Friday, April 27, 2007

John Echohawk & NARF Honored by National Indian Business Leaders

John Echohawk, NARF Executive Director, was honored with the Tribal Leadership Award by the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (NCAIED) in Las Vegas in mid-March. Echohawk was honored at the Res2007 Conference which is the largest and longest-running business and trade fair in the United States. The event is organized annually by NCAIED. More than 2,500 Tribal and Indian business leaders and Fortune 500 Companies attended the conference this year.

John Echohawk and NARF were honored at the Res2007 Awards Banquet attended by more than 750 tribal and business leaders. David Lester (Muscogee Creek), Executive Director of the Council of Energy Resource Tribes (CERT) and NCAIED board member presented the award to Echohawk. During his award presentation speech, Lester spoke of the profound impact that Echohawk and NARF’s leadership had on tribal sovereignty and economic development success in Indian Country over the last 36 years. It was also noted by Lester that John Echohawk has also served as a board member of NCAIED for 20 years. He has been a tireless advocate for tribal sovereignty and the opportunities it brings to tribes and Indian Country for economic self-sufficiency and the creation of sustainable tribal economies. Echohawk and NARF received a touching standing ovation from NCAIED membership and Indian and non-Indian business leaders in attendance. Five other Indian and non-Indian business and tribal leaders were also honored at the Res 2007 Awards.

NARF Launches National Media Campaign to Mobilize Intergenerational Support

Click Here to View the "Indian Wars Never Ended" PSA.

On Monday, March 26th, 2007, attorneys and staff of the Native American Rights Fund premiered its first ever national, multi-media Public Service Ad Campaign at the opening ceremonies of the National Indian Gaming Association’s annual convention and trade show in Phoenix, Arizona. The :60 and :30 second PSA’s, entitled, “The Indian Wars Never Ended,” are part of a greater campaign to generate renewed awareness and intergenerational support for NARF’s continued mission and work to defend tribal sovereignty and the rights and lifeways of Indian peoples. The campaign was also launched simultaneously online to thousands of viewers.

NARF has launched its new multi-media ad campaign with the goal of reaching out and engaging younger generations as well as to build unity across all generations and cultures to join and support the struggle to defend tribal sovereignty. “The Indian Wars Never Ended” PSA represents an intergenerational message of NARF as it establishes a modern-day message for modern-day times.

Featured in the PSA production are NARF Executive Director John Echohawk (Pawnee) and members of his legal team, as well as the award-winning Pawnee/Seminole hip-hop duo, Culture Shock Camp comprised of DJ Shock B and lyricist and PSA composer/producer, Quese IMC, as well as one of Indian Country’s hottest young artists, painter Bunky Echo-Hawk III.

NARF’s “The Indian Wars Never Ended” PSA represents an unprecedented multi-media campaign that will appear online, and on radio, TV, and in print publications in the effort to build support and unify generations and cultures around the defense of tribal sovereignty and Native rights. The campaign will run throughout the year with a number of special events, updates, and ways that can get involved and mobilize support for NARF in your own community. To view “The Indian Wars Never Ended” PSA’s and learn more about how you can take a stand and be a Modern Day Warrior for Native rights visit:

Nez Perce Water Settlement to be Implemented

On May 15, 2004, the Nez Perce Tribe, the State of Idaho, and the federal Department of the Interior announced publicly that a settlement of the tribe's claims in the Snake River Basin Adjudication (SRBA) had been reached. Since 1998, the Nez Perce Tribe, the United States, the State of Idaho, and local communities and water users in Idaho had engaged in mediation as part of the SRBA to resolve the claims of the Nez Perce Tribe in the Snake River and several of its tributaries. The SRBA is the legal inventory of about 150,000 water rights in 38 of Idaho's 44 counties. The Nez Perce dispute had been the biggest outstanding dispute in the Snake River Basin.

For the Tribe, the settlement: quantified the Tribe's on‑reservation consumptive use reserved water right at 50,000 acre feet a year with a priority date of 1855; established a $50 million multiple‑use water and fisheries resources trust fund; provided $23 million for the design and construction of water supply and sewer system improvements on the reservation; transferred management authority of Kooskia National Fish Hatchery to the Tribe; and transferred a portion of Bureau of Land Management‑administered land -- about 12,000 acres -- within the Nez Perce Reservation valued at $7 million to the Tribe. The settlement also provided that instream flows will be established and held by the Idaho Water Resources Board for over 200 streams and rivers selected by the Tribe as critical salmon habitat; required the State of Idaho to administer two cooperative agreements under the Endangered Species Act; and established a Habitat Fund to provide funding for habitat improvement projects.

In November of 2004, the United States Congress enacted a law -- PL 108‑447-- approving the settlement, and authorizing the payment of the settlement funds to the Tribe. President Bush signed the law on December 8, 2004. In the Spring of 2005 both the Idaho Legislature and the Nez Perce Tribal Executive Committee enacted legislation approving the settlement agreement.

On January 9, 2007, the SRBA Court heard the Joint Motion for Entry of Consent Decree filed by the Tribe, the United States, and the State of Idaho, and on January 30, 2007 the presiding judge entered a written order approving the Consent Decree. No appeals were filed with the Idaho Supreme Court challenging the final consent decree.

It is expected that in April 2007 the Secretary of the Interior will enter findings in the Federal Register that all the conditions of the Term Sheet have been met. The State and the Tribe will issue similar contemporaneous statements that all of the Term Sheet conditions have been met. Once the three sovereigns enter their final findings, the settlement provisions relating to the transfer of the 11,000 acres of BLM land; shared management of the Dworshak National Fish Hatchery; and management of the Kooskia National Fish Hatchery will be finally carried out.

Related Web Sites:

Case web page

The Nez Perce Water Rights Settlement

Snake River Basin Adjudication