Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

Please note I have a new phone number...


Alan Maki

Alan Maki
Doing research at the LBJ Library in Austin, Texas

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

A program for real change...


What we need is a "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity" which would make it a mandatory requirement that the president and Congress attain and maintain full employment.

"Voting is easy and marginally useful, but it is a poor substitute for democracy, which requires direct action by concerned citizens"

- Ben Franklin

Let's talk...

Let's talk...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Treaty fishing--- the missing issues

This is a letter I sent to Mr. Anderson a reporter at the St. Paul Star-Tribune.

From: Alan L. Maki [mailto:amaki000@centurytel.net]

Sent: Thursday, June 10, 2010 1:45 PM

To: 'danderson@startribune.com'

Cc: bswenson@bemidjipioneer.com; sovrn@hotmail.com; rep.bill.hilty@house.mn; rep.tony.sertich@house.mn; rep.tom.anzelc@house.mn; rep.al.juhnke@house.mn; rep.dave.olin@house.mn; rep.carlos.mariani@house.mn; rep.maryellen.otremba@house.mn; rep.tom.rukavina@house.mn; 'rep.brita.sailer@house.mn'; 'rep.john.percell@house.mn'; sen.david.tomassoni@senate.mn; 'sen.mary.olson@senate.mn'; awuhl@msn.com; annamarie.hill@state.mn.us

Subject: Re: Treaty fishing,--- the missing issues

Mr. Anderson,

Please bear with me here because I am going to explain to you what this issue of Treaty Rights and the present controversy over fishing has to do with John McCarthy and the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association.

The Treaty Rights/fishing issue is obviously a very legitimate issue--- why the state would waste a single dime fighting this I don’t understand--- the state is going to lose and the state should lose after having stolen this land and the resources and then pushed people into poverty on reservations. However, I question the manner in which this has been raised and for what purposes. I believe there are people who want to use impoverished Native American Indians to provide them with cheap fish so they can make a hefty profit.

I wanted to let you know that I asked the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (James Dunn, the head of enforcement in the Cass Lake-Bemidji area) to investigate to see if John McCarthy, the Executive Director of the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association is properly licensed to sell walleye in Minnesota.

McCarthy has sold walleye to the DFL for fund-raising events as the minutes of the Beltrami County DFL meetings will show.

This came to light after a dispute arose as to whether John McCarthy donated the walleye to the Beltrami County DFL or sold them the walleye for a fundraiser. You can check the Beltrami County DFL minutes and their financial records and you will find John McCarthy sold the Beltrami County DFL the walleye for the fund-raiser.

There may not be anything illegal going on here but there sure as heck is something very unethical going on here.

A little background on John McCarthy.

John McCarthy came to the area as a VISTA (Volunteers In Service To America) volunteer to help poor people; he now heads up the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association as its Executive Director.

As I am sure you are aware, the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association hands out millions of dollars in campaign contributions to politicians--- mostly Democrats.

What you may not be aware of is that John McCarthy has purchased Tony Doom Enterprises--- this is the outfit which for years has been producing and selling politicians all kinds of advertising gimmicks from pencils and pens to yard signs, etc.

Now, don’t you think it is at least just a tad bit unethical for someone in John McCarthy’s position to be handing out campaign contributions to politicians expecting them to vote and support the Indian Gaming Industry with one hand, and then taking those campaign contributions right back with his other hand as payment for yard signs, etc.?

Well, now you have this same John McCarthy who more or less dictates MN DFL policies when it comes to gaming issues, now selling walleye to DFL fundraisers after he has made contributions to these DFL units like Beltrami County. Again… giving out money with one hand, taking it back in the other hand.

