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In The Hoop

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

Don't Rain on this Parade
In case you missed it, Elouise Cobell, the Blackfeet Nation of Montana banker who has so stridently fought the federal government to fix the broken trust fund, was featured in Parade Magazine yesterday.

The spread included the obligatory pictures of Cobell on some land in Montana, of an elder (a woman and her grandchildren) and of ex-Clinton administration officials whose handling of the case left much to be desired.

But no picture of former Assistant Secretary Kevin Gover! Maybe he wasn't available for a sitting. The photos of former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt and former Attorney General Janet Reno are stock images, too.

At any rate, the article is pretty much an overview of what most in Indian Country already know. But for the rest of the country, it might finally raise some eyebrows and push them to act.

From recently deceased writer Peter Maas (best known for his "Serpico" work), we do learn that Reno apparently invited Cobell to Washington, DC, to discuss the issue. But when Cobell showed up, Reno reportedly pawned her off on some flunkies.

Maas does not report if he attempted to solicit comments from the Bush or Clinton administrations.

By the way, the Cobell plaintiffs are soliciting donations. And they are tax-free. Wouldn't it be a hoot if they raised more money than goes into the accounts (about $400 million) every year?

That would definitely go In the Hoop.

Racism Gathering Goes into Overtime
It was a week of rough sailing, but the World Conference Against Racism finally ended -- a day later than scheduled. And not without the same type of bickering over the "agreement" the delegates finally approved on Saturday.

Instead of condemning Israel for committing "racist acts," the final document recognizes the "plight" of Palestinians who have alleged torture and intimidation at the hands of the Jewish state. Canada and Australia immediately objected to the language.

And instead of apologizing for enslaving thousands and thousands of Africans, the document expresses "deep regret" for the global slave network. Indigenous peoples continue to suffer today as a result, the document states.

Despite the attempts by indigenous activists to put their issues in the spotlight, it seems Indians stole the show. Indians from India, that is. A group of untouchables -- the lowest class in caste-based India -- apparently stole the hearts of many a conference delegate.

It just goes to show you that American Indians are always the wrong kind of Indians. "Down here we're called redskins," Judi Morgan told The Lincoln Journal Star.

In Your Hoop
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