Reference Library – USA – South Dakota
Tribal leader warns of protest if Trump insists on border wall: ‘There is no word for wall in our language’
CLOSE THE CARAVAN AGAINST FEAR VISITS TOHONO O’ODHAM NATIONTohono O’odham Nation oppposes Trump’s proposed border wall | 0:42
Verlon Jose on the cost of the border wall: Taxpayers of America if they don t wake up and realize $30 billion dollars of their taxpaying money is going to go to something that is not going to be 100 percent effective.” Dianna M. N ez/The Republic
CLOSE THE CARAVAN AGAINST FEAR VISITS TOHONO O’ODHAM NATION‘There is no word for wall in our language’ | 1:22
Tohono O’odham Nation vice chairman Verlon Jose: There is no word for wall in our language because there s not meant to be any walls. Dianna M. N ez/The Republic
CLOSE THE CARAVAN AGAINST FEAR VISITS TOHONO O’ODHAM NATIONGerald Sparks speaks at the Tohono O’odham Nation | 0:45
Gerald Sparks said he joined the caravan because of a rise in racism against black people. Traveling, he heard immigrants’ stories and felt the fight against injustice is stronger when marginalized communities unite. Dianna M. N ez/The Republic
CLOSE THE CARAVAN AGAINST FEAR VISITS TOHONO O’ODHAM NATIONTohono O’odham Nation fights Trump’s proposed border wall | 0:24
Tohono O’odham vice chairman Verlon Jose joins final chant and says goodbye to travelers with the Caravan Against Fear group traveling the southwest to raise awareness of migrant rights and border issues. Dianna M. N ez/The Republic
CLOSE THE CARAVAN AGAINST FEAR VISITS TOHONO O’ODHAM NATIONCaravan Against Fear and Tohono O’odham sign | 0:21
Travelers with the Caravan Against Fear, which started in California and ends in Texas, entered the mission on Tohono O’odham Nation lands singing in Spanish and Nahuatl, the language of an indigenous people of Mexico. Dianna M. N ez/The Republic
TOPAWA The strangers arriving in the noisy caravan of white vans seemed out of place at the desert mission in Topawa, where a ghostly rhythm drew on the sounds of dusty winds, screeching crows and a friar hammering atop St. Catherine Church s aged roof. The strangers stepped out of the vans and clasped hands, forming a chain snaking across the dirt. They sang in Spanish and Nahuatl, the language of indigenous people native to Mexico.
Yo les quiero tanto, tanto,
Yo les canto, canto, canto,
Inica inihuei temetzcaltzin
Inica inihuei temetzcaltzin
The song was a gift to the Native people who had welcomed them as guests. It was days into the Caravan Against Fear, a group traveling from California across the Southwest to Texas to build a coalition for their mission: to defend immigrant rights, to keep migrant families together and to resist President Donald Trump s policies. They chanted a message printed on T-shirts for the trek: No Deportations, No Ban, No Wall, Sanctuary for All.
The group of about 60 people came to the San Solano Missions, south of Sells and about 20 miles from the U.S. border, to hear the Tohono O odham Nation s vice chairman, Verlon Jose, speak about Trump s proposed border wall. The structure would cut through about 75 miles of the nation, physically dividing the reservation in two and effectively isolating tribal members who live on the Mexican side of the border.
Donald Trump’s border wall
Before the day was over and the guests left the remote desert mission on tribal lands, Jose would bash Trump’s proposed wall, calling it a waste of taxpayer dollars and comparing it to the Berlin Wall. He would call on people to see the barrier as an international human-rights issue, offer an alternative plan for tightening border security, and acknowledge that innocent tribal members are subjected to increased vehicle searches by Border Patrol agents. He also warned of a mass protest on the border if diplomacy fails to keep the U.S. government off Tohono O’odham land, a protest that he said would rival Standing Rock.
