisons and lobbyists trained in the values and traditions of their own nations."

Dr. David E. Wilkins (Lumbee) , professor of American Indian Studies at the University of Minnesota. He holds adjunct appointments in Political Science, Law, and American Studies. His research interests include federal Indian policy and law, comparative indigenous peoples, tribal governments, judicial politics, and tribal-sate relations. He has published several books, including American Indian Politics and the American Political System; The Navajo Political Experience, Uneven Ground: American Indian Sovereignty and Federal Law (with Tsianina Lomawaima); and Tribes, Treaties, and Constitutional Tribulations (with Vine Deloria, Jr.). His articles have appeared in a range of social science, law, historical, and ethic studies journals.

Laura Strickler, a reporter based in Washington for Capitol News Connection with Public Radio International. She has been covering the Abramoff affair for Native American stations as well.

A Discussion with Native American Author Gabriel Horn

He is the author of "The Native American book of Knowledge" and "The Native American Book of Life", as well as "Contemplations of a Primal Mind." He shares his philosophical outlook, highlighting Native Americans' unique connection to Turtle Island (North America) and his struggle to understand Indigenous identity.

Gabriel Horn, a nationally recognized lecturer on Native American philosophy and its connection to the rights of indigenous people, animals, and the welfare of the environment. Horn was one of the original teachers who helped establish the American Indian Movement Survival Schools in Minnesota and is now a professor of writing and literature. Selected for Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, Horn has written the award-winning Ceremony -- In The Circle of Life, as well as Contemplations of a Primal Mind, The Book of Ceremonies, and the novel Transcendence, co-written with his wife Amy. He lives in Florida near the shores of the Gulf of Mexico.

Activist Alert!: Help Put a Stop to the Commercial Desecration of Bear Butte

Visit the web site to sign the online petition to help stop this desecration. Bear Butte is sacred land in South Dakota for the Lakota. A developer is threatening to build a 600-acre biker bar and concert venue at the base of Bear Butte. Signatures are needed by April 4th to be presented at a public hearing with Commissioners in South Dakota.