Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

February 18, 2015

Plagiarizers, Non-Profits and Lobbyists Scam Indian Country

Plagiarizers, non-profits and lobbyists enrich themselves in Indian country 

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

When the casino industry took control of the national news in Indian country, reporters were replaced by stay-at-home plagiarizers. The news became sanitized, censored and manipulated. 

It has been many years since I have seen a reporter from any of the national Indian country news websites actually present on a news story.

Plagiarizers-for-profit in national Indian country news are one of three scams enjoying profiteering in Indian country. Non-profit organizations, with secret salaries and assets, and casino lobbyists, are also enjoying financial profiteering.

Why is there no outcry from the media and non-profits to defend Indigenous Peoples being murdered around the world by miners, ranchers and developers?

Are dollars from mining quietly silencing dissent?

While giving out "peanuts," small grants, some non-profits in Indian country have amassed huge assets.

The Clinton Foundation is one of those now being exposed in a Swiss banking leak. The Clinton Foundation has $278 million in assets and the prime contributor is a Canadian gold and uranium mining magnate. The Charity Index has removed the Clinton Foundation from its non-profit listings.
Censored News article: Clinton Foundation and BC mining magnate posed as philanthropies while bilking world's energy resources.

But even the charities in Indian country doing good work often have secret salaries, and funds going to family members. In many cases, the grassroots people named in the grants remain unaware of the foundation funding which is often hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The Christensen Fund also gives out grants in Indian country and the source of the money is mining, according to its website. In recent years, it has given out grants totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars for traditional food sovereignty workshops.

Meanwhile, stay-at-home plagiarizers are reporters who seldom leave their homes and receive a paycheck for plagiarizing and rewriting others hard work.

Indian Country Today reporters have done this for years. Just ask ICT reporters if they have been present on the news stories they have been covering for years. They plagiarize (copy and paste without permission or credit) and rewrite others work to disguise it. Sometimes they add a quick phone call interview to further deceive readers into believing the reporters are actually out covering the news. The articles usually have a photo stolen from the web. Indian Country Today Media Network reporters and editors often uses the byline 'ICTMN' when the reporter or editor doesn't want the public to know who is doing the plagiarizing and cashing in on others hard work.

Casino lobbyists have extracted billions in Indian county. The Tohono O'odham's Desert Diamond Casino is one of the most obvious examples of a lucrative casino -- with packed parking lots for a decade -- at the expense of the Tohono O'odham people, who live in desperation. Just drive across the Tohono O'odham Nation and look for yourselves. Ask the O'odham elderly and young mothers if they have groceries, clean water to drink, and firewood in winter. Where are those missing millions, possibly billions?

The film Casino Jack exposes the true story of Jack Abramoff and how casinos in Indian country were created to bilk millions, and billions, for non-Indians, particularly lobbyists. The sovereign status of Indian Nations was used to create the casinos. But don't expect to read about non-Indians profiteering from these casinos, or how gambling addiction is destroying families in Indian country, in Indian country news. These topics are censored.

When casinos were created in Indian country, one of the first objects was to take control of the media. Now the casino-dominated media controls the online news in Indian country. The word "gambling" was changed to "gaming" for publicity purposes and to hide the true cost of gambling addiction for American Indian families.

Advertisers like Peabody Coal on the Navajo Nation also play a role in censorship in local media, and energy companies often fund advertising in radio stations in Indian country as damage control. Readers can examine the radio news advertisers, then listen and determine if the news programs are investigating the devastating impacts of dirty coal and uranium mining in Indian country. The CIA spies, National Clandestine Services, was a top advertiser in newspaper and magazines, including Indian Country Today and Native Peoples, for years.

Now, there's a new development. The Ho-Chunk Inc. in Nebraska, owners of the Indian news website have received a multi-million dollar grant from the United States for domestic and international spying, with an office at the US Pentagon. Ho-Chunk Inc. also has different contracts in Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Afghanistan.

What does all this mean for the readers? The news you read is often sanitized, censored and manipulated by individual profiteers posed as journalists, along with the corporations that control them, and the United States government which manipulates and uses them.

Indian Country Today stay-at-home plagiarizers have been doing this for years. Now even Time magazine and New York Times, are plagiarizing and rewriting what they find about Indian country on the web, as revealed in recent articles. The danger in this is obvious: A great deal of what is on the web is planted or manufactured by the FBI and other agents, or manipulated for political or personal goals. 

Since the writers at Time and New York Times usually have little or no experience in Indian country, they have no way of knowing when the information is accurate. The mainstream media also lacks an understanding of how the corporate criminals operate inside many tribal councils. They are unaware of the backdoor deals.

Further, as Time magazine and Indian Country Today recently revealed, they have no respect for Native American journalists. These publications feel privileged to plagiarize Native American writers and rewrite their work without even contacting the authors.

Although Al-Jazeera has made good efforts, it has also fallen prey to spin by its reporters because of the lack of any real knowledge of the history and events in Indian country.

The bottom line is this: There are qualified Native American journalists all across Indian country. They are experienced and ready to go to work. Why are they unemployed? Publications like Indian Country Today do not want honest reporters actually reporting the truth in Indian country. Authentic journalists are too difficult to control, especially Native Americans who live on their land and know what the bottom line is.