Dividing land and people
Tohono O’odham Nation vice chairman Verlon Jose is a vocal opponent of Trump’s proposed border wall. He said the tribe will try diplomacy first, but is prepared to stage a protest that would rival Standing Rock. (Photo: Dianna M. N ez/The Republic)
The Tohono O odham Nation the second-largest tribe by land holdings in the U.S. sits on an estimated 2.7 million acres in southern Arizona s Sonoran Desert and stretches across the border into the Mexican state of Sonora. Tribal leaders have made angry statements opposing the wall, saying it would violate their tribal sovereignty, separate them from family members who live on the Mexican side of the border, harm the land and its plants and animals, as well as cut them off from ancient paths for ceremonial pilgrimages across the desert.
They admit they face a battle if the U.S. government tries to leverage public support for homeland security and immigration enforcement and invoke legal justifications, including eminent domain, to build the wall. Still, the tribe believes it can leverage public sympathy and perhaps join others, including private-property owners along the proposed wall route, who could tie the government up with prolonged lawsuits. There s also the specter of a mass protest that some say would rival the international attention drawn by the Standing Rock protesters at the site of an oil pipeline in North Dakota. Jose, a man who says he likes to talk, maybe too much, and hates it when people put on airs, embraces being the face of the tribe s fight. He made national news headlines for his comments last November to Phoenix public-radio station KJZZ about Trump s border-wall proposal:
Over my dead body will a wall be built, he said.
He s traveled with delegations to Washington for meetings with political leaders and joined panel discussions at U.S. college campuses explaining why the tribe opposes the wall. He starred with his friend and the nation s chairman, Edward Manuel, in a video released in February.
Standing at a tribal border gate amid dense brambles of mesquite, Jose laid out the history, tradition and what life is like for people who say they have no word in their language for the English term wall.
Tohono O odham have been in this area since time immemorial, he said. There was a significant action that took place called the Gadsden Purchase the United States government purchased land from Mexico, which dissected our aboriginal lands of the Tohono O odham, some of our members in Mexico and some of our members from the United States.
Telling their personal stories
Show Thumbnails Show Captions
At first all this started, for me, with the racism being a black man in Los Angeles and, you know, having family all over the country, I started hearing more stories, he said. Now that I heard more and more stories, it s motivating me and making me want to participate even more because of a lot of the immigrant stories. At 79, Petra Ramirez was the oldest member of the caravan. At less than 5 feet, she was also the shortest. People took turns holding her hand to steady her as she walked.
She said she was born in Mexico, but lives in Fresno, California, where she helps people who need dialysis access their Medicare coverage. She came to the U.S. with a visa, but stayed after it expired. A family member helped her apply for legal status. It took years, she said, but now she knows what it is like to live in the U.S. without fear. She stood and spoke in Spanish, Estoy muy feliz y muy contento. A caravan leader translated for her, telling the group that Ramirez felt happy and honored to join the fight. Soon the friars spoke. They praised Jose for raising the social consciousness of his people.
‘This is bigger … it’s a human issue’
When it was Jose’s turn, he asked all of the janitors in the room to stand. He thanked them for their work. He said their job has honor, and that when people ask him what his job is, he often says he is the janitor.
Whether I m the vice chair of this nation, (or) I m the janitor, (or) I m the receptionist, (or) I m the groundskeeper, (or) I m the security guard or whatever, what difference does it make? he said. We all have very important roles in this society it s not about titles. Jose explained that the nation has been inundated with national and international requests for media interviews. He said leaders have been selective about interviews on the border wall because they can t spend all their time talking about one issue and they want to be careful to work only with news organizations that will take the time to understand that the nation s swathe of the border is unique from rest of the U.S.-Mexico border. Jose recounted the history of the border, pointing out milestones such as the Gadsden Purchase the transaction that helped divide the tribal lands for the first time and the metal posts that the tribe agreed to erect in partnership with the federal government after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The barriers keep vehicles from passing through the border. Now there are three gates along the border monitored by Border Patrol agents. The gates, he said, are only for people with tribal IDs to cross.
Jose remembers sitting in meetings when the elders agreed to a vehicle barrier.
The elders were saying we will not ever support a human wall, if you want to put a vehicle barrier there it has to be environmental friendly, he said. We cannot stop the migration of the animals; we have a responsibility to every living thing in this world.”
