Tuesday, January 26, 2016
Federal Domestic Abuse – the Political Ruin of 30,000 Montanans
And Confiscation of 350,000 Others’ Property Interests.
At least since 1998 and likely sometime sooner, federal and tribal officials were coercing State leaders into submission to surrender major protections of natural resources, property rights, water rights, Constitutional and civil rights of Montanans. A 1998 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed then by Chris Tweeten for the State, of 2011-2015 Water fame and notoriety, as well as tribal and federal officials created the poison potion for the Flathead Reservation property owners to consume. With the recipe in place, the instructions for administering the concoction were laid out by the CSKT Tribe in a 2001 Proposal for Negotiations. And they were followed – to the letter over the next 17 years. Within these two documents many years ago was the plan and path to minimize the voice and silence those most directly impacted—property owners within the Flathead Reservation, 80% of whom are non-tribal citizens of the State.
Most of those directly harmed were entirely unaware that from 1998 to 2011 the federal jackboot was being crafted by numerous federal, state and tribal entities. A thirteen-year head start of multiple agencies that withheld public information for this period of time, certainly gave the feds, tribes and state profound leverage over a few courageous citizens asking questions or voicing concerns.
It is 2015 now. Farmers, irrigators, landowners within the Flathead Reservation have lost control or any voice over everything necessary to produce life on their lands. The Tribe has 100% control of access to water. The Bureau of Indian Affairs controls the operation and maintenance of the irrigation districts. The federal government and tribe entirely control the former Kerr dam, with no reporting requirements, and no scrutiny of its public safety. The Bureau of Indian Affairs owns the Mission Valley Power Company that provides electricity to all households and lands within the reservation, and is operated by the tribe. Oh, and the tribe has no duty to non-tribal citizens or to keep America safe. An unaccountable federal monopoly now controls life on non-Indian lands in Western Montana.
The Secretary of Interior has the last word on the Flathead Indian Reservation for water, power and irrigation. Not the Governor, not the State. Farmers and cattlemen fully know that life doesn’t happen on land without power and irrigation. And it’s the feds and tribes that will now arbitrarily set all rates for each—water and power, answering to no one, not the ratepayers or even the State’s Public Services Commission (PSC). It is the CSKT that no longer contributes to county and school district economic needs, so a substantial tax burden now shifts to the landowners as well. Water rates will go up; irrigation rates will go up; power rates will go up; taxes will go up. This final economic squeeze is a foregone conclusion—it is a dead certainty. The only things going down will be business income, household income, and land values. All of this is against the law. In the mid-80s a mission of the CSKT was to remove all non-Indians (approximately 30,000) from the reservation by 2030 “by any means necessary.” The stage is surely set.
Throughout this seventeen year period, during which landowners have been slowly bullied, demeaned and silenced, the State of Montana has made no effort, whatsoever, to protect its citizens and their collective right to own and enjoy the state’s natural (water) resources, for which the state is held legally responsible as a fiduciary under the public trust doctrine. Few attorneys, if any, have lifted a finger to assist the property owners. Public meetings were mere theater, feigned to pretend that any citizen voice mattered. The song sheets of the 1998 MOU and the 2001 CSKT Settlement Negotiation Protocols have been followed to the tune without missing a note or a beat.
Narrowly customized “help” was provided to the Flathead Joint Board of Irrigators (FJBC), keeping conversations limited to in-stream flows and not much else. Efforts by FJBC advisors have intentionally kept chronic divisiveness and dysfunction within the FJBC Board. These nine fine Board members all deeply believe in the FJBC, are landowners and irrigators themselves, but pitted against each other could cause the collapse of the FJBC. Apparently, the federal and state governments’ objective have long been to facilitate the failure of the FJBC so that the CSKT Water Compact can succeed. A well-functioning FJBC is a direct obstacle to successful CSKT Water Compact implementation. The FJBC and everyone must lose for the CSKT Water Compact to succeed. The plan set twenty years ago has wrought great fear and pain to truly fine Montanans.
To be blunt, the Interior Department and its Bureau of Indian Affairs now serve as pimps for federally recognized tribes, including the CSKT, who willingly submit themselves before the congressional and executive alters as “dependent” sovereigns to ensure rapid expansion of their “sovereignty” and legal jurisdiction over non-tribal lands, waters and persons; and the State of Montana is a willing and compliant customer, leaving an additional $55 million in State taxpayer dollars on the dresser. Indeed, while the State and Federal government lie comfortably together behind closed doors, the citizens of Montana have publicly had their dearly held private property rights pick-pocketed and transferred to others.
The State government has paid little heed to the printed words within the Montana Constitution or within the four corners of the federal Constitution, including the Tenth and Fourteenth Amendments and the Bill of Rights. Abandoned by their guaranteed representative government, good Montana people will be forced to move out and move on. The seven or eight Montana tribes will stand to devour the remainder of the physical State, as Montana’s governing institutions and structure increasingly become puppetry to implement federal directives for even greater tribal sovereignty and jurisdiction.
Want proof that this intentional theft of property owners’ interests have not been entirely orchestrated and maneuvered by the federal government and its operatives on the ground in Montana? One small group of citizens engaged legal counsel to get their voices heard by the courts and federal agencies, and to claim their rightful due process, equal protection and property rights. And these folks are now painted as Enemy Number One. How dare a few property owners seek to protect their interests and their livelihoods? Those unable or unwilling to support these landowners remind me of the beaten wife contacted by domestic abuse counseling services that offer to help, but she sees them as bringing more trouble to her door, until she’s found dead in her home.
