You are on page 1of 45




Anti-Indian Movement
Part 1: Givers and Takers
In 2000, the Montana Human Rights Network published Drumming Up
Resentment: The Anti-Indian Movement in Montana by Ken Toole, who noted that
in addition to vertical integration from local to state to national organizations,
the anti-Indian movement also developed horizontal integration, or ally
relationships with groups and activists in other political and social movements,
such as the anti-environmental Wise Use movement.

As Toole remarked,

There is extensive cooperation between anti-Indian groups like CERA and

wise use groups like the Alliance for America. Loose affiliation between anti-
Indian groups and the Religious Right is also evident primarily in the electoral
arena and state legislature. Finally, despite their best efforts, anti-Indian
activists often stumble into the overt white supremacist movement. It is not a
surprising stumble since both movements have racist ideas at the core.

Concluding, Mr. Toole observed that the public education system is doing a
woefully inadequate job of providing information to students on Indian issues.
The result, he says, is that citizens are increasingly ignorant about treaty
rights and tribal sovereignty. This, he warns, makes them far more vulnerable
to the politics of resentment offered up by the Anti-Indian Movement.
Tsleil-Waututh Blessing Stop

Givers and Takers

On April 6, 2013, I received a request from the editor of the Cascadia Weekly
for background on Citizens Equal Rights Alliance (CERA), which had held an
Anti-Indian conference earlier that day in Bellingham, Washington. On April
10, my article Anti-Indian Conference was published at IC Magazine.

On April 17, the Cascadia Weekly editor published a column titled A history of
violence. On page 4 of the April 17 Earth Day issue of Cascadia Weekly, he
published my letter to the editor, “Givers and Takers”, which connected the
organized racism promoted by CERA to propaganda by the Gateway Pacific
Terminal (GPT) coal export developers. Responding to my letter, Craig Cole,
the PR spokesman for the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal — located next
to the Lummi Indian reservation — phoned the editor expressing his
displeasure with my op-ed.

Lummi Nation TerritoryOn April 26, 2013, the Institute for Research and
Education on Human Rights (IREHR) in Seattle published a special report by
Charles Tanner Jr. titled “Take These Tribes Down” The Anti-Indian Movement
Comes To Washington State.

As an associate scholar of the Center for World Indigenous Studies (CWIS) in

Olympia, Washington, and communications director at Public Good Project,
based in San Francisco, I have access to quite a lot of material on this topic.
Most notably, Anti-Indian Movement on the Tribal Frontier by CWIS chair Dr.
Rudolph C. Ryser, and Wise Use in Northern Puget Sound by former Public Good
research director, Paul de Armond.

On May 13, 2013, it came to my attention that Skip Richards – one of the two
organizers of the April 6, 2013 CERA conference, and a strategist of anti-
Indian campaigns in the 1990s — was scheduled to speak at a May 24
luncheon for the Republican Women of Whatcom County, at the Bellingham
Golf and Country Club. In response to this information, I added the following
background on Skip Richards as an appendix to my April 10 article at IC

For background on Skip Richards, readers might find the following Public
Good Project special reports useful.

 Reign of Terror
 Common Sense About the Richards Militia Controversy
 Militia and CLUE Activity in Whatcom and Snohomish Counties
 Skip Richards’ Years of Contact with Christian Patriot Militias
 Wise Use in Northern Puget Sound
 A Not So Distant Mirror
 Profits of Prejudice

Some news articles about Skip Richards’ collaboration with Christian Patriot

 A History of Violence
 CLUE and Militias Exploit Landowners
 Militia ties haunt campaign
 In Whatcom County, Distaste For Government Grows

After sending my updated article to the Whatcom League of Women Voters,

with a note about the likelihood of Richards leading a hate campaign against
tribal sovereignty by appealing to the Tea Party wing of the GOP, I informed
my Public Good colleagues that Richards and other entrepreneurial
merchants of fear were apparently “hovering around the treaty rights/water
rights/GPT conflicts probing for an opportunity to recreate the climate of fear
that twenty years ago allowed them to capture the Whatcom County Council”.
Additionally, I noted that “The PACs and non-profits the property rights
network established back then for political power later spawned the anti-
Indian, militia organizing”.

Lummi Nation Sovereignty and Treaty Protection Office

On May 16, 2013, IC Magazine published a follow-up to my April 10 article,

titled Anti-Indian Sociopath Skip Richards At The Country Club: Is Media Complicity
And Public Amnesia Enough?, and I sent the following message to the Public
Good network:

“In addition to lacking a moral compass, Richards apparently believes that

simply denying proven collaboration with militias, and overwhelming evidence
of his having built a career on malicious harassment is sufficient to absolve
him from accountability for his actions. It is truly astounding he ran for senate
at the same time his militia pals were arrested by the FBI.

His recent appearance as a guest speaker at a blatantly racist conference —

alongside his cohort of bigots from twenty years ago — at which he pretends
to know nothing about the anti-Indian movement is mindboggling. His present
posturing as an innocent water consultant, when his record shows he actively
engaged in water resource conflicts with anti-Indian activists throughout the
1990s, indicates he is astonishingly adept at self-delusion.”

