Jim Main, Sr., takes flight to Spirit World

This was originally posted by Brenda Norrell at http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/

Jim Main, Sr., takes flight to Spirit World

By Tia Oros Peters
Photo of Jim Main, Sr, at home by Brenda Norrell
Dear Seventh Generation Fund Relatives and Friends,

With a heavy heart I share with you the news of Jim Main Sr., (Gros Ventre) passing to the Spirit World. As many of you may remember Jim Main, he was a steadfast and unrelenting warrior for Indigenous Peoples and especially for our homelands and sacred sites. In fact, his words and guidance helped inform our Sacred Sites Protection Campaign – including our memorable person Sacred Earth Summit in 2001 in Seattle, WA, and again, in 2002 in San Diego, CA.

A member of the White Clay Society, Jim was a treasured leader to Seventh Generation Fund for many years. He will be sorely missed by our organization. We trusted Jim. We were honored when he attended our convenings and shared his great wisdom, wit, and generous spirit. He taught us through his conduct and his dedication. We looked to him often to help us. And, he was always generous.

Jim was a true and consistent warrior, to be sure. And, as such, he was also a gracious, kind, thoughtful and honorable leader that set for us a clear pathway of how to continue work on behalf of our respective peoples.

Jim would be so pleased to know of recent sacred sites victories in places like Panhe in California, and just a couple of days ago in Zuni, New Mexico. It would have been great to march with him in Redding, in the struggle to protect Hatchet Mountain (Pit River Country) from (so-called green) windmills that will damage a sacred area, and severely impact golden and bald eagle habitat. He knows, where he is now in the other world, that we will continue the good fight for our peoples. Today, in mourning, and reflecting on how much we have learned from Jim Main Sr., we carry forward – heavy hearted but as determined as ever to strive, to fight, to honor our ancestors, as he did.

It is always so hard when we lose one of our elders. The world seems that much emptier, bigger, more difficult to travel through. Jim’s presence meant a great deal to so many of our community and projects. SGF sincerely hopes that our work continues to carry forth the great legacy and integrity of Jim Main Sr., a warrior of character, determination, and outstanding leadership. On behalf of our organization, board, staff and the Indigenous communities we serve throughout the Indigenous World, I extend a heartfelt condolence to Jim’s family, community and Nation.
May he be in peace.
All Our Relations,
Tia –Tia Oros Peters, Executive Director, Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Development, Office Ph: 707-825-7640 x111 http://www.7genfund.org/
Supporting Social, Environmental and Cultural Justice for 32 Years (1977 – 2009)

In memory of Jim Main, Sr., the following interview is posted, written while I visited with him and his family at home, on Gros Ventre land two years ago. Sincere condolences to his family. Jim was a true warrior, arising with courage in his lifelong fight for the people, Brenda Norrell

In Montana, Indians are guilty until proven innocent
By Brenda Norrell

HAYS, Montana – James Main, Sr., Gros-Ventre and longtime advocate of Indian rights, said some conditions have improved for American Indians in Montana, particularly the treatment of Indians by government officials. Ranchers in north-central Montana often get along well with
Indian cowboys.
However, the treatment of Indians by the Montana Justice System has not improved its treatment of Indian people.
“We’ve got a long way to go with the Justice system. I’d like to see a handful of radical attorneys come over here and shake this place up, attack the system,” Main said.
Main, known internationally as a voice for Indigenous Peoples, now in poor health following open-heart surgery, has a personal view of the state system.
James Sr. laughs remembering how Bill Means said Jim Jr. should be a comedian because of his impersonations of John Wayne and others. Jim Jr. was the caregiver of his mother, Vernie White Cow Main, who lives on the homesite where she was born on Big Warm Creek on the Fort Belknap Nation.
James Sr. said, “Jim took care of her. He almost had to be a nurse for six months. He trained himself to take care of her.”
James Sr. spent his life traveling for Indigenous rights, helping those who needed him. “I decided to do some good,” he said of his decision to live a life in service to humankind.
“I learned a lot about different people and different cultures. I never knew there were other Indians in California. I thought John Wayne got them all,” James Sr. joked.
“It’s good to travel, travel around.”
Seated at home in the community of his childhood at Hays, James Sr. is surrounded by memories and the passing of time.
“I don’t know how long I’m going to last. I have got a lot of people praying for me. These Mayan Indians went up on a pyramid in Guatemala.
It must have been a very powerful ceremony. I knew; it was in my mind.”
On his living room wall, there is a huge poster of a Gros Ventre man. It reads, “Sits on High, EK-GIB-TSA-ATSKE, of the White Clay People A’AH’NI NIN.”
James Sr. looks at the poster and says, “He did what they wanted him to do, settle down. Then, they took his land.”
Speaking about those who took the land here, rich in gold, water and forests, he says, “They make a fortune and they die.”
These days, James Sr. teaches his grandsons the philosophy that he has lived by. It is the philosophy of pride, self-esteem and honoring the culture.
“Go back to your old ways, traditions and culture. That is what I teach my grandsons. Try to get the language back,” he adds. There are only a handful of speakers left.
James Sr. remembers the harsh years at St. Paul’s Mission School.
During second grade, when the children went to pray during Christmas mass, the nuns told them Santa Claus would come if they had been good.
If not, there would be willow switches waiting. When they returned, they expected presents and instead found a stack of willow switches. There was also writing on the blackboard.
“I recognized the writing. It was a priest’s, telling us how bad we were.”
The little children were often beaten. James Sr. remembers, “They would slap us around for nothing.”
Remembering his father Tom Main, James Sr. said, “He was a humanitarian, a real leader. He did things for nothing. He could have amassed a fortune, but he didn’t.”
James Sr. said Tom Main served as an interpreter at a time when few White Clay People spoke English. Tom served on the executive committee of the National Congress of American Indians.
“I learned a lot from him, he was honest to a fault,” Jim Sr. said of his father.
“We had a pretty rough upbringing, we were poor and we had to haul water a long way. We burned wood, so we had to saw wood. My mother used to wash on Saturdays, all we did all day long was haul water.”
James Sr. grew up with three brothers and four sisters. Today, all of his brothers are living and the oldest is 86. He served in the Air Force in Japan and was there when the Korean War began in 1950.
James Sr. also worked in the copper mines for 15 years. “That’s where there was never racism, a melting pot.”
The happiest days of his life were spent during his high school years. “We rode horseback, we rode bucking horses; there were lots of wild horses. We had powwows during the holidays, I really enjoyed those. We had bone games, hand games, we would sing songs and have a guessing game. We tried to guess whose hand the bone was in.”
The men and women played each other. Kumeyaay have similar games, he said. During their travels, both Jim Sr. and Jim Jr. earned the respect of Indian people.
Read entire article:


