While most Americans are familiar with the Underground Railroad that helped Southern slaves escape north before the Civil War, the first clandestine path to freedom ran for more than a century in the opposite direction. Stories of that lesser-known "railroad" will be shared June 20-24 at the National Underground Railroad Conference in St. Augustine, Fla. The network of sympathizers gave refuge to those fleeing their masters, including many American Indians who helped slaves escape to what was then the Spanish territory of Florida. That lasted from shortly after the founding of Carolina Colony in 1670 to after the American Revolution.
Sixty-four bison from Yellowstone National Park were set to arrive Monday on an American Indian reservation under a long-stalled plan to repopulate parts of the U.S. West with the iconic animals. Tribal and state officials signed an agreement late Friday allowing the transfer to take place, said Robert Magnan with the Fort Peck Fish and Game Department in Montana. The shipment date was kept quiet until it was under way to avoid a court injunction, he said. A group of Montana landowners and property groups filed a lawsuit in state district court in January seeking to stop the transfer
A Canadian man convicted in the 1975 killing of a fellow American Indian Movement activist says the government should not have been allowed to move his case from federal to state court after his extradition to the U.S. John Graham’s attorney, John Murphy, told the South Dakota Supreme Court on Monday that he didn’t have sufficient time before trial to question the court’s decision to allow Graham’s case to be moved. Murphy also contends several witness statements shouldn’t have been allowed.
A cache of American Indian artifacts seized during raids on a Custer-themed museum in southeast Montana includes items allegedly stolen from members of the Crow Tribe. The allegation was detailed in court documents filed by the government in part to explain why it still has the artifacts three years after federal agents dropped their criminal probe of the Custer Battlefield Museum in Garryowen. Federal officials investigated museum director Christopher Kortlander for four years for alleged artifact fraud. No charges were filed and the case was dropped in 2009. But the fight over 22 artifacts seized in raids on Kortlander's museum and businesses in 2005 and 2008 grinds on.