William Old Chief, a former Blackfeet Tribal Business Council Member, penned a great letter to the editor in The Flathead Beacon. His piece concerned allegations of corruption on the Blackfeet Reservation, and opened with this:
For a number of weeks I have witnessed the President of the United States encourage racial discord between blacks and whites because a man was declared innocent by a jury who viewed the evidence and found him not guilty in Florida. I was reminded of all the Blackfeet members who have written him or those in the U.S. Interior Department asking for some type of intervention concerning the lawlessness now existing on the Blackfeet Reservation, but not once has he answered their request. This is the same man who promised Indian Country change if we would vote for him.
As long as the federal government continues to funnel millions of dollars onto the Blackfeet Reservation with corrupt people, corruption will flourish under the umbrella of sovereignty and self-determination. Washington! Stop the corruption and lawlessness on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation please.
Old Chief may have gotten the answer to at least one of his requests, as the father of State Sen. Shannon Augare (D-Browning) has also now been indicted in federal court:
Six people who oversaw a Blackfeet program for troubled youth were arraigned Thursday on charges they embezzled from the $9.3 million project and doctored invoices to embellish the tribal contributions needed to keep the federal money flowing.
The indictments kept under seal until Thursday include the two former leaders of the Po’Ka Project, director Francis Onstad, 60, and assistant director Delyle “Shanny” Augare, 57. Po’Ka means “child” in the Blackfeet native language.
Augare is the father of Blackfeet Tribal Business Council member and state Sen. Shannon Augare, who is facing charges that he fled a Glacier County sheriff’s deputy during a drunken-driving stop on the northwestern Montana reservation. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
It’s been interesting to watch the news surrounding Senator Augare. Does anyone else get the feeling that many folks in Montana are afraid to really speak out against Augare’s actions for fear of being called a racist?
I just so happened to have Niger Innis, from a prominent civil rights family, on the show Friday morning. I mentioned these two stories about the Augare family and concerns over corrpution, and I wondered if maybe we had our own Jesse Jackson and Jesse Jackson, Jr. right here in Montana. Check out our podcast page to listen to part two of today’s show and hear what Innis had to say. (Innis has also recently been taking Congressman Charlie Rangel (D-NY) to task for comparing Tea Partiers to “white crackers” who opposed civil rights in the South)