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Wednesday, 24 September, 2014


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Tribal canoe journey likely to take 1-year hiatus

PORT ANGELES, Wash. (AP) — A large annual event that celebrates the Pacific Northwest's Native American culture with a tribal canoe journey and ceremonies is expected to take a one-year hiatus in 2015 because no tribe has stepped up to host it, officials said.
The Canoe Journey, which draws thousands of participants, will resume in July 2016 for the “Paddle to Nisqually'' in western Washington, the Peninsula Daily News reported Wednesday (http://bit.ly/1meHkL6 ). 
Next year will be the first time since 1993 that there won't be a tribal journey, which attracts Native American peoples from as far as Alaska and Canada.
For the journeys, tribes throughout the Northwest gather a team of pullers. They leave their own shores in canoes and visit other tribal lands as they make their way to the host tribe's land. 
Landings are followed by meals, storytelling and the exchange of traditional songs, dances and gifts. The journey culminates at a different location each year in a weeklong potlatch and celebration of tribal cultures.
The first canoe journey was the 1989 “Paddle to Seattle,'' which was conceived by Quinault tribal member Emmet Oliver and Frank Brown of Bella Bella, the newspaper reported.
Usually, a tribe announces two to three years in advance that they'll host the celebration. But by the end of this year's journey, it was becoming clear there would be no host for 2015, said Vickie Carroll, Canoe Journeys coordinator for the Jamestown S'Klallam tribe in Blyn.
“It's a huge, huge undertaking,'' she said.
Carroll said host tribes feed and provide places to stay for as many as 10,000 people for the final week of ceremonies and games, which can take years for tribes to save for and plan. 
“It might have to do with the cost of hosting the journey,'' she said.


State BLM relations in Utah called 'untenable'

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Sheriffs and the lieutenant governor in Utah are airing complaints about the management style of the top federal Bureau of Land Management law enforcement agent.
Dan Love, BLM special agent in charge in Utah and Nevada, didn't comment for a Sunday report by the Salt Lake Tribune that included Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox saying the strained relations were reaching a breaking point.
“This is untenable,'' Cox said (http://bit.ly/1wDeS6o ). “There comes a time when personalities get in the way of productivity.''
Bureau of Land Management officials wouldn't make Love available for an interview. Agency spokeswoman Celia Boddington told the Tribune the BLM needs to work closely with sheriffs and deputies, and the agency looks into incidents and complaints if they're made.
“We enjoy positive and constructive relations with the majority of sheriffs,'' Boddington said. “When we receive specifics regarding these allegations, we look into the incidents and take corrective action if appropriate. However, it is difficult for us to address allegations when they are either not reported to us or reported several months after the event.''
Retired BLM ranger Ed Patrovsky said the tensions date to the 1970s, when the BLM began assigning field rangers. Patrovsky used to patrol a 5,000-square-mile northwest Colorado district spanning parts of nine counties.
“The problems lie on both sides,'' Patrovsky said. “Some sheriffs are territorial. They see federal officers as competitors rather than cooperators. Some of the federal officers come in with the same attitude.''
Patrovsky said events including artifact raids in Blanding, Utah, in 2009 and an armed standoff last April with supporters of southern Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy standoff have brought simmering resentments to the surface.
In Blanding, rangers and FBI agents unearthed human remains discovered in the national monument in 2008, reasoning the site could be a crime scene. The monument archaeologist objected, but was excluded as the federal agents dug up the body with a TV crew filming. The remains turned out to be an American Indian who died in the 19th century.
More recently, Love led the aborted roundup of Bundy cattle that BLM officials said had have grazed illegally for 20 years on public land northeast of Las Vegas. The federal agency maintains that Bundy owes more than $1 million in fees and penalties.
Federal authorities are still investigating whether crimes were committed during a tense April 12 standoff between armed Bundy supporters and armed federal agents. No shots were fired, and no injuries were reported. Some 400 Bundy cows that had been corralled were released.
His critics say Love has an intimidating attitude and isn't willing to consult with counties in Utah's remote reaches. They say federal officers refuse to help with searches and rescues, or get in the way when they do.
To patrol Utah's 23 million acres of public lands, the BLM employs 15 uniformed rangers or field officers. Seven special agents who investigate violations of federal law related to public lands and natural resources also work for BLM, which administers about 40 percent of Utah's land.
“This refusal to coordinate, coupled with a lack of any meaningful oversight, has created a perfect environment where the abuse of federal law enforcement powers can occur,'' Garfield County Sheriff James “Danny'' Perkins said during testimony before a congressional committee.
Perkins and San Juan County Sheriff Rick Eldredge complained that rangers stop citizens without probable cause, even in areas where they have no jurisdiction, ``bully'' ranch hands, berate tourists for parking vehicles off dirt roads and illegally close roads.
Garfield and at least three other counties have passed resolutions declaring federal authority unwelcome, alleging that BLM law enforcement presents a threat to “health, safety and welfare.''



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