“I was a witness to the journey and can say with deep conviction that this
journey mattered. It mattered to those assembled, to the travelers, to the
multitudes that read about it in the paper, heard about it on the radio, or saw it
on TV, to landscapes and their lifeforms, and (in my mind), to the unseen
forces within and around us that ask of us only our steadfast faith. This is a
coming together.” —Kurt Russo, Sovereignty and Treaty Protection Office,
Lummi Nation

Horizontal Integration
On June 4, 2013, I came across a link to YouTube videos from the Gateway
Pacific Terminal panel forum, featuring Washington State Senator Doug
Ericksen, Dave Warren of Northwest Jobs Alliance, Whatcom County Realtors
Association lobbyist Perry Eskridge, and realtor Mike Kent, whom I knew to be
the brother of former KGMI radio host Jeff Kent—noted in the Profits of
Prejudice PDF, attached to my April 10 IC Magazine article. As a KGMI radio
host in September 1995, Jeff Kent led Fee Land Owners Association (FLOA)
representatives Jeff McKay and Linnea Smith in an hour-long diatribe against
the Lummi Indians.

In August 2013, Whatcom Watch monthly included a supplement by Jewell

Praying Wolf James of the Lummi Indian Tribe titled The Search for Integrity in
the Conflict over Cherry Point as a Coal Export Terminal. In the October-November
2013 issue of Whatcom Watch, Sandra Robson’s article How Property Rights
Can Become Property Wrongs was the cover story. In the article, Robson
recounts the violent history of property rights groups in Whatcom county, and
notes that the co-organizer of the April 6 CERA conference was Tom
Williams, a Minuteman militia member, and CERA board member. Paul de
Armond’s 2005 Public Good Project report Racist Origins of Border Militias sheds
light on what these white supremacists are all about.

On October 9, 2013, the Whatcom Tea Party sponsored a Gateway Pacific

Terminal Debate at the Building Industry Association of Whatcom County
(BIAWC). As reported by Paul de Armond in the 1995 Public Good Project
special report Wise Use in Northern Puget Sound, the BIAWC had been an active
supporter of Wise Use terrorism against environmentalists and Native
Americans in 14 Washington counties, including Whatcom, where Skip
Richards was a paid BIAWC agent provocateur.

Also on October 9, 2013, Cascadia Weekly ran an editorial titled Polar Chill,
noting the editor is “dismayed to see coal export interests laundering large
amounts of campaign contributions” suggesting that “the early promise of coal
export interests to be good corporate citizens was a lie”. The following three
paragraphs of the editorial are worth reading in its entirety:

As noted by Western Washington University Professor Todd Donovan, and

detailed by local political blogger Riley Sweeney and Seattle media, Pacific
International Terminals donated $30,000 to the state Republican Party.
Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad donated another $10,000. These
contributions were turned over to state party vice-chair Luanne Van Werven,
who also heads the Whatcom County Republicans. Van Werven then
distributed $1,500 to each selected candidate, along with $17,000 to
Whatcom Republicans. Whatcom Republicans in turn funneled $17,000 to
Republican-endorsed Whatcom County Council candidates. The transfers,
Donovan noted, are not typical for local elections. The transfers both exceed
the cap on contributions an individual may make and disguise the
contributions’ origins. Coal interests do not appear on these candidates’
disclosures, but the laundered funds are available for candidates’ use in the

“It appears that Pacific International Terminals and the Burlington Northern
Santa Fe Railroad have earmarked campaign funds given to the state
Republican Party such that these funds exclusively benefit candidates in
Whatcom County,” Donovan wrote to the state Public Disclosure Commission,
which investigates alleged campaign finance irregularities. Donovan is a
political scientist and elections expert.

“This practice allows Pacific International and BNSF to disguise the fact that
they are a primary source of campaign funds for these candidates and for the
Whatcom County Republican Party,” Donovan wrote to the PDC. “This
practice allows Pacific International and BNSF to spend money on Whatcom
County candidate races in excess of what is allowable under state law.”
Anti-Indian Movement.
Part 2: The Politics of
The Northern Cheyenne Reservation (Bob Zellar, Billings Gazette)
On October 16, 2013, I became aware of a new PAC called SaveWhatcom,
registered by KGMI radio host Kris Halterman and Lorraine Newman.
Halterman is noted in my Anti-Indian Conferencearticle at IC Magazine, having
interviewed CERA celebrity Elaine Willman at the April 6, 2013 CERA
gathering. Halterman had Willman on her March 30, 2013 show Saturday
Morning Live, saying the April 6 conference would teach local officials and
citizens how to take on tribal governments. On Halterman’s November 3, 2012
show, Willman called for an end to tribal sovereignty, stating, “Tribalism is
socialism, and has no place in our country!”