Indian Country Today was purchased in the late 1990s by the Oneida Nation in New York. It is extremely wealthy from casino gambling and does not need to rely on stay-at-home plagiarizers. It has the funds to have reporters, media watchdogs, in D.C. to halt Sen. John McCain and his crime partners from stealing sacred land and water rights in Indian country. Where were the media watchdogs to track on Sen. McCain when he seized sacred Apache land for copper mining? Indian Country Today could also have regional reporters in key areas so reporters are not at home plagiarizing others hard work. But all this relies on the intent to actually publish authentic journalism, instead of manipulated spin and what is safe.

The Navajo Times doesn't want a reporter to write a series on the fact that Peabody Coal is one of the top polluters in the world. The Navajo Times doesn't want an in-depth article on how the oil and gas industry has destroyed the Dine' Place of Origin in the Four Corners region. An article on this was also censored at Indian Country Today while I was a reporter there.

As for the mainstream media, they have few if any editors who can even gauge what the truth is when a reporter writes it. Few of the mainstream media outlets are willing to take a chance on a Native American reporter who is willing to report the truth. As for AP, it has a long history of focusing on crimes committed by Indians, while at the same time promoting the crimes of corporate criminals destroying Indian lands with new development. Once again, AP editors lack the understanding of how white collar criminals and their corporations make money in Indian country from development.

As for the non-profits, they have done a great job of keeping their salaries and assets secret. While posing as philanthropists, like the Clinton family and its Clinton Foundation, they have absorbed millions and paved the way for gold and uranium mining devastating Indigenous lands around the world. Resistance to gold mining has resulted in assassinations of Indigenous Peoples in Guatemala and elsewhere. Meanwhile, in the US, the Clinton Foundation gives out small grants to keep up the appearance as philanthropists.

Another Foundation preying on misery is the Bill Gates Foundation funding private prisons and the notorious global security firm G4S, violating human rights around the world, including migrants at the Arizona border.

Take a look for yourselves at the top dollars going to non-profits and lobbyists. Here are just a few examples.

The worst charity in Indian country is the St. Labre Indian School on Northern Cheyenne land in Montana, where the Catholic Church has enriched itself with millions, while preying on the poverty. At the same time, the priests have sexually molested the Northern Cheyenne children.

Charity Navigator issued a warning, and CNN exposed the lies of the school in fundraising: On February 6, 2013, the Billings Gazette reported that “St. Labre Indian School and the Roman Catholic Church have been thrust back into district court to defend themselves against allegations of ‘unjust enrichment’ made by the Northern Cheyenne Tribe. 

As for salaries, the public will be surprised at the salaries of non-profits that prey on poverty and misfortune online.  

Goodwill's CEO John Miller, southeastern Wisconsin, receives annual compensation of $3.2 million annually.

Top offenders in charity salaries include United Way, UNICEF and the American Red Cross. United Way pays its president Brian Gallagher $1.2 million annually. UNICEF in the US pays its president $476,000. The American Red Cross pays its president $564,000 annually.

A friend said, "Surely, Habitat for Humanity is not paying its top people hundreds of thousands of dollars!" Oh yes, they are. Look for yourselves: $274,228 and $359,004.


Save the Children, whose television commercials tear at the heart with poverty in other countries was exposed for failing to do what they promised for individual students on the Navajo Nation. The Save the Children president receives an annual compensation of $400,000, according to Charity Navigator.

Save the Children could buy a lot of beans, rice and notebooks in other countries for $400,000.

The Wounded Warrior Project, with television appeals showing disabled veterans, pays its president $375,000 annually.

The Nature Conservancy pays its CEO $616,146 annually. It has a low rating of two on the Charity Index.

While American Indian students struggle to find scholarships for college, the American Indian Scholarship Fund paid its president, Richard Williams, $203,000 a year until he was replaced.

With one of the lowest charity ratings on the Charity Index in Indian country, the Indian Law Resource Center in Helena, Montana, paid President Robert Coulter an annual compensation of $108,745.

While Tohono O'odham elderly and young mothers struggle to survive on the Tohono O'odham Nation, the Desert Diamond Casino bordering Tucson has been bringing in millions, possibly billions.

While O'odham struggle for food, clean water, jobs and housing, the Tohono O'odham paid casino lobbyists $4.3 million in the past three years. Drive across the Tohono O'odham Nation yourselves and then take a look at the crowds at the Desert Diamond Casino. Here's last year's $1.6 million lobbyists, as exposed by Open Secrets:

Brenda Norrell has been a reporter in Indian country for 33 years, beginning at Navajo Times during the 18 years that she lived on the Navajo Nation. She was a freelance reporter for both AP and USA Today while living on the Navajo Nation. She traveled with the Zapatistas in Mexico and the west in the US to provide coverage. After serving as a longtime staff reporter covering the Southwest at Indian Country Today, she was censored and terminated. She created Censored News to expose what is being censored in Indian country. Now in its ninth year, Censored News has no advertising, grants or sponsors.

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