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In The Hoop
MAY 30, 2001

Welcome to In The Hoop, Indianz.Com's occasional column about assorted Indian issues.

Charles Tillman, Wise o-Sage
Osage Nation Charles Tillman wouldn't return Indianz.Com's phone calls seeking follow-up on his recent visit with Secretary of Interior Gale Norton. (We wanted to learn more about how good Osage oil is for the soil.)

But never mind that. He did speak with Mary Pierpoint from Indian Country Today. And here are some of Tillman's Tidbits, from today's issue:

On the environment: "The Osage Nation has this vast oil holding here. It's 13,000 oil wells. We also have the ecosystem of the tall grass prairie. Do they all get along? Yes, they do."

On the energy crisis: "Energy is the main topic right now in this country. We are the richest and most powerful country in the world. We need to address our energy problems. President Carter lost the election over it. People didn't want to hear that they were going to have to pay more than they wanted to for gas, they wouldn't accept that. It's not a matter of what you are willing to accept now, it's a matter of how much do we have."

On the trust fund: "I think there is a window of opportunity here to settle our differences and the only difference is Trust Fund . . . I think the president is willing to look at this and say, 'Let's get this out of the way. Let's pay this off, we don't need to be in court.' The last administration said 'We are not guilty'. I'm saying they are guilty as hell."

NCAI gets a leader
Well its finally official: the National Congress of American Indians finally has a new executive director.

Confirming a tip first reported here at In The Hoop, Jackie Johnson, appointed by President Clinton to clean up Indian housing messes at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, will be taking over the job next month.

"I plan to bring sound organizational structure as well as an aggressive advocacy agenda," Johnson told Indian Country Today. "I want to establish an administratively and financially stable organization that can help support Indian country, particularly in the area of economic development."

Johnson replaces JoAnn Chase, who resigned abruptly last month after serving NCAI for several years.

Web Site Wonders
In case you haven't visited the web site of the Bureau of Indian Affairs recently, you might want to check it out as it has undergone an interesting transformation from Plain Jane to what some have attributed as Santa Fe chic.

Emblazoned with a variety of colored background, an eagle feather, and what looks like a Zuni bear fetish, the new design is the brainchild of Chief Information Officer Dom Nessi and the agency's troubled Office of Information Resource Management. But the four staff members who reportedly worked on the site don't appear to have let the trust fund debacle distract from their efforts.

Means Russeling
So Russell Means is running for Governor of New Mexico on the Libertarian Party ticket. But he might not make the cut-off due to a snag in state law.

New Mexico law requires a candidate for Governor to be a citizen of the United States (check), at least 30 years old (check), have lived in the state for five years (check), and not be a convicted felon (not check.) In case you don't remember, Means was convicted in South Dakota in 1975 for his activist ways there and unless Governor Bill Janklow pardons him there, he wouldn't qualify.

Janklow pardoning Means is about as likely as President Bush pardoning Leonard Peltier. So it looks like the conviction might catch up with him. But the state's Libertarian Chairmans says they'll go to court if necessary to get Means on the ticket.

(The requirements say nothing about being married several times in New Mexico, by the way.)

In Your Hoop
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Previous In The Hoops
May 24, 2001 | May 23, 2001 | May 16, 2001 | May 11, 2001 | May 8, 2001 | May 7, 2001 | May 2, 2001 | May 1, 2001 | April 30, 2001 | April 25, 2001 | April 24, 2001 | April 23, 2001 | April 20, 2001 | April 19, 2001