He said every stick, every snake, stone, every rock is sacred because it is the embodiment of their ancestors. It s a grandmother, a parent, a child, he said. He spoke of the ancient ceremonies attended by tribal members on the Mexican side of the border, and the trip’s members make to visit family living south of the border.
No, this is bigger. It’s an indigenous issue; it s a human issue.
Verlon Jose, Tohono O odham Nation s vice chairman,
I never knew that I was going into a foreign country, he said of traveling with his father. I was just going across the cattle guard, open the fence and go across, and let s go to grandma s house and take them some goods or pick them up and take them to town or something like that. When people ask Jose if the border wall is a Tohono O odham issue, he says, No, this is bigger. It’s an indigenous issue; it s a human issue.
This is bigger than the United States of America. This is bigger than the Republic of Mexico. This is a world issue, and we should do everything I know we are to stop that wall from happening.
The guests cheered.
Contrasting views on the wall
In February, at a winter council session of the National Congress of American Indians, the Tohono O odham secured support from the non-profit group for the fight against the wall. The council approved a resolution opposing the wall, claiming that a continuous, physical wall on the southern border would further divide historic tribal lands and communities. But Jose and tribal leaders have been criticized by people who want the nation to take a more aggressive stance against the wall. They point to the resolution as justification for pressuring the federal government. They also worry that the resolution has a caveat, specifically stating that the wall should not move forward without the consent of affected tribes. They say the nation s future is in the hands of leaders who could change their minds and offer that consent.
Some people want the tribe to submit a petition with the United Nations, asking for support in their fight against the wall. Others want the tribe to file a lawsuit to stop the wall. Tribal members with U.S. citizenship, and those without, who live on the Mexican side of the nation have argued that Jose and other leaders are saying one thing in public, but will eventually cave to the U.S. government to prevent any loss of federal funding. They argue that over the years, with each division, physical and political, the tribe has isolated its Mexican members. Between the history, culture and policy lessons, Jose made occasional jokes, like one about people who speak with forked tongues. His guests laughed along with a man who makes a habit out of not telling border patrol agents who stop his car that he is the nation’s vice chairman, who may claim he is the local janitor and who prefers to travel with his son than an entourage.
Jose said he welcomes public criticism, adding that anyone who thinks the nation s 36,000 tribal members are unified in their opinions is naive. While the majority of O odham people oppose the wall and complain that border patrol agents unfairly target them on tribal lands, he said, there are also some members who may welcome the wall if it would stem crime tied to drug smuggling. Jose said it s his job to consider each tribal member s voice. He said dissent and debate among tribal members and leadership is healthy. But he shares many of the same concerns as frustrated tribal members. He told the group stories about border patrol agents whom he believes unfairly targeted him while he was driving.
Jose has heard from tribal members who think he is walking back his statement that he will die, before he allows a wall on the lands. He said he stands by his statement, but clarified that he was speaking as an individual and not for the O’odham government. Still, he said, the nation s government is talking about varied approaches to the long-term battle.
The chairman says let us see if we can deal with this in a diplomatic way, he said. We d rather not fight, we d rather try to work things out, but I ll tell you we have war parties. For now, the tribe is relying on political and communication strategies to fight the wall.
And if all else fails we have the major plan that we will step back to, if we do have to actually do physical opposition against that (wall) he said. But as the chairman and I always say, we have the responsibility for the well-being of our people, we would never want to put our people in harm s way and put them in the forefront.
No compromise on a physical wall
CLOSE TRUMP BORDER WALLImpact of Donald Trump’s ‘Great, Great Wall’? | 8:42
A look at the socioeconomic and environmental impact of a 2,000-mile long wall at the U.S.-Mexico border.