In August and September, 2013 — as I soon learned — the Gateway Pacific

Terminal consortium had funneled $149,000 into the SaveWhatcom and
WhatcomFirst PACs, run by KGMI radio hosts Kris Halterman and Dick
Donohue—both of whom I had noted in my May 5, 2013 IC Magazine
article, White Power on the Salish Sea: The Wall Street/Tea Party Convergence . In
this article, I noted the following about Donohue and Halterman:

On March 30, 2013, Donohue interviewed CERA board member

and Minuteman Tom Williams, who promoted the untrue idea that Indians have
citizenship privileges without paying taxes, and noted that CERA was
currently mounting a national offensive to terminate tribal sovereignty. On
April 6, Donohue and Halterman interviewed Willman and Phillip Brendale live
from the Anti-Indian Conference, who declared that the purpose of the
regional gathering was to “Take these Tribes Down.”

On November 3, 2013, Kris Halterman posted a Breaking News story on her

KGMI blog titled Whatcom County Council Appeals GMHB Ruling on Rural Element: a
decision to affect Your Water Rights. In Halterman’s story, she notes that on the
previous day’s KGMI show Radio Real Estate, host Mike Kent invited experts to
talk about Whatcom County’s water rights, including Skip Richards. As noted
at Whatcom Watch, a November 19, 2013 letter to Sandra Robson from Perry
Eskridge, Government Affairs Director for Whatcom County Association of
Realtors, Eskridge stated the following:

“I have been provided a copy of your recent article, How Property Rights Can
Become Property Wrongs, published in the Whatcom Watch. I was asked to
explain your apparent effort to tie several violent racial events in the past to
current efforts by Whatcom County property rights organizations, including the
Whatcom County Association of Realtors, advocating for property rights
protections in our county.
While the article does not directly accuse the Realtors of some of the more
heinous acts you describe, you do state “Powerful political forces masked in
seemingly constructive organizations like the … Washington Realtors [sic]
Association (including each group’s local level organizations), fund and
interact with property rights groups.” Whatcom Watch, October-November
2013, pg. 8. You continue by alleging that these groups, including the
Realtors, use these groups “to do much of their work for them.” Id. These
statements are not accurate.”

The reference cited in the article by Ms. Robson that disturbed Mr. Eskridge is
from Wise Use in Northern Puget Sound, Appendix II, paragraph 7, which
states, “These groups, such as the Master Builders Association, the various
county chapters of the Affordable Housing Council, the local Chambers of
Commerce, and realtor’s associations, provide the leadership and funding for
creating front groups like the Property Rights Alliance, SNOCO PRA,
Whatcom CLUE and other so-called grass-roots groups.”

In Appendix VIII, source number 167, the Seattle Times notes the financial
contribution from the Washington Association of Realtors to Initiative 164, the
property rights initiative. As noted in source number 170, the Seattle Times
quotes Secretary of State Ralph Munro, who ordered an investigation by the
State Patrol regarding thousands of fake Initiative 164 signatures.

On November 21, 2013, in an article at the Seattle Times titled On Behalf of

North Dakota and Montana, McKenna calls Washington coal study unconstitutional ,
former Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna wrote a letter to
Washington State that questioned the constitutionality of Washington’s
Department of Ecology review of the proposed coal-export terminal at Cherry
Point. In his unsuccessful 2012 bid for governor against Jay Inslee, McKenna
made his support for coal-export terminals a major issue.

In Trampling on the Treaties: Rob McKenna and the Politics of Anti-Indianism, a 2012
report by Chuck Tanner and Leah Henry-Tanner, the authors examined
Washington gubernatorial candidate McKenna via his career as a public
official opposed to treaty rights, as well as his working relationship with Anti-
Indian activists and organizations. As the Tanners note:

“McKenna’s Anti-Indian policies and ideas, and his willingness to ally his
public office with opponents of tribal rights, should raise a large red flag for all
people in Washington state who support respectful relations with Indian

The Tanners observed that as Washington Attorney General, McKenna’s legal

briefs “provide a political framework for backlash against Indian Nations”…His
actions as Attorney General, “point to a pattern of disrespect for the basic
rights of indigenous nations”…When McKenna perceives a state interest at
issue, “he will oppose the fundamental rights of Indian Nations and ally with
anti-Indian activists to achieve his goals”.

Educating the

2015 Tsleil-Waututh Blessing Stop. Photo: Paul Anderson

In a November 24, 2013 story at EarthFix titled Documents Reveal Coal Exporter
Disturbed Native American Archeological Site at Cherry Point, the first installment of
a two-part series, KUOW reporter Ashley Ahearn wrote the following about
Gateway Pacific Terminal parent company Pacific International Terminals:

Three summers ago the company that wants to build the largest coal export
terminal in North America failed to obtain the environmental permits it needed
before bulldozing more than four miles of roads and clearing more than nine
acres of land, including some wetlands.

Pacific International Terminals also failed to meet a requirement to consult

first with local Native American tribes, the Lummi and Nooksack tribes, about
the potential archaeological impacts of the work. Sidestepping tribal
consultation meant avoiding potential delays and roadblocks for the
project’s development.

It also led to the disturbance of a site from which 3,000-year-old human

remains had previously been removed — and where archeologists and tribal
members suspect more are buried.

