Sunday, July 08, 2012

The Miccosuckee Tribe: What the Miami Herald left out ... by gimleteye

The Miccosuckee blame the White Man and the White Man deserves blame for the treatment of native Americans and the diaspora that brought tribal populations into the Everglades and South Florida as a matter of survival and last resort. But these resentments obscure real world dangers to Tribal members through ongoing pollution of the Everglades.

What the White Man did, doesn't excuse the fraud, deception, and possible mismanagement of tribal resources through gambling profits by past generations of tribal leadership. That is the subject of a Miami Herald report, today. What the Herald didn't report is even more important.

As a sovereign nation, the Tribe is notoriously opaque, secretive and paranoid within its management ranks. For a period of time the Tribe played an important and beneficial, positive role -- under the supervision of former US Attorney Dexter Lehtinen -- in Everglades related litigation; especially on water quality.

Lehtinen apparently represented the Tribe on a range of issues; not just the environment. He is now accused in federal court of misspending $50 million for the decade beginning in 1992. That is an astounding amount.

Friends of the Everglades, of which I am now president, was closely related to the interests of the Miccosuckee in some of the important litigation, substantially assisted by the involvement of the Tribe.

We deeply regret the Tribe's current reluctance to engage on matters of existential importance to those living in the remnant Everglades. And we are not sure why.

The Tribe's inactivity is as opaque as it was during its involvement in Everglades related matters. To be sure, there are very few -- if any -- attorneys in South Florida with Lehtinen's background, history, and knowledge of federal water quality and Everglades-related law.

The water threats to the Miccosuckee Tribe have not gone away. Gambling revenues have been a scourge and mixed blessing for many Indian nations, but it is an especially inopportune event for the secretive Miccosuckee and the few who sit on a gold mine of profits -- investing side-by-side the White Man in real estate speculation outside tribal borders while the Everglades dwindles.

The Tribe's leadership is dismissive of the White Man's Environmental Movement that depends on the White Man's laws. The White Man's laws are apparently good enough to prosecute past tribal leaders but no longer useful or worth pursuing to protect the Everglades from imminent danger like mercury toxicity: a clear and present danger to any who live in the Glades. The bioaccumulation of mercury up the food chain to humans tragically also points to the spiritual awareness shared with the White Man by native Americans: that the web of life connects us all.

The Tribal resentment against the White Man's environmental movement serves no interest other than to benefit those polluters and their non-stop use of the Everglades as their cesspool.


Geniusofdespair said...

The St. Lucie Esturay area (Everglades runoff) is testing fishermen in the area for Mercury levels as Dolphins are coming up with high levels... I was told the Miccosuckee tribe has tested members for Mercury but has not released the findings. Don't know if that is true.

We all should remember that mercury in the umbilical cord is higher than the levels in the mom...
"Studies have shown that the level of mercury in the umbilical cord blood of newborns is 1.7 times higher than the mercury level in their mother's blood"

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't put it past Mr. Ros. He's a Reepubelikken.

Anonymous said...

Ileana and hubby are not Republicans. They are left-wing gay loving RINOs.

Geniusofdespair said...

Turn up the heat, your room temperature IQ is on freeze.

Squathole said...

Snide "White Man" references in this post are distasteful, offensive, and borderline racist. The post has a good point to make, but the language selected by the poster ruins it.

alesh said...

Are you joking? What's offensive about "White Man"? The fact that they're using the singular form instead of plural?

Squathole said...

Who refers to a "White Man's Environmental Movement"? What's that supposed to suggest other than focusing specifically on a racial divide? What are "White Man's Laws?" Like I said, snide and borderline racist.

alesh said...

Gee, I wonder where Native Americans might have gotten the expression "White Man."

Oh right, it was the hundreds of years of systematic abuse (arguably ongoing) and genocide inflicted on them by European settlers.

Anonymous said...

Fuck off if you don't like it.

Squathole said...

@ Anonymous:
Excellent suggestion, and oh so cleverly phrased. But what if I DO like it? Can I fuck off anyway?

@ Alesh:
(1) I missed the place in the post where M-Tribe members of other Native Americans use the expression "White Man." But
(2) That's not the point anyway, which you clearly miss. I do not suggest the term "white man" is racist. Setting up the discussion to contrast something called the "White Man's Environmental Movement" with the position taken by the Tribe is, as I stated, a snide and back-handed insult that needlessly and irrelevantly draws attention to racial issues. It's also counter-productive and whiny.
(3) Whatever bad blood remains, the need here is to stay focused on the problem, which is the condition of the Everglades, not the genocidal conduct of Europeans on indigenous populations. The language of the post is inflammatory.

alesh said...

Ahh, so you're saying that what's offensive isn't the term "White Man," but the accusation that the tribe uses that term in these debates?

Be clear, man!

squathole said...

Maybe I'm missing something. Is the blogger a Native American? Because he's the only one using the term. Read it again.