CLOSE TRUMP BORDER WALLHere’s how much taxpayers will pay for Trump’s border wall | 0:42
It’s going to cost about two times as much as NASA’s annual budget. Video provided by Newsy Newslook
CLOSE TRUMP BORDER WALLHow much it will cost for President Trump to build his wall | 1:31
President Donald Trump is expected to direct funds towards construction of his border wall with Mexico, but is the construction feasible? Nathan Rousseau Smith (@fantasticmrnate) investigates. Buzz60
CLOSE TRUMP BORDER WALLHere’s what Trump’s executive orders on immigration, border wall do | 1:12
The two executive orders contain multiple provisions, including the creation of 15,000 new jobs. Video provided by Newsy Newslook
CLOSE TRUMP BORDER WALLHow executive orders work | 0:59
President Trump is wasting no time wielding his presidential pen. Here’s what you should know about executive orders. USA TODAY NETWORK
People want easy answers, he said, when there are none.
We have laws and it s recognized in our constitution based on custom and tradition but you cannot go on a computer and research that, you cannot go to the law library and find those, you would have to be taught those ways. Tribal values, he said, are taught through stories, each with its own moral. Jose said there is morality in a potential compromise: Establish security monitoring towers with the technological ability to secure the border digitally.
But there will be no compromise on a human wall, he said, referring to any form of a contiguous physical barrier that would stop Tohono O odham people from traveling on their ancestral lands.
‘To us it’s an imaginary line’
Jose said he recently met with a young documentary filmmaker who grew up in Berlin. They spoke of the failure of the Berlin Wall. He told a story about a Tohono O odham child who asked how he would visit his grandparents if a wall was built.
To us it is not a boundary; to us it s an imaginary line, he said, and maybe we re not there 100 percent, but those are our homelands, those are our aboriginal homelands, that is the root of our people and we will continue to go there. He finished the speech with a suggestion for the Caravan Against Fear.
What is the next journey? he asked. The Caravan of Hope, the Caravan of Resistance, the Caravan of We the People. After the discussion, people gathered for a meal. Jose continued to speak with a few reporters.
He said the federal government is considering a flawed border-security measure that would siphon billions of taxpayer dollars, which could be better used on education, health and other human services.
This is going to be a long haul if the federal government doesn t wise up and say you know what, we re going to waste a lot of our federal money,” he said,” (and) taxpayers of America if they don t wake up and realize $30 billion dollars of their taxpaying money is going to go to something that is not going to be 100 percent effective. To those who think he won t stand by his own morals, his own words, Jose said he wants to remind them that he was among those who went to Standing Rock to join the pipeline protest. If Trump won t compromise, Jose said he would stand by his promise and be among those who will form a physical protest at the wall.
Native people learned from Standing Rock, he said. If it comes to a fight of similar means, this time Indian tribes will be ready, he said.
St. Catherine’s Church in Topawa, Ariz., is cared for by the friars of San Solano Missions, which were established in 1912. (Photo: Dianna M. N ez/The Republic)
Read or Share this story: http://azc.cc/2phBZbU
The Chimney Hill chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution held its March meeting recently at the Ada Arts and Heritage facility. Regent Myrtie Clarke and acting Chaplain Linda Hebert opened the meeting. The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Ruth Ann Taylor. Ruth Franks led The Star-Spangled Banner and was accompanied by Rita Floyd on the piano. Jean Kelley led the Oklahoma flag salute. The preamble to the U.S. Constitution was led by Carol Meyer, and the American Creed was led by Arletta Good. The president general s message was read by Myrtie Clarke. President General Ann Turner Dillon said one of her favorite issues of the year is the one dedicated to Women s History Month. She reported on several women who fostered the cause of women s rights. She also saluted the U.S. Mint, which is celebrating its 225th anniversary this year. She ended her message by wishing a happy spring to all.
The secretary s and treasurer s reports were e-mailed to members, and there are a few hard copies available at the meeting. A motion to accept the reports was made and seconded. The motion was approved. The registrar report was given by registrar Marian Paniague, who reported that there are three prospective members this month, which are Rena Scarbough, Binnie Wilson and Barbara Wilson. There was a member verified this month, Dana Hall Jordan, and there is also one name in review, Reta Boggs. The national defense report on the history of the U.S. Coast Guard was given by Carol Meyer. The Coast Guard is an amalgamation of five formally distinct federal services. On Aug. 7, 1789, the US Lighthouse Service was established under the control of the Treasury Department. On Aug. 4, 1790, Congress authorized the secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, to create a maritime service to enforce custom laws and inspect vessels.