Pacific International Terminals and its parent corporation, SSA Marine,

subsequently settled for $1.6 million for violations under the Clean Water Act.

According to company documents obtained by EarthFix after the lawsuit made

them public, Pacific International Terminals drilled 37 boreholes throughout
the site, ranging from 15 feet to 130 feet in depth, without following
procedures required by the Army Corps of Engineers under the National Historic
Preservation Act.
On November 26, 2013, IC Magazine published my editorial Cherry Point
Ownership, in which I noted that the August 2013 Whatcom Watch insert by
Jewell Praying Wolf James revealed that the Lummi people did not sign away
Cherry Point in the 1855 Treaty of Point Elliot. As Mr. James wrote, Cherry
Point was part of the original Lummi Reservation, not part of the lands ceded
under duress to the U.S. Government. Only in 1872 was Cherry Point illegally
removed from the Lummi Reservation by Presidential Executive Order, in
order for the Bureau of Indian Affairs to unlawfully sell the property to white
squatters. As one of the most important ancient Lummi village sites, Cherry
Point ownership, in 2013, had been in dispute for 141 years.

In January 2014, Whatcom Watch published What Would Corporations Do?

Native American Rights and the Gateway Pacific Terminal, Sandra Robson’s
detailed account of money-laundering by the coal export consortium into the
hands of CERA-supporting, Tea Party-led PACs. The footnotes of her cover
story include a link to my IC Magazine article White Power on the Salish Sea: The
Wall Street/Tea Party Convergence, as well as the referenced April 26, 2013
IREHR report “Take These Tribes Down” by Charles Tanner Jr.

On January 15, 2014, Indian Country Today published an article by Winona

LaDuke titled Crow and Lummi, Dirty Coal & Clean Fishing, in which she notes that
Cherry Point, home of the ancient Lummi village of XweChiexen, was the first
site in Washington State to be listed on the Washington Heritage Register. As
a 3,500-year-old site, she said, “It is sacred to the Lummi.”

As one of the most prominent American Indian intellectual celebrities, Winona

works a lot with Native American environmental activists that are trying to
change their tribal governments to be less dependent on Wall Street, so they
can make better choices. She has done many good things for tribes, including
her own, to get back on a more sustainable track. This April 17, 2010 talk by
Winona is a particularly good one.

On page 12 of the January 15, 2014 issue of Cascadia Weekly, in an article titled
Draw the Line by Tim Johnson, he noted that the waters at Cherry Point are
home to one of the best crab fisheries along the coast, and that this fishery
sustains many tribal families. In the article, he quotes Jeremiah “Jay” Julius,
secretary of the Lummi Nation Governing Council, a fisherman and crabber
descended from tribesmen who have fished the waters off Cherry Point for
centuries. Featured in a KCTS documentary and related PBS News Hour
piece about the proposed Northwest coal terminals, Julius stated, “The sacred
must be protected.”
Anti-Indian Movement
Part 3: A Free Press

A Free Press
On February 5, 2014, Gateway Pacific Terminal spokesman Craig Cole
threatened Whatcom Watch with a SLAPP suit, which I covered for IC
magazine in my February 8 article Gateway Pacific Terminal Consultant Threatens
Journalists. In the four page letter sent to Whatcom Watch, Cole accused
Robson and myself of libel, threatening that Robson and Whatcom Watch are
“put on notice”. In a February 19 article Craig Cole Threatens Libel Suit at
Northwest Citizen, editor John Servais made the following remarks:

“We have seen the effects of big money on politics and corporate media, and
now those long arms are reaching into our local media – using lawsuits to
intimidate or bully local citizen journalists away from vigorously reporting what
is happening. Indeed, it has been working! The folks at the Whatcom Watch
are stuck in a defensive crouch over this threat. The Watch has no money
and Mr. Cole has some of the largest corporations in the country behind
him. It seems unlikely Cole would send such a letter without the backing and
encouragement of his corporate clients.

If large corporations are trying to silence local reporting, citizens should

know. My thinking is that Ms Robson and the Whatcom Watch were getting
close to the truth of what is going on and this is a classic corporate effort to
silence them.”

On February 14, 2014, in my IC Magazine editorial The Politics of Land and

Bigotry, I recounted the March 8, 1996 conference I attended, hosted by the
Center for World Indigenous Studies and the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest
Indians, to dialogue about “the portentous movements in America intent on
promoting interracial discord and a growing politics of fear.”

Reading Robson’s January article at Whatcom Watch, I was reminded of

meeting Jay Inslee in 1996, when he first ran for governor of Washington.
Then State Senator Harriet Spanel had invited me and Inslee to dinner, where
I talked with her about property rights convulsions influencing her reelection
campaign, in which she was challenged by Skip Richards, who made anti-
Indian racism the cornerstone of his campaign. When the Anacortes American
exposed Richards as a militia host, his campaign went down in flames.

