Sunday, August 26, 2012

Native people want transparency from non-profits

Non-profits are deceiving Indigenous grassroots people, while secretly profiteering
By Brenda Norrell
Censored News
Censored News has received a great deal of information on non-profits who claim to serve Indigenous Peoples, including fraud, theft and deception of grassroots people. Are non-profit financial statements public? Yes, including the salaries of staff.
Secretly, some non-profits are putting large amounts of funds into salaries and travel for their own benefit, including the grant writers and staff -- while deceiving grassroots people and keeping these grants secret. Native people are calling for transparency by these non-profits. (Investigate the financial records for yourselves: )
The key issues for both Native and non-Native operated non-profits are secrecy about staff salaries, the amount of money being pocketed from donations, the placing of family members on payrolls, and secretly creating profitable spin-off consulting firms.
Deception and wannabes
Traditional Yaqui women in the villages in Sonora, Mexico, said they were never told about grant funding for workshops held there by a non-profit. After being told there was no funding for a workshop, Yaqui women were required to provide the food, and sleep on the floor, while the speakers stayed in pricey hotels. Since they do not speak or read English, or have access to the Internet, they had no way of knowing about large grants being applied for in their names.
There are many sinister issues about board control, including non-Indians, wannabes, seizing control of non-profit "Indigenous" boards by holding meetings in foreign countries and refusing to give the longtime board members and founders airline tickets to get there.
At the same time, several non-Indian frauds have captured the limelight in the media on human rights issues. This has increased their ability to get grant funding for their own selves. Some profiteers continue to function by threatening lawsuits if exposed.
Currently, a number of people who suddenly decided they were Native Americans have placed themselves in the limelight on issues at the United Nations, taking over the agenda and the voice.
Also, it is unethical for news reporters to receive secret grant or public relations funding to promote individuals or groups, while posing as an unbiased news reporter.
People working in human rights are often very trusting, and sometimes too naive. This has meant that some corrupt individuals at non-profits have found it easy to keep huge salaries and travel expenses secret. Sadly, Indigenous grassroots people are the ones being used.
Co-opting with 'green' grants
On a related issue, the worst polluters in the United States are attempting to co-op the voices of those most critical of them, by offering "green" grants. The Salt River Project, which operates the dirty Navajo Generating Station on the Navajo Nation -- one of the dirtiest coal fired power plants in the US -- is giving out "green" grants for solar and wind projects, directly to non-profits and to the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority to disperse.
Since it is human nature not to want to "bite the hand that feeds you," by way of accepting this grant money, those critical of the dirty coal fired power plant industry are quieted, or co-opted into working with this industry.
This dirty coal-fired power plant, Navajo Generating Station, receives its coal from Peabody Coal mine on Black Mesa, where at least 14,000 Navajos were relocated in the so-called Navajo-Hopi land dispute, orchestrated by Peabody Coal, to get at the coal. This power plant and others in the US are a leading cause of the melting of Arctic ice. The result is Native Arctic villages are falling into the sea, and polar bears, walruses and other wildlife are either being displaced or starving to death. Further, the pollution from the power plants on Navajoland causes widespread respiratory and other diseases for Navajos. The media hypes these dirty power plants because they provide electricity to Southwest cities, while many Navajos have no electricity.
Native Americans are calling for transparency from non-profits who claim to serve Indigenous Peoples: Make your financial reports, including salaries, travel budgets and grants, public.
Non-profit financial statements
Do 501(c)(3) non-profit corporations have to make their financial statements available to the public?
Yes. Non-profit corporations must submit their financial statements, which include the salaries of directors, officers and key employees to the IRS on Form 990. Both the IRS and the non-profit corporation are required to disclose the information they provide on Form 990 to the public. This means that non-profits must make their records available for public inspection during regular business hours at their principal office.
 In addition, a number of websites make these financial statements available including GuideStar ( ) and the Foundation Center ( ). Finally, you can request a Form 990 from a specific non-profit corporation by writing to the IRS, including the name of the organization and the tax year you wish to review:
Commissioner of Internal Revenue
Attn: Freedom of Information Reading Room
1111 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20224


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