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 Fight For Justice

On the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Reservation


April 1997

Read from the bottom up


April 25, 1997

In a letter to the Editor from Georgianna Emery, KBIC member

National Native News and the Associated Press is reporting that organized crime has attempted to infiltrate an Indian casino near San Diego for the second time in ten years. According to the reports the Genovese Crime Family has repeatedly attempted to control the Rincon River Oaks casino near San Diego. According to the 22 March 1996 Detroit Free Press Fred Dakota, tribal chair of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community has taken kickbacks from the Genovese Crime Family. Is there a connection? Are the same corrupt mobsters who are controlling Indian gaming in San Diego also infesting this casino right here in the U.P.? Does anyone care that mob corruption may exist right here in our back yard? Is Fight For Justice right when it asks for help in ending corruption in our community?


April 20, 1997

A copy of a letter to the editor from Alice Curtis, an Elder of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community

This is in memory of Bob Bresette, who was my friend. Members of Bob's family and of Fight For Justice recently honored his passing. The traditional ceremony was held last week at Most Holy Name of Jesus Church. It was overflowing with those of us who stood beside Bob for the past two years. When Bob died he was still struggling to regain the voting rights that Fred Dakota took from him, his children and the children of many of our KBIC members.

Everyone at KBIC knew Bob Bresette. Everyone knew he was a full-blood Anishinabe, born and raised on this reservation. No one doubted this, not even Fred's people who took away his voting rights.Yet every time he went to the Tribal Center he was told that some bit of his paperwork had been "lost," or was "incomplete." Nothing better demonstrates the political nature of the removal of our people from the voting rolls. Because Bob didn't support Dakota's corrupt regime, and because he protested Dakota's use of fear and greed to remain in power, he and his children were removed from the voting rolls.

Bob was with us on the hill from the very beginning, a warrior in a wheelchair who repeatedly placed himself in front of trucks and bulldozers, took his turn regularly at guard duty, and was the first there everytime Dakota threatened us with violence. His second leg was amputated shortly after the take-over, but Bob was back on the hill within 10 days. Bob once told me that the only thing he wanted was to live long enough to see the end of this struggle, when the voting rights of KBIC's children and grandchildren would be returned. After that, he said, he could rest. We will take him with us through the rest of this struggle. And when the voting rights of our children are returned we will remind them how Bob was there fighting for them, for all of us.


April 20, 1997

Copy of a letter To the Editor from Gerlinde Picard

I write this as the mother and grandmother of children who have been seriously harmed by the corruption of the Dakota regime at the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community. The Tribal Council contends that federal authorities are unfairly picking on Fred Dakota in an attack on tribal sovereignty. They claim that the indictment and imprisonment of Chip Wadena and his cronies at the White Earth reservation in Minnesota was also an unfair attack on tribal sovereignty. The Council should be more careful with the facts.

Fred Dakota is not charged with some paltry traffic ticket. He is charged with taking illegal kickbacks from organizations tied to organized crime - specifically, the Genovese and Gambino crime families of New York. (The Detroit Free Press, 22 March 1996). The Tribal Council well knows this. Apparently, they are comfortable with allegations that the Tribal Chair has ties to organized crime.

The situation at White Earth was hardly the rogue attack on sovereignty they suggest. The White Earth government was also tied to organized crime. Three councilmen, including the Tribal Chair, were convicted in federal court of bid rigging, election fraud, money laundering, and theft of tribal and federal funds. Minnesota Chippewa tribal attorney, Kent Tupper, in defending the corrupt Wadena regime, also made misleading and false claims that Indian sovereignty was being attacked. Kent Tupper has long had ties to Fred Dakota. Is Dakota taking his cue from the unscrupulous people who ripped off White Earth? For White Earth there was a happy ending. With their dishonest tribal leaders in prison, a clean and responsible government now jealously guards tribal sovereignty.

Corruption breeds corruption. Keweenaw Bay and White Earth are not currently in danger of losing their sovereignty because of actions by the federal government. Corrupt tribal leadership is, however, a clear and present danger to tribal sovereignty. It is the tribes that are sovereign not tribal chairs.


April 19, 1997

Local Paper wins award for coverage of tribal events

DETROIT (AP) - Here are the winners of the Michigan Associated Press Editorial Association's 1996 writing contest. Judging was done by AP member newspapers in Indiana. The awards will be presented at the MAPEA banquet on May 10 in Lansing.

NEWSWRITING

DIVISION I (up to 15,000 circulation)

SUSTAINED COVERAGE OF A SINGLE NEWS EVENT

1. The Daily Mining Gazette, Houghton, "Tribal protest/takeover," Cyndi Perkins, Paula Pintar, Greg Peterson, Vanessa Dietz, Candy Goulette and Bud Sargent.

BREAKING NEWS

1. The Daily Mining Gazette, Houghton, "Standoff ends, gunman dead," Staff.


April 1, 1997

The Marquette Mining Journal reported that Fred Dakota's picketers and demonstrators are being paid to show support for him.

It is no surprise to FFJ that the only way he can have supporters is to pay for them. Here is FFJ and FFJ's legal team doing all this protesting for the last several years and all of it for free it makes you wonder how much can paid picketers be thought of as expressing anything of committment or moral value? Indeed what are they communicating other than greed?

The tribal council approved a new resolution "The Tribal Sovereignty Fund" to pay a salary to people to show their support for Fred. This new fund will also pay for travel, signage and food expenses.

This 'fund' will also pay for Fred's legal expenses, isn't that nice of the tribal council to use tribal members money to pay for Fred's personal legal expense

To read a brief summary of FFJ and it's begining read Tina Lam's Detorit Free Press article

Copyright 2001 by Rose Edwards. All Rights Reserved.