Editorial: Mining protected as salmon dwindle

The California Department of Fish and Game said “no” to fish this week and “yes” to gold miners. Even though experts within DFG have said that suction dredge gold mining is having “deleterious effects on fish,” including endangered coho salmon, the department declined to further restrict gold miners who use giant dredges to vacuum up rock and sand from creek and river bottoms, likely killing fish in the process.

In a petition to the state, the Karuk Indian Tribe and several environmental organizations had asked the department to curtail dredging on sensitive stretches of waterway. The department said it could not act until it completed a court-ordered review of the issue. But DFG was supposed to complete that review last July. It hasn’t even begun.

Meanwhile, so serious is the decline of salmon that federal regulators banned fishing off the coasts of California and Oregon last year. State officials say the mining restriction requested by the Karuks would do nothing to address ocean conditions, which are suspected to be the main cause of the decline. Suction dredge gold miners insist that global warming and dams are the culprits and that their mining operations actually improve fish habitat.


Block vote on reactor

Please read article, cited after the quote. Articles open in a new window.

Following a 3 1/2-year review of the license renewal application for the Oyster Creek nuclear generating station in Lacey, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Wednesday may, for all intents and purposes, decide whether to allow the plant to operate for another 20 years.

To head off any chance the NRC will give Oyster Creek the green light next week, the state Department of Environmental Protection should seek a federal injunction to prevent a vote until all of the recommendations made by the NRC licensing board for further analysis of the plant’s drywell — the steel barrier surrounding the reactor that is designed to contain radiation in the event of an accident — are heeded.

The state and an attorney representing the groups opposing relicensing have asked the NRC to hold off on a vote until a further analysis of the drywell is completed. But the NRC could reject the request, eliminating the final hurdle to the commission ordering its staff to issue a license renewal. That must not be allowed to happen.


New nuclear reactor’s waste is seven times more hazardous, Greenpeace exposes

Please read article, cited after the quote. Articles open in a new window.

International— Greenpeace has uncovered evidence that nuclear waste from the European Pressurised Reactor (EPR), the flagship of the nuclear industry, will be up to seven times more hazardous than waste produced by existing nuclear reactors, increasing costs and the danger to health and the environment.

The revelation comes soon after President Sarkozy’s decision to build a second EPR in France.

The alarming evidence was buried in the environmental impact assessment report from Posiva, the company responsible for managing waste at the world’s first EPR under construction at Olkiluoto in Finland, and in EU-funded research



January 30, 2009

Dear Friend,

As you probably know by now, the economic stimulus package approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee includes up to $50 Billion in new taxpayer loan guarantees that can be used for construction of new nuclear reactors and “clean coal” plants (an oxymoron if there ever was one…). We need to tell the Senate that we’re not willing to risk our money on nuclear power, that we don’t want more radioactive waste in our communities, and that we do want Congress to support safer, cleaner and cheaper energy resources like solar, wind and energy efficiency.


Organizations: Please sign on to the grassroots sign-on letter by clicking here. Please sign by 5 pm on Tuesday, February 4, 2009.

Individuals: While the sign-on letter is for organizations only, if you have not already done so, please e-mail your Senators by clicking here. Ask your friends and colleagues to send a letter as well. And please follow up your e-mails with phone calls to your Senators at 202-224-3121.

Everyone: Please forward this e-mail widely–send to all your lists and contacts. We’ve already generated more than 2200 letters to the Senate in the past 24 hours! Let’s keep it up!

We will keep you informed about what happens with this issue and any further actions you can take.

Thanks for all you do,

Michael Mariotte

Executive Director

Nuclear Information and Resource Service

www.nirs.org, nirsnet@nirs.org

Via Gmail

American Indians could reap almost $3B in stimulus

Please read article, cited after the quote. Articles open in a new window.

WASHINGTON – American Indians stand to gain almost $3,000,000,000 as part of the economic stimulus moving through Congress, money that could help some of the nation’s poorest communities rebuild roads, improve health care and boost employment that has lagged behind the rest of the country for decades.

The Senate Appropriations Committee on Tuesday included $2,800,000,000 for Indian tribes in its portion of the nearly $900,000,000,000 economic stimulus bill, and a House version to be voted on Wednesday includes a similar amount. That includes hundreds of millions of dollars for schools, health clinics, roads, law enforcement and water projects.

Dante Desiderio, an economic development policy specialist at the National Congress of American Indians, which has lobbied for the money for the past year, calls the bill a “once in a lifetime opportunity” for tribes.



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