Monday, 28 December 2009

John Echohawk

John Echohawk is a Native American lawyer who is the Executive Director of The Native American Rights Fund.

Until recently I had never heard of this organisation.

What John does is campaign for restitution for the Indian Tribes who over a hundred years plus have been abused by the Federal Government.

When the tribes were ousted from their lands in the mid-nineteen hundreds, a trust was set up for them, to ensure they received income from any exploitation that took place on their new reservations.
This did not take into consideration their forced removal from their traditional homelands, nevertheless on paper it looked quite good.

So when miners, loggers, oil men, started to find exploitable resources on the reservations, it was not surprising to think that the tribes would benefit.

It seems that in most cases the companies honoured their legal requirements and made payments to the funds set up by the Federal Government.

Where it all goes pear shaped is when the funds arrive in accounts controlled by the Government.

A mixture of corruption and incompetence over at least 100 years has meant that the tribes have been abused by the system.

The sums concerned are literally staggering!

We are talking Billions of Dollars.

Successive attempts have been made to ensure justice for these people and they have got nowhere.

John has even attempted a class action and because of the power of central government he is getting delay after delay.

Senators and Congressmen say that this is going to cost the American tax payer a fortune, well so be it!

One must ask the question as to where all the money has gone in the first place.

What is left to the Native American people if they can't achieve restitution?

The simple answer to that, is the Nationalisation of Government assets on their land.

Most of these assets are highly sensitive military installations.

Please visit the North American Rights Fund and make a donation.

If freedom is to survive in the Western World we must start with those who have suffered under our two hundred years of exploitation.


  1. It never ends. I remember when the Anglican Church in Canada was found criminally guilty of abuse in the residential schools, the church wanted to administer the awards to the native people because, they argued, the "Indians" would just squander it away on drink. It really does never end!

  2. If we, as American citizens are indebted to anyone, it is to the Native Americans. One day you might like to read I Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee, a very telling account of their plights.
    Wonderful post, Simon.

  3. Simon,

    Your heart is with the most neglected. Native-Americans -- 'First Nations' is a term newer to me in the Pac Northwest and holding more power than the bureaucratic sounding N.A. we've wanted to redeem our shame by extending some dignity with -- they were pushed aside, trashed, killed-off, ignored, belittled . . . well, pick a verb.

    I'd like to think any donation would help or help legal work. I do remember just how tight with the nickel Congress was in granting recompense to the Japanese internees back in the 70s. Indeed, just how much resistance there was to establishing a Martin Luther King, Jr., Federal holiday. Screams, coming from some quarters!

    We're good with our lips, but not with our purse.

    Despite this shadow of pessimism, but enlivened by your charity, I do want you to enjoy a great New Year!

  4. hello ,amazing post .happy new year god bless you