On February 17, 2014, in an Indian Country Today article titled Coast Salish
Nations Unite to Protect Salish Sea, the Lummi, Swinomish, Suquamish and
Tulalip tribes of Washington joined the Tsleil-Waututh, Squamish and
Musqueam Nations in British Columbia in opposing Kinder Morgan’s proposed
TransMountain pipeline and other energy-expansion and export projects that
“pose a threat to the environmental integrity of our sacred homelands and
waters, our treaty and aboriginal rights, and our cultures and life ways.” In
December 2013, Kinder Morgan, the third largest energy producer in North
America, filed an application with the National Energy Board of Canada (NEB)
to build a new pipeline to transport crude oil from the Alberta Tar Sands to
Vancouver, British Columbia, that if approved, would result in a 200%
increase in oil tanker traffic through the Salish Sea. On February 11, 2014,
these tribes and nations collectively filed for official intervener status with the
On February 25, 2014, Northwest Citizen (NWC) posted Relevant Documents to
Libel Threat, including Craig Cole’s letter threatening a libel lawsuit against
Whatcom Watch (WW), as well as a link to my article at IC Magazine, noting
that “It is interesting that Cole has not threatened to sue Taber or Taber’s
publisher.” NWC editor John Servais observes it is legitimate for WW to seek
connections between the anti-Indian groups and the corporations seeking
permits to build the coal terminal, saying, “It is called journalism and the
exercise of a free press.”

A Terrible Insult

A ceremony held at Cherry Point, a part of the Lummi anti-coal totem pole journey. 09/30/2013 Photo: Ryan Hasert
On March 28, 2014, Indian Country Today published a feature story titled Anti-
Indian CERA Doesn’t Like the Law of the Land, or Us, Apparently, by Terri Hansen,
in which CERA is described as “The Ku Klux Klan of Indian Country.” On April
2, 2014, federal Indian law attorney Dave Lundgren wrote in his Indian
Country Today op-ed Expose Hate Groups Like CERA that, “They disguise their
fear and hatred with bogus legal arguments designed to rile up local
On April 4, 2014, my Public Good Project editorial Liberal Elite Versus
Democracy discussed the collapse of Whatcom Watch under its new president
Terry Wechsler, who began blaming the messenger Sandra Robson for the
paper’s troubles. In a communication to this author, Wechsler said my advice
to expose, confront and reject organized racism is “counterproductive.”

Astonishingly, Wechsler actually suggested to me that Skip Richards’ racist

organizing in the 1990s is a thing of the past, because he told her he no
longer does that. I reminded her that Richards was one of the two people who
organized the April 6, 2013 CERA anti-Indian conference, a fact reported in
my IC Magazine article Anti-Indian Conference.

On June 27, 2014, the Bellingham Herald article Craig Cole’s legal threat against
Whatcom Watch ‘resolved’ claimed the SLAPP suit issue had been amicably
resolved, saying “What bothered Cole more than Robson’s piece was a follow
up by blogger Jay Taber that contorted Robson’s hypothetical scenario into
flat-out reality.” Had the reporter Ralph Schwartz bothered to closely read
Sandra Robson’s extensively-sourced article and mine, he would have
discovered that my accusation of Cole promoting racism was based on
documented facts.

On June 30, 2014, my article Capitalizing on Fear at IC Magazine explained how

Gateway Pacific Terminal funding enabled Tea Party-led PACs and KGMI
radio to drum up resentment against Lummi Nation. On December 23, 2014,
in my IC Magazine post White Power vs Northwest Indians, I included two posters
from Public Good Project—Gateway Pacific Terminal Hall of Shame, and White
Power on the Salish Sea.

In January 2015, Sandra Robson was one of four journalists to receive

a Public Good Correspondent Award for 2014. On March 27, 2015, Robson’s
article A Sovereign Nation Stands Tall was published at IC Magazine. On April
10, 2015, my article Railroading Racism: Warren Buffett vs Northwest Indians ran
there as well.

On July 27, 2015, my article Crowing Jesus: Four Square Gospel vs A Sacred
Trust at IC Magazine noted that in a July 21 article at the Los Angeles Times,
Crow Tribe Chairman Darrin Old Coyote called Lummi Nation leaders
“ignorant” pawns of Seattle environmental groups. A supplier of coal, the Crow
are in bed with Gateway Pacific Terminal. As a Pentecostal Christian tribe, the
Crow are challenging Lummi Nation’s “sacred trust” to protect the Salish Sea—
a holy mandate that Earth Ministry, Resources, Unitarian Universalists, and Sierra
Club support.

On March 12, 2016, Northwest Citizen named Sandra Robson the Paul
deArmond Citizen Journalist of the year, saying, “If there were a Pulitzer Prize for
citizen journalism, Sandra Robson would win it.”
Anti-Indian Movement
Part 4: Christian Identity

As we recognize the Anti-Indian Movement on the Tribal Frontier 25-year
anniversary, I recommend reading A Mandate from God: Christian White
Supremacy in the US, which examines the driving force of the movement,
located in Christian Identity doctrine. The Christian Patriots who adhere to this
doctrine, i.e. the militias, are a much greater threat to democracy than the
American Nazi Party or Ku Klux Klan.