President Woodrow Wilson signed into law the Act to Create the Coast Guard on Jan. 28, 1915. By 1949 the Coast Guard was under the Navy Department, then the Treasury Department in 1946; then transferred to the newly formed Department of Transportation in 1967; then transferred to the newly created Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003. The Indian Minutes report from Mary Pfeffer detailed the Indian Youth of America (IYA), a non-profit charitable Indian service organization. It began in the summer of 1976 with an intertribal youth camp held on the Warm Springs Reservation in Oregon. IYA has branched out to serve Indian youth and families on both local and national levels through a number of programs and activities. IYA is dedicated to improving the quality of life for Native American children and serves these children through its resource center, scholarship assistance and sponsorship of students to leadership programs and sporting events, as well as the major focus on the Intertribal Summer Youth Camp Program. Camps are held in Arizona and South Dakota each summer, where campers experience a variety of cultural, educational, and recreational activities under the guidance of Indian counselors and staff. Special guests also share their songs, dances, stories, and cultural traditions. IYA was incorporated in 1978 and has its main office in Sioux City, Iowa. In the Conservation Minutes report, Janet Gibson reported on wildlife. She reported that some wild plants are wanted in our gardens and yards and some are not. She talked about redbud trees, holly bushes and butterfly plants, which are decorative and beneficial, but we do not like poison ivy and their family. She reminded us that it is time to plant the wanted varieties. She also talked about good wildlife, like rabbits and birds, but none of us want skunks in our yards and gardens.
The Veterans Report was given by Ruth Ann Taylor. Good news! We have raised enough money for two domino tables for the Sulphur Veteran Center. The tables will be ordered this week and should be at the center in about one month. The next visit to the center will be March 15th. The check for the tables will be presented to the center on this day. The programs section featured The Battle of Kings Mountain. Norma Reid from The Black Bead Chapter of DAR in Norman was the guest speaker. She has ties to Ada, being a graduate of Roff High School and East Central University, where she met her husband. She began by saying that Thomas Jefferson said the Battle of Kings Mountain changed the tide of the Revolutionary War. The Battle of Kings Mountain was between the patriot and the loyalist militias in South Carolina during the Southern campaign of the war. Kings Mountain is nine miles south of the present-day town of Kings Mountain, North Carolina. British Major Patrick Ferguson was ordered to raise a loyalist militia and protect the flank of Lord Cornwallis main force. The British gave the loyalists rifles and bayonets but not uniforms. Ferguson wrote a letter to patriot leader Isaac Shelby and other militia leaders to lay down their arms or he would lay waste to their country with fire and sword. In response the patriot leader Shelby, McDowell, and Campbell and others rallied an attack. Receiving intelligence on the upcoming attack Ferguson decided to stay on Kings Mountain. The battle began on Dec. 7, 1780, four and one half years into the war, and it lasted one hour. Patrick Ferguson rode his horse and blew a whistle for his men to attack the patriot forces coming up the mountain. He continued until he was shot and killed, after which his men surrendered. The loyalist forces had 225 men killed and 165 wounded while the patriot forces had 28 killed and 60 wounded. When the loyalist militia was destroyed, Cornwallis was forced to abandon his plan to invade North Carolina and retreated to South Carolina. In 1898, the Kings Mountain Chapter DAR launched a campaign to acquire the battlefield, and in 1931 Congress established The Kings Mountain National Military Park.
Ruth Ann Taylor the Kiamichi County district director has visited seven of the nine chapters in our district and plans on visiting the other two soon. She gave a program on Martha Washington to three of the chapters. She reported that at our district conference in April, we will be doing basket giveaways, and that Tammy Hinton of the McAlester chapter has taken care of our basket this year. Regent Myrtie Clarke thanked the chapter for their donation to the Oklahoma Heart Association. Elaina Bearden announced that the eighth-grade essay winner from our chapter won State. The sixth-grade and 10th grade essay writers won third at the state level, and the fifth grade essay writer placed fourth at state.
