Suzan Shown Harjo: Sen. Obama's words matter more
Anti-repatriation scientists from Arizona and elsewhere slowed our momentum by having McCain insist that Indians take part in a national dialogue at the Heard Museum in Phoenix. I selected the Indian side of the national dialogue, which included Roger Buffalohead (Ponca), Oren Lyons (Onondaga) and other Native repatriators, who well remember it as the museums’ last-ditch effort to stop repatriation law and to insert “scientific rights” into our Native human rights law. We refer to it as McCain letting the anti-repatriation museums undermine certain aspects of repatriation law.
It is at the point of the national dialogue--more than 20 years after we began our work to achieve repatriation policy and museum reform and nearly 10 years after AIRFA--that Marquez fancies McCain airlifting NAGPRA to the Indians.
Instead, he and others in the Arizona delegation took targeted action against one sacred place in their state, when they secured space for a federally financed telescope project atop Mount Graham, an Apache holy mountain. All laws that could have given the Apache peoples a voice in the permitting process were waived through earmarks, which the senator so famously claims to eschew. These deeds may have something to do with the entire San Carlos Apache Tribal Council endorsing Obama over McCain for president.
For more on the subject, see Kennewick Man, Captain Picard, and Political Correctness and The 2008 Presidential Campaign.