As evidence, it was Christian Patriots who blew up the Oklahoma City federal
building in 1995, and Christian Patriots who, in 1997, were convicted in U.S.
District Court in Seattle for building bombs to murder human rights activists
(see Shining a Light). As noted in Part 1, Givers and Takers, Tom Williams
(CERA board member and Minuteman militia member) co-organized the
2013 Anti-Indian Conference in Bellingham, Washington.
My focus on the Wise Use/Christian Patriot nexus of the Anti-Indian
Movement helps readers understand how corporate funding combined with
vigilante violence is facilitated by intermediaries in the Tea Party and GOP. As
implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous
Peoples (UNDRIP) becomes a significant basis for the exercise of jurisdiction
by indigenous nations in Canada and the US, the most virulent opposition will
come from the true believers of Christian Identity.

Understanding this milieu, and how it relates to other sectors of the anti-Indian
movement, is essential to effective indigenous human rights organizing.

Conflict and
As noted by Paul de Armond in A Time for New Beginnings (see Studies in
Conflict and Terrorism, vol 22, issue 2, 1999), Wise Use and Christian Patriots
are located within the American fascist movement, as evidenced by the militia
organizing drive in 1994. In his article, de Armond urged a behavioral
definition of fascism, such as the Reagan administration’s use of the American
extreme right to organize paramilitary action in Central America.

De Armond reminds readers that it was state and local governments that used
armed right-wing paramilitaries like the Klan to attack civil rights activists in
the 1960s, and that there is a continuity of the American paramilitary right that
includes the Klan, Minutemen, Aryan Nations, Militia of Montana, Covenant
Sword and Arm of the Lord. As he observes, there have been three waves of
right-wing militia organizing since the 1960s, and that “It is only in the case of
the most horrifying or politically inflammatory violence that significant law
enforcement resources have been committed.”
In his end notes, Paul remarks that fascism is a rationalization of theft, just as
statism is a rationalization of power, capitalism is a rationalization of
acquisition, and sociopathy is a rationalization of the irrational. “Anti-fascism,”
he observes, “is a form of informational public health, related to

Sunlight v
As de Armond remarked at Metafilter, 1 October 2010, the sunlight v shunning
debate is an old one. Every time there has been a crisis, he says, the sunlight
approach wins.

The key to defeating reactionary racist politics is education and exposure.

They work mostly by deception, infiltration and subversion and these tactics
are impossible when they are subject to scrutiny and exposure leading to
confrontation and rejection.

As Paul notes, “The worst setbacks to the Tea Party have been due to
exposure, not people trying to ignore them.”
The Christian Identity religion began in 1948, when Wesley Swift incorporated
the Church of Jesus Christ Christian in Los Angeles. The central belief in
Christian Identity doctrine is the existence of two races on earth: a godly white
race descended from Adam, and a satanic race fathered by Satan. Swift died
in 1970 and Richard Butler assumed control, moving the church to Idaho,
where he renamed it Aryan Nations.

As de Armond observed, “The function of religion in the lives of these men

was to provide a theological justification for their racism and anti-Semitism.
Stated another way, racism and anti-Semitism were their religion.”

The white supremacist movement, which seeks to bring about the collapse of
the US, might be unrealistic in its aim to establish a racial nationalist state, but
it is certain they will continue to use all means at their disposal to achieve that
unrealistic goal. These means include bombings, sabotage, undermining
discipline in the armed forces, counterfeiting, tax evasion, bank robbery,
subversion of local governments and law enforcement, fraud, and attempts at
nuclear, chemical, and biological warfare.

As Paul de Armond observed in 1996, the notion of Christian Identity doctrine
as the motor for militant white supremacy is widely shared among experts.
Many of the most violent white supremacist groups have either been led by or
composed of individuals who are identity believers. Recruitment and militant
action by Christian Patriots is in essence a holy war.
Anti-Indian Movement
Part 5: Puritanical
Fears of Pagan
In Bron Taylor’s 20 April 2011 Religion Dispatches essay Debate Over Mother
Earth’s Rights Stirs Fears of Pagan Socialism, he notes that, “Religious and
political conservatives have long feared the global march of paganism and
socialism. In their view,” says Taylor, “it was bad enough when Earth Day
emerged in 1972, promoting a socialist agenda. But now, under the auspices
of the United Nations, the notion has evolved into the overtly pagan, and thus
doubly dangerous, International Mother Earth Day.” With all 192 member
states of the UN General Assembly supporting a 2009 resolution proclaiming
International Mother Earth Day as proposed by the socialist Bolivian President
Evo Morales, American conservatives hostile to environmentalism responded
with their usual religious hysteria.

In Paul de Armond’s 1996 essay A Not So Distant Mirror, he observes that, “I

never expected to find parallels between the militant heretics of the Middle
Ages and the current convulsions on the far right. The realization thrust itself
upon me while I was trying to understand what I was witnessing as I attended
meetings of the ‘property rights’ groups which began promoting militia
organizing in early 1994.

