Thursday, January 21, 2010

Oregon Modocs Set Second Meeting to Discuss Benefits of Self-Government

Contact: Perry H. Chesnut

Modocs Seeking to Form Government Separate from the Klamath Tribes Set Second Meeting:
Will Discuss Economic Development, Tribal Membership Requirements and Ancestral Land Base

An informational meeting for Modoc Indians interested in the movement to dissolve the Modoc Tribe’s political relationship with the Klamath Tribes will be held between the hours of 6:30pm and 9:00pm on the evening of Friday, January 29, 2010 at the Commissioners Hearing Room of the Klamath County Government Center located at 305 Main St. in Klamath Falls, Oregon. Entrance to the building will be by the door coming off the rear parking lot on Pine St.

A previous meeting held in the same location on October 9th of last year drew approximately 30 Modocs. Perry Chesnut, an adopted member of the Modoc Tribe, stated that it was time to end 136 years of subservience to the Klamath Indians, and said that the only practical way to preserve the Modoc Tribe’s unique ethnic and cultural identity, and protect and advance the Modoc People’s political and economic interests is to set up their own government, separate from that of the current Klamath tribal government. He presented a document titled Declaration of the Rights of the Free and Sovereign People of the Modoc Indian Tribe (Mowatocknie MaklaksĂ»m), which enumerates in 46 articles the natural, political and human rights of the Modoc People. Since that meeting, a number of “Declaration Bearers” have been circulating the document within the Modoc Tribe and gathering signatures for its ratification.

The upcoming meeting on Friday, January 29th, is open to all who wish to learn more about the separation movement and the opportunities it presents to the Modoc People.

M. Sean Manion, a Modoc Indian who is a civil engineer and has spent the last seven years in Iraq managing various rebuilding projects, will present an economic development model that has proven to be very successful for Arab tribes in Iraq. Mr. Manion states that the economic development model is especially well-suited to tribal entities and believes that it can be implemented successfully by the Modoc Tribe to create large tribally owned enterprises as well as smaller business ventures owned by individual tribal members. Mr. Manion will also speak to the issue of eligibility for tribal membership, contrasting the blood quantum standard now used by the Klamath tribal government with the lineal descent standard to which more tribes are now turning.

Perry Chesnut will speak about the opportunity for developing a large casino resort complex and present an architectural rendering of such a casino resort prepared by David P. Soderstrom of Soderstrom Architects, a Portland Oregon architectural firm. He will also present a map of the Modoc Tribe’s ancestral lands ceded to the government in the Lakes Treaty of 1864 and discuss the many opportunities for economic development presented by the five national forests included in these lands and by the potential restoration of the vast wetlands that constituted Lower Klamath Lake, Tule Lake and Clear Lake prior to the extensive “reclamation” projects of the early 1900s.

An extensive period of time has been set aside for questions and answers following the presentations of Mr. Manion and Mr. Chesnut. Declaration Signature Sheets will also be available for those who wish to ratify the Declaration with their signatures. Those who wish to circulate the Declaration can obtain a signature sheet from Mr. Chesnut after the meeting.

The Commissioners Hearing Room has a seating capacity of 70, so those wishing to sit should come early.

Source: Modoc Land Recovery Project

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