Governor Bullock, and Attorney General Fox: Should Flathead Reservation land and water owners just lie down and drink the poison? How does that comport with your Oaths of Office? Who would have thought Montana, of all states, would succumb to such federal domestic abuse of the State, and then conspire with the federal government to deny its citizens’ State Constitutional protections of private property, water rights, and due process procedural rights?
Absent support from the State of Montana or any current federal government entity, and in spite of serious demeaning and intimidation, some courageous property owners will eventually have their day in court. And that is a good and necessary thing if property rights and due process are to exist for citizens anywhere in Montana today or tomorrow.
Elaine Willman, Author
Going to Pieces…the Dismantling of the United States of America
Monday, January 25, 2016
Friday, January 1, 2016
The Spreading Epidemic of Tribalism
By Elaine Willman, Author
Going To Pieces..
“Officials in a small Montana town say they will have to disincorporate the community or declare bankruptcy over an ongoing dispute with the Blackfeet Tribe about water and utility service…lawsuits filed by the Blackfeet Tribe, Two Medicine Water Company and certain tribal members have had the same goal: to eliminate the Town of Browning by bleeding it financially dry, officials reported.”
Missoulian, Dec. 25, 2015
A similar fate once threatened the Village of Hobart, Wisconsin, and now threatens Shawnee, Oklahoma and many other communities . So what is the problem with removing municipal government for tribal government jurisdiction? Tribal governments do not allow non-tribal residents any voice in their government, and have no duty to protect or serve them. Tribes just want to tax, govern or chase non-Indians away. Rightful government of American citizens on Indian reservations is gone when states, counties and towns spinelessly give up.
More serious is enormous escalation of tribal governance over non-tribal persons, businesses and properties resulting in the removal of State authority and responsibility for its citizens. Citizens are losing their government when they succumb to bullying, name-calling, frivolous litigation, appeasement, and acquiescence to every tribal demand. The price is the loss of government that serves and protects you – the United States and State Constitutions.
Every Indian reservation is co-located within states, multiple counties and numerous towns. Among the 566 federally recognized tribes, some 340 Indian reservations are located directly within or near urban areas as well. Only two or three Indian reservations are predominantly populated with Indians. The vast majority of reservations are home to a large non-Indian population. Congress intended and fully opened Indian reservations to encourage settling of the West, and citizenship for Indians. That is the reality federal, state, local and tribal governments now find unacceptable.
Early Indian treaties executed by either the Department of War or Secretary of Interior served two people and two purposes: to provide land and protection for Indian tribes and to keep the settlers safe. Every Indian Treaty has a clause requiring open public roads through reservations, and a clause requiring Indians to “cause no depredation” (harm) to settlers. The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) originally looked to the well-being of all folks in the West, not just Indians until 1934. The Indian Reorganization Act was a paradigm shift for the BIA that from 1934 on, focused only on Indians, hired only Indians and facilitated expansion of tribal governance to the exclusion of state authority and citizen protections on reservations.
The Obama Administration poured accelerant into the expansion of tribalism with two recent, alarming policies: 1) President Obama decided that the nation’s public utilities, power and energy grid are good “economic development” for conversion to Indian tribal assets. Obama and Congress have funded billions of dollars out to tribes for transitioning major dams, energy corporations, and confiscation and control of water across the country. 2) Obama and Congress have determined that tribal government interactions with Middle Eastern countries is now a great idea for Indian “economic development” too (the Hearth Act of 2012).
Domestic tribalism and Middle Eastern tribalism have shared cultural norms (communalism) and a common adversary: the United States. The White House views big Middle Eastern money (Turkey, Saudi Arabia, etc.) tucked away on private Indian tribal “trust” lands as good for Indians and America. Tribal trust land is off-limits to all state and local government eyes. Am I kidding? No, we should be very concerned. For the doubtful, visit the www.aljazeera.com website to see how significantly America’s Indian tribes are being tracked and engaged. Just enter the search word “tribe.”
We will now have wealthy little Sharia compounds on Indian reservations to add to the 190 cities designated to receive Syrian refugees. Obama is polka-dotting the entire country with Sharia enclaves to enrich Indian tribes and reflect our generous heart for immigrants. Our blind, deaf and dormant Congress has held its nose and endorsed all of this.
Promises made by Congress to “Go West Young Man” were just as valid and perpetual as any promise made to Indian tribes. It was Young Man who built the first schools, churches, small towns, farms and ranches, all on the faith that Congress provided in Homestead and other Acts. Young Man built this country. For the past several decades, however, promises made to settlers and their descendants have been politically stained and reversed. America should not have sent Young Man West. Indian tribes want their reservations and “aboriginal lands” restored to their natural habitat. Every non-Indian should be shamefully sorry forever, and gone soon. The lack of appreciation for Young Man and coddling of tribal governments is chilling.
This is what pockets of apartheid now bolstered with more of the same from Middle Eastern countries are doing to America. This is what unequal, hyphenated-Americans and “cultural diversity” has created. “Americans” is a wrong and ugly word in its own country. I practice daily free thought, free speech and due process, and am keenly aware of my rights under the federal and state constitutions. I absolutely refuse to tolerate that my own citizenship in this country is denounced as inferior to that of any other American citizen.
We have a growing national epidemic but the impacts first strike locally, in one zip code after another, one town after another, one county after another. It is coming to your front porch.
State, county and local governments within Indian reservations absolutely must stand tall no matter the severity of well-funded special tribal governments funded by you, to defeat you. States must act as fully separate Constitutional Sovereigns on equal footing with each other, and independent of the Federal government beyond its enumerated rights. Every single American, including tribal members living within or near and Indian reservation in 2016 must commit to “If you see something, say something.” We are either strong and equal citizens protecting ourselves and country, or the perfect storm is set to take us down sooner than we even know.