Everyone seemed instinctively to know what part they played; the endless
rants by a variety of characters full of not only themselves, but also full of a
sense of a divine mission in struggling against unholy forces. The typical far
right meeting is very similar to a service in a lay Christian fellowship of the
more militant fundamentalist evangelicals.”

Concerned with a United Nations takeover of public lands in the United

States, the militia meetings de Armond described in Northwest Washington
State comprised a collection of Christian Patriots and Wise Users who had
conflated conspiracy theories with white supremacist propaganda about an
imminent UN invasion of the United States. “By chance,” said de Armond, “I
was reading Barbara Tuchman’s A Distant Mirror, a history of the turbulent
14th Century. Tuchman,” he notes, “explains her interest in the 14th Century
as starting with ‘a desire to find out what were the effects of the most lethal
disaster of recorded history — that is to say the Black Death of 1348-50 —
which killed an estimated one third of the population living between India and

“Religious hysteria,” says de Armond, “was what I thought I was seeing at the
confluence of the ‘property rights’ and militia movements. In their role as
social critics and collectors of grievances, the ‘Patriots’ and Wise Users are
remarkably acute, but they are unreasonable in both analysis and action —
rejecting a discourse which supplies reasons and appeals to reason and
instead relies on force for persuasion.”

“The prophetae of the militia movement,” notes de Armond, “come from the
Wise Use anti-environmentalists and Christian white supremacists,” and like
the leaders of the medieval social revolutions in Europe, “have been
successful in obtaining political power and influence, and as they become part
of the establishment and decapitated their own movement, their less
successful brethren have repeatedly splintered off into more groups and
become more violent and irresponsible in both rhetoric and action.”
Bringing on the
Circulating in October 2008 was a discussion among religious scholars about
Palin’s plan for Palestine. The consensus was “incineration.”

The first step in her religion calls for all Jews in the world to be coerced to
emigrate to Israel. The second step is to support the State of Israel in
committing genocide against the Palestinians. The third step is for the US to
instigate nuclear holocaust in Israel thereby incinerating all Jews (agents of
Satan) and bringing on the Apocalypse.

Some American Jews misinterpret step two as a US guarantee for the

apartheid state. They ignore step three and misunderstand step one.

American Zionists (Jewish and Christian) understand this plan, but split over
the practicality of step one and the desirability of step three. Most Americans
are completely clueless about all the above.

Palin’s followers, who believe she has been anointed for this task by God, in
2008 were already discussing the necessity of assassinating her GOP running
mate McCain if he interfered with Palin’s plan. According to the participating
scholars, the October 2008 anti-Muslim hate campaign in the US Midwest was
a warm-up exercise for adherents of Palin’s religion and her domestic
terrorism support base in the Militia Movement.
Spiritual Warfare
Long before Indigenous peoples had to deal with Pentecostals and other
Evangelicals committed to converting them from heathenism, there were the
Puritans. In America, these religious fanatics — who washed up on the shores
of Wampanoag territory and repaid Indigenous generosity with murder —
have themselves undergone quite a transformation.

“The central tenet of Puritanism,” notes Wikipedia, “was God’s supreme

authority over human affairs, which led them to seek both individual and
corporate conformance to the teaching of the Bible, pursuing moral purity
down to the smallest detail. The Pilgrims (the separatist, congregationalist
Puritans who went to North America) are famous for banning from their New
England colonies many secular entertainments, such as games of chance,
maypoles, and drama, all of which were perceived as examples of immorality.
They believed that secular governors are accountable to God to protect and
reward virtue, including ‘true religion’, and to punish wrongdoers.”

“The popular image,” it goes on, “is slightly more accurate as a description of
Puritans in colonial America, who were among the most radical Puritans and
whose social experiment took the form of a Calvinist theocracy.”

In Laurie Goodstein’s 24 October 2008 New York Times article YouTube

Videos Draw Attention to Palin’s Faith about Republican vice-presidential
candidate Sarah Palin, it was noted that videos taken in her church during her
campaign for Governor of Alaska revealed her praying that God protect her
from witchcraft, and acknowledging the Last Days prophecy of approaching
“end times.” According to Goodstein, Palin’s long associations with religious
leaders who practice a particularly assertive and urgent brand of
Pentecostalism known as “spiritual warfare” is noteworthy in that, “Its
adherents believe that demonic forces can colonize specific geographic areas
and individuals, and that ‘spiritual warriors’ must ‘battle’ them to assert God’s
control, using prayer and evangelism.”

“The Kenyan preacher shown on the video anointing her as she ran for
governor,” says Goodstein, “is celebrated internationally as an effective
spiritual warrior who led a prayer movement that drove a witch out of his town
in Kenya.”
“Critics,” notes Goodstein, “say the goal of the spiritual warfare movement is
to create a theocracy. Bruce Wilson, a researcher for Talk2Action, a Web site
that tracks religious groups, said: ‘One of the imperatives of the movement is
to achieve worldly power, including political control. Then you can more
effectively drive out the demons. The ultimate goal is to purify the earth’.”
Anti-Indian Movement
Part 6: Players Program
Hate Radio
As Dena Jensen reports, William Honea, Skagit County senior deputy
prosecuting attorney –in justifying the CERA anti-Indian workshop in Mount
Vernon, Washington on May 20–falsely attributed an incendiary quote to
Swinomish tribal chairman and president of the National Congress of
American Indians, Brian Cladoosby. Given that Mr. Honea–like CERA
celebrity Elaine Willman–was given a platform on KGMI radio to promote
racist resentment, it is perhaps a good time for human rights activists and
moral authorities to pursue having Saturday Morning Live removed from its

After four years of hosting anti-Indian racists on her show, it’s time for KGMI
to pull the plug on Tea Party leader, Kris Halterman.