The door prize was won by Ruth Ann Taylor. Hostesses for the March meeting are Jean Kelley, Arletta Good, Erna Leach, Marian Paniagua and Linda Leach. Members present: Janet Barrett, Elaine Bearden, Tommie Beddow, Beth Buxton, Myrtie Clarke, Rita Floyd, Mary Ann Frame, Ruth Franks, Joyce Gentry, Janet Gibson, Sue Gonyon, Arletta Good, Linda Gebert, Lou Ann Hoover, Kathy Howry, Jean Kelley, Erna Leach, Ann Maxwell, Marian Paniaguia, Mary Pfeffer, Jerry Wages, and Elizabeth Witherow.
Guests are Norma Reid, Anita Renells and Binnie Wilson.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. A felony terror charge has been filed against a Muslim man who recently recorded himself on Facebook Live brandishing numerous guns outside of a Christian event and warning viewers in a profanity-laden denouncement to be scared and terrified.
Ehab Abdulmutta Jaber, 45, has been charged with one count of making terrorist threats after he slipped into a Worldview Weekend conference in Sioux Falls earlier this month, which featured a message from Shahram Hadian, a former Muslim turned Christian pastor who leads Truth in Love Ministries in Spokane, Washington. The event, held at Hilton Garden South, had been protested by approximately 70 members of the Islamic Center of Sioux Falls, who believed that the gathering was Islamophobic because it presented argument against the Islamic religion. Hadian s message was entitled Sabotaging America: Islam s March Towards Supremacy. Worldview Weekend President Brandon Howse also spoke on biblical prophecy.
Jaber had been spotted filming the event with his cell phone in the back of the room and was advised by a security guard that recording was not allowed. The Facebook Live video shows Jaber filming the cover of his Koran before scanning the crowd of approximately 500 people.
My name is John Smith, Jaber told the guard in being approached. The Muslim John Smith. After being ejected from the gathering because he was carrying a firearm, Jaber recorded another Facebook Live video in his car in which he brandished several handguns and rifles, warning viewers amid expletives to be scared.
There s about, probably 400 people in there, if not maybe 500. And now if you want to be really scared be scared, he declared, holding up his weapons one by one. Be scared. Be [expletive] terrified. Jaber was later interviewed by local television station KSFY, and told reporters that he was heartbroken to see that many people in that place.
They didn t show up for a Christian conference, he asserted. They showed up for an anti-Muslim rally.
Jaber contended to the news outlet that he regularly travels with the weapons and was simply exercising his Second Amendment rights.
I m not armed against the regular citizen. I m not armed against Christians or against Jews, or against women or against children. I m just armed against stupidity and oppression, he said. While the Sioux Falls Police Department initially declined to press charges, stating that everything [Jaber] was doing was legal, South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley and Lincoln County State s Attorney Tom Wollman concluded otherwise, announcing on Friday that Jaber had been arrested. They told the Argus Leader that the video appeared to be a violation of state law, which prohibits threats to commit a crime of violence with the intent to intimidate or coerce a civilian population.
Jaber is also being prosecuted locally as meth was found in his home during the investigation.
Hadian says that he is bewildered both by the conclusion of the Sioux Falls Police Department and the portrayal of Jaber in the media.
I m not sure if I m sure if the statement of the police officer is more baffling to me as a former police officer, or letting this guy seem like he s the victim, [saying], I was upset. I was heartbroken,’ he outlined in an interview with Howse over the weekend. There s lots of times that [we] get heartbroken over things, but we don t go brandishing weapons and have an arsenal and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.
Warning: Foul language
A special message from the publisher…
Dear Reader, because of your generous support, we have received enough funds to send many audio Bibles to Iraqi and Syrian refugees displaced by ISIS in the Middle East. Many have been distributed and received with gladness. While we provide for the physical needs of the people, we seek to provide the eternal hope only found in Jesus Christ through the word of God. Would you join us by making a donation today to this important work? Please click here to send an audio Bible to a refugee family >>