Now, consider this… Archie LaRose and Frank Bibeau are friends of John McCarthy. Are either of these individuals really concerned with Native rights issues? After all… they have no problem with power lines and pipelines being run across Leech Lake Tribal Lands… and, they have no problem with a Canadian corporation coming into mine peat in the Big Bog without even consulting with them. Neither Frank Bibeau or Archie LaRose raised their voices or lifted a finger to demand the enforcement of affirmative action concerning the Bemidji Regional Event Center even though there is massive unemployment on the Leech Lake Indian Reservation. Now, along comes Archie LaRose and Frank Bibeau talking about how they are for “Treaty Rights” and they just happen to ignore all these other issues that involve Treaty Rights and they just out of nowhere, without even any push from the people, decide they are going to stand up for Treaty Rights when it comes to the right to fish… and, standing by to sell tons of walleye to over 350 casinos in the Indian Gaming Industry and for Democratic Party fund-raisers is their good friend John McCarthy who has already been selling walleye to DFL fundraisers… a man with such little ethics he hands money out with one hand to politicians and the Democratic Party and through Tony Doom Enterprises and selling walleye he is taking the money right back with his other hand… and, all the while that these millions of dollars attained from the profits of what is supposed to be Indian Casinos, John McCarthy is getting rich off the poverty of the Indian people who just happen to work in these smoke-filled casinos at poverty wages without any rights under state or federal labor laws--- while Indian fishers will not be working in smoke-filled casinos they will be working for poverty wages and they will be working without any rights forced to sell their small harvests for a mere pittance. “Sovereignty” is used as the excuse to exploit casino workers; “Treaty Rights” will now be used to exploit fishers.

Sovereignty and Treaty Rights--- including the right to fish for subsistence or commercially--- are both very legitimate rights; but, who financially benefits from this “Indian sovereignty” and “Indian Treaty Rights?” A rich white man, John McCarthy, gorges himself at the expense of so many people living in poverty… it seems to me there is a story to be told here. Where are the journalists willing to tell the full and complete story about why there is so much poverty on Indian Reservations while so much wealth is being generated off the labor of Indian people.

I’m wondering; why hasn’t the state of Minnesota gone into partnership with Tribal governments and established a fish marketing board like they have in Manitoba to assure the fishers receive real living incomes for their labor? Probably for the same reason the State of Minnesota and Tribal Governments haven’t gone into the very lucrative business of manufacturing slot machines so Native American Indian would actually own the slot machines instead of John McCarthy’s rich WHITE friends.

At different times the Red Lake fishery supplied food to feed our military through a Red Lake Cooperative fishery and processing plant… who profits from the Red Lake fish processing plant today? There is no reason why the five huge lakes up here in northern Minnesota couldn’t become a commercial fishery providing quality fresh water fish products--- the only question is: Will such a commercial fishery enrich a wealthy white men like John McCarthy or would such a Native American Indian fishery help end the poverty?

I wonder why Archie LaRose and Frank Bibeau have not suggested a freshwater fish marketing corporation similar to what exists in Manitoba? Maybe you should ask John McCarthy.

Oh, I noticed with one hand John McCarthy and the Indian Gaming Industry hand out quite a bit of money to the newspapers for advertising; and with no mention of the relationship between poverty wages and poverty McCarthy seems to be getting a little something back in return in the other hand, too. And, maybe, just maybe, this is why we aren’t seeing any of what I am bringing up in print.

I hope you are going to be checking to see if John McCarthy has the proper licenses to sell walleye to the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party for fundraising events… and don’t forget Tony Doom Enterprises; I’m wondering why he hasn’t changed the name to John McCarthy Enterprises… but, like they say on the Internet: LOL!

You know, while you are checking into things maybe you should check into those figures you published about the $115 million dollar casino empire Leech Lake operates… will the fishery have the same kind of book-keeping standards? Wouldn’t it be nice to see where this $115 million dollars is actually going since we know it isn’t going for real living wages? I’m wondering, also, what do Frank Bibeau and Archie LaRose think might be a real living wage for commercial fishers?

Have you ever checked to see what the Red Lake processing plant is paying fishers? Have you checked on the wages in this plant? What about the working conditions and workers’ rights?

Come on, really, now; sovereignty and Treaty Rights are not about poverty wages and the continuation of poverty--- what kind of sovereignty and Treaty Rights create more poverty?

Alan L. Maki
Director of Organizing,
Midwest Casino Workers Organizing Council

58891 County Road 13
Warroad, Minnesota 56763

Phone: 218-386-2432
Cell Phone: 651-587-5541

E-mail: amaki000@centurytel.net

Please check out my blog: http://thepodunkblog.blogspot.com/