As reported at Noisy Waters Northwest, CERA–the “Ku Klux Klan of Indian

country”–made their appearance in Skagit County four years after the CERA
anti-Indian conference in Whatcom County. The 2013 CERA gathering
targeted Lummi Nation, while the 2017 workshop targeted Swinomish Tribal
Community. The Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians–Lummi and Swinomish
included–oppose fossil fuel export on the Salish Sea, providing an opportunity
for promoters of interracial discord to cash in on the carbon corridor conflict.

You can read more on the anti-Indian movement revival in the Salish Sea
region here.

As the Indian Law and Policy Center reports, termination of Indian tribes as
sovereign political entities is endemic in the current presidential
administration. Taken as a whole, the agenda of key cabinet appointees and
advisors is to finalize assimilation of tribes into the American system of
corporate institutional dominance.

In essence, this agenda’s goal is the de facto abrogation of treaties made

between tribes and the United States. Indeed, remarks made by the newly-
appointed U.S. Department of Interior Secretary Zinke come right out of
the CERA Anti-Indian playbook.
In response to the Totem Pole Journey – a sacred act of diplomacy by Lummi
Nation in 2015, the Unitarian Universalist Association held a national
conference of support in Portland, Oregon. This holy Public Witness, however,
has not been accompanied by any ‘right action’ from the Earth Ministry
interfaith alliance in Seattle, of which they are a participating religious body.

To date, none of the progressive churches in the Pacific Northwest has

confronted the “portentous movements intent on promoting interracial discord
and a growing politics of fear” targeting the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest
Indians. None of these institutionalized religions have opposed the ongoing,
anti-Indian, hate radio programs, or any other forms of mainstream media

If people of faith want to help defeat White Power on the Salish Sea, they
need to call out the promoters of this interracial discord. Otherwise, they
become yet another instance of white people assuaging their guilt over the
institutionalized mistreatment of Native Americans by indulging in the
consumption of Indian acts of spiritual generosity, without committing
themselves to acts of reciprocity.

As Lummi elder Jewell Praying Wolf James remarked at St. Philip Neri
Catholic Church in Portland, “Talk’s good, but action’s better”.
White Power

To illustrate the horizontal integration of

the Anti-Indian Movement, Chet Dow, secretary/treasurer of the Whatcom
chapter of Citizens Alliance for Property Rights, is also a board member of the
Northwest Business Club–a Whatcom Republican Party affiliate–and is listed
as an officer on the PDC registration for the Anti-Indian PACs, SaveWhatcom
and WhatcomFirst. As noted in A Tea Party by Any Other Name, Dow is a
director of Common Threads Northwest, the successor to the Whatcom Tea
Party, which spawned these PACs.

Additionally, Dow was an executive board member of the Whatcom

Republican party. As a Whatcom County Charter Review Commissioner in
2015, Dow demonized environmentalists for opposing the Gateway Pacific
coal export proposal. As noted by Sandy Robson, in 2013, the Gateway
Pacific coal export consortium contributed $149,000 to the Anti-Indian PACs.

The timeline White Power on the Salish Sea puts Dow’s abhorrent conduct in

As reported in this March 2017 expose by Sandy Robson, the Whatcom Tea
Party changed its name to Common Threads Northwest. That marketing move
mirrors the November 2017 deceptive campaign mailer sent out by Whatcom
Republican candidates claiming to be non-partisan.

In the March story, Robson reveals two new players in Whatcom politics–the
husband and wife team of James and Laura McKinney–who assumed key
positions in the Anti-Indian, Tea Party network: James as Executive Director
of Common Threads Northwest, and Laura as Director of Operations and
Communications for the Whatcom Business Alliance–an advocacy
organization in support of fossil fuel export at Cherry Point.

James McKinney is known for comparing environmentalists to communists.

Laura was elected to the Blaine School Board in November 2017.
This is how the Tea Party became a powerhouse. They run candidates for
school board, which makes their name familiar, then run them for state and
county offices.

It’s an apprenticeship program that trains Christian Right candidates to avoid


Allied with real estate developers–that spend a lot of advertising money in

local media–they essentially get a free ride for their racism.

End note:
As reported at The Intercept, fascists in the Whatcom County Prosecutor’s
office have declared war on political dissent, in particular by tribal human
rights activists.

(Jay Thomas Taber is a retired investigative journalist and recipient of the

Defender of Democracy award.)

[The online version of this report can be read at the following URL:]