Hundreds prepare to go to jail to establish Meadow Creek Indian Camp
By Censored News
Sid Mills, Yakama/Umatilla tribes, long time frontline fishing rights and other indigenous sovereignty movement leader was harassed and threatened by US Forest cops with arrest on Saturday July 13, 2013.
Sid is notable as one of the frontline activists who fought with the Franks Landing Indian Community, which was recently noted by President Obama in his speech at the December 2012 meeting with tribal leaders at the White House http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/12/06/president-obama-hosts-nations-tribal-leaders . (The activist of Franks Landing!)
Sid was threatened with jail for trying to reestablish a traditional cultural camp in the Indian Heaven Wilderness Area surrounded by the US Gifford National Forest in Washington State. The camp is called Meadow Creek Indian Camp and is within the Handshake Treaty area.
The traditional huckleberry picking area of many northwest tribes in it is located between 4 volcanoes, Mt Rainer, Mt St Helene, Mt Hood and Mt Adams. On Saturday 7/13/13 there was a bust by Forest Service cops who also called county Sheriffs, threatened to take Sid to jail for reestablishing traditional and cultural camp without a permit.
As president of the Native American Church for the Washington state area, he and 20 others were preparing for the yearly gathering for ceremonies in the mountains. This yearly event brings hundreds of indigenous people from all over the Northwest and as far as Mexico to practice and exercise cultural and spiritual ways at the end of July.
Now hundreds are preparing to attend the ceremonies and are also preparing to go to jail to exercise the spiritual and cultural rights in the usual and accustomed sites. Pictures to follow. Sid Mills is a decorated Vietnam veteran and is over 80% disabled from being blown up by mortar fire, which left him with one lung. Now impaired further with diabetes, he and others are preparing to once again exercise human/indigenous rights to practice cultural and spiritual ways at all costs. Sid fought as an Indigenous man in the armed forces only to be denied his own rights. The cops realized after threatening to take all 50 Indians to jail, that this was not going to happen, as they were all ready to call them on it. So citations to appear in Federal court for destruction of federal property and being there without a permit were handed to him. A tree was cut and hole dug in the ground.
Sid had attempted to get assistance from the US Forest Service, after President Obama issued the MOU to protect sacred sites and access to the top Federal agencies (http://www.doi.gov/news/pressreleases/federal-agencies-announce-action-plan-to-guide-protection-of-indian-sacred-sites.cfm) by holding a meeting with the supervisor of the US Forest service for the northwest. But the supervisor undermined his efforts and compared them to the Rainbow family gathering in the US Forests, and further added that Indians had no special rights because they were also immigrants to the land. Never once did she acknowledge the President's MOU, which had been provided to them, as well as a list of other congressional and international acts regarding cultural and spiritual rights of indigenous people. While the President might make a nice written MOU, it’s the white folks in agencies like the US Forest Service that maintain ignorance and racism. Of all the people the supervisor could have brought to the meeting, like a cultural liaison, she choose to bring the head cop for the Forest service, breaking the spirit of her boss President Obama's MOU.