Newsmakers In Indian Country

Feb 14, 2014

House Ethics Committee Consider Investigation Of Markwayne Mullin

The House Ethics Committee will consider an investigation of Republican Congressman Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma.

Credit Congressman Markwayne Mullin

A spokeswoman for the congressman says Mullin is cooperating with the House Ethics Committee and believes he is in full compliance with all ethics rules. Ethics Committee chairman Michael Conaway and ranking Democrat Linda Sanchez said Thursday they had received a referral about Mullin from the Office of Congressional Ethics. The OCE is an outside organization that can refer cases to the House Ethics Committee. The subject of the potential investigation isn't being disclosed. Conaway and Sanchez say that considering an investigation does not indicate any violation has occurred. They will announce any further action by March 24. Mullin is a member of the Cherokee Nation.

Two Lawmakers Say NFL “On Wrong Side Of History” In Letter

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in his annual pre-Super Bowl news conference, announced that the Washington Redskins nickname has been "presented in a way that honors Native Americans."

Credit Keith Allison /

Goodell also claimed he’s spoken to Native American leaders in the past year that support the franchise keeping the nickname. The latest back-and-forth over the Washington Redskins name includes a stern letter from two lawmakers and a public relations move from the team. A letter sent Monday from Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington State and Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma tells NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell that the league is on "the wrong side of history" and that it was inappropriate for the tax-exempt organization to “profit from the continued degradation of tribes and Indian people.” Cole is a member of the Chickasaw Nation; he joined a similar letter sent last year by 10 members of Congress to Goodell and Redskins owner Dan Snyder. The Redskins countered by saying they've received "almost 200" letters and emails in recent months in support of the name from people who identified themselves as Native Americans or as family members of Native Americans. They say they've received only seven letters from Native Americans opposed to the name. The NFL has yet comment on the letter from Cantwell and Cole.

Native Leaders Want Dept. Of Justice To Investigate Adoption Of Native American Children

Native American organizations are asking the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the treatment of American Indian and Alaska Native children in the private adoption and public child welfare systems.

Credit Rennett Stowe /

Tribal leaders delivered a letter Monday to DOJ Attorney General for Civil Rights Jocelyn Samuels demanding the investigation. The request follows a recent custody battle over a Cherokee girl known as Baby Veronica who eventually was adopted by a white South Carolina couple. It also comes after lawsuits alleging violations of federal law governing foster care and adoptions in some states. In 1978, Congress passed the Indian Child Welfare Act to curb the high number of Indian children being removed from their homes and placed in non-Indian foster care. Experts say the law has slowed the removals, but Native children are still disproportionately represented in the child welfare system nationwide.

Inaccurate Teachings Of Mormon Church Brings Cry Of Fraud

Indian Country Today Media Network reported that the president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Thomas S. Monson, has been ordered to the Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London following a complaint filed by Tom Phillips that the church’s teachings are fraudulent.

Credit More Good Foundation /

Phillips is a former Mormon who runs the website MormonThink, a website critical of the church. The British newspaper, the Telegraph, reports seven of the church’s teachings are listed, including beliefs that the Book of Abraham was translated by Joseph Smith, a Mormon prophet, as well as beliefs about Adam and Eve and Native Americans. Phillips said the “untrue and misleading” doctrines could violate the Fraud Act of 2006 due to the fact that the Morman church asks members to donate 10 percent of the income. The complaint names Stephen Colin Bloor and Christopher Denis Ralph as victims who were tricked into doing just that. Beliefs being cited as fraudulent are that “Native Americans are descended from an Israelite family which left Jerusalem in 600 BC.”

Upcoming events in Oklahoma’s Indian country:

The State Indian Evangelism Conference will take place March 7-9 at the Glorieta Baptist Church in Oklahoma City. Ken note speaker is Ernie Tullis. For more information call Roberta at 405-942-3800.

The Oklahoma Inter-Tribal Diabetes Coalition holds its 5th annual benefit golf scramble on Friday, april 25 at the Firelake Golf Course in Shawnee. For more information call 405-275-4471. The Coalition invites everyone to come and support the Coalition’s efforts to raise awareness and advocate for diabetes prevention in Oklahoma.


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