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FEBRUARY 19, 2017


"National Bison Range" with Elaine Willman
Elaine Devary Willman, MPA is the author of Going To Pieces…the dismantling the United States of America, first published in 2005. The book reports on first person visits and experiences of tribal members and citizens residing on or near seventeen Indian reservations during her extensive road trip across the country from Washington State to New York State. Willman’s book is selling faster now in 2015 and 2016 than when initially published because the fears expressed in the book are now America’s reality.

Subsequent to her two year attendance at Ventura College of Law, Ms. Willman received a Masters degree in Public Administration from Cal State University in 1991, and has obtained 96 credits towards her doctoral work in public policy. Having lived in Western States for over thirty years, and within two Indian reservations for more than twenty years, Ms. Willman has extensive knowledge about federal Indian policy, land use status within Indian reservations, dual-jurisdiction and Constitutional conflicts that impact the rights and lives of tribal members as well as other American citizens.

Ms. Willman’s mother and grandmother were enrolled Cherokee members; her spouse is of Shoshone ancestry, and is a direct descendant of Sacajawea. She served as National Chair of Citizens Equal Rights Alliance (CERA) from 2001 – 2007 and remains an active CERA Board Member. Mrs. Willman has blended her local land use and strategic planning expertise with federal Indian policy to inform and engage counties, towns and citizens that are co-located within or near federally recognized Indian reservations.

From 2008 until June 2015 Ms. Willman served the Village of Hobart, Wisconsin, as their Director of Community Development and Tribal Affairs. Having made several trips to Montana to study and oppose the CSKT Water Compact, Ms. Willman determined to move her household and business to Ronan, Montana in July 2015 to address the current and long-term impacts of federal and tribal government over-reach in Western Montana.

Contact: Phone: 509-949-8055


Two of her recent articles were recently published in Western Ag Reporter, and because of the second article, she was recently given a monthly column in

Rights of Indians and Non-Indians

CERF/CERA believes and defends the constitutional rights of Indians and non-Indians. Our mission is to change federal Indian policies that threaten or restrict the individual rights of all citizens living on or near Indian reservations. We do not tolerate racial prejudice of any kind. We do not knowingly associate with anyone who discriminates based on race.

National Bison Range needs your comments

Hello friends,

We are a day late, but not a dollar short.  The deadline for comments opposing gifting our National Bison Range to a small tribal government was yesterday, February 17th. However, I've spoken by phone to the lady receiving the comments (Toni Griffin) and she has assured me that the Fish & Wildlife Service will receive comments after the deadline as well.

So, I've attached a copy of my comments opposing transfer of land and bison at the National Bison Range to one small tribe, the Confederated Salish-Kootenai (CSKT) tribe. I'm hoping folks might review my comments, and then send just a couple of sentences or comments along, too. I've also attached the January 18th Federal Register Notice that identifies three alternatives - two of which are beastly!!
This is a case where quantity counts. Lots of simple comments from lots of folks would be very helpful at this stage of their process.

Comments would simply be emailed directly to:
Subject:  Comments on National Bison Range
NOTE:  A quick email sent to Toni Griffin will do the trick.  Please take a moment and help us all out!


That's it - - so please send in a comment and ALSO, widely circulate this information and perhaps other folks who believe that our national resources belong toall Americans..will encourage the FWS to continue managing the Bison Range.  Please consider firing in some comments and sharing this email with other friends too.

Traders with Indians - Proposed Rule

I cannot emphasize enough how serious this new assault to govern and tax all businesses on Indians reservations is to state revenues and the civil rights of all non-Indian businesses on reservations. Centuries ago Congress addressed "Trader" regulations for spurious traders abusing Indian tribes. Today, with all Indian reservations long ago opened up for settlement, thriving counties, towns and businesses that have enhanced the quality of life on Indian reservations for tribal members and everyone...well, - the UN-settling of the West is well under way.  Read the brief paragraphs below, and it's immediately clear that two goals are set:

1) Strip away all state tax authority and revenues derived from non-tribal businesses on Indian reservations;
2) Install, tribal tax, control and govern all non-tribal businesses ("traders") on Indian reservations.


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Left unchallenged, this antiquated "Traders" language will affect farmers, cattlemen, small and large businesses, perhaps even landlords - on Indian reservations...anyone "trading!" The multi-millions dollars of tax revenue lost to states, will surely create increases property and other state taxes while removing state authority over its non-tribal businesses on reservations.  Note that the language proposed includes "purchasers" on Indian reservations as well.

How is it possible to have America First, with 567 "First" Nations as adversaries to the very country that subsidizes and sustains them?

This is ugly and requires a nation-wide voice of opposition. Silence will most certainly drive off the very people who helped Indian reservations prosper and thrive. Rather than appreciation for centuries of hard work and progress that non-Indians have provided to their reservation neighbors, - this "Traders" beastly concept, will ultimately bite the very hands that have fed them for centuries, and have promoted economic prosperity for tribes and their members.

ADDENDUM:  In a cursory reading of 25 USC 140 - Licensed Indian Traders (attached) I've learned that this legislation derives from historic legislation dating back to August 15, 1876 (25 USC 261). Basically, every form of trade is subject to the sole power of the Commissioner on Indian Affairs; all "traders" must go through the BIA, and the BIA has the power to close unlicensed businesses. See:

Licensed Indian Traders 25 USC 140


§ 140.1 Sole power to appoint. The Commissioner of Indian Affairs shall have the sole power and authority to appoint traders to the Indian tribes.  (NOTE: This “sole power” of the Commissioner of Indians Affairs derives from 25 U.S.C. 261, passed by Congress on August 15, 1876!!)

 25 USC 140.5) Definitions.

“6) Trading means buying, selling, bartering, renting, leasing, permitting and any other transaction involving the acquisition of property or services. (NOTE: This covers just about every form of commerce interaction on Indian reservations or within "Indian country."

§ 140.13 Power to close unlicensed stores. (Authority of BIA Commissioner).

This historical legislation was in place 140 years ago before Congress opened up reservations with the Dawes Act (1887) and Homestead Acts (1904, et al), long before many states were formed, or towns, counties established subsequent to the Opened reservations.  It was also nearly 60 years before the Indian Reorganization Act (IRA) that limits tribal government constitution's authority to only their enrolled members and trust properties. 

In my view, this entire Act is obsolete and should be repealed, so it's quite interesting that Brian Cladoosby, Swinomish Tribal Chairman, and Chair of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) want to breathe new, expansive life into it that removes all state, county, local taxing authority for revenues, from Indian reservations. It is no coincidence that the first "Consultation Meeting" for this wicked plan will be on the Swinomish Reservation, where the NCAI Chair is also Chair of that tribe.

I've been writing recently about the intentional "unsettling" of the West (via water confiscations, federal agency (EPA, USFW, BLM, etc.) delegation of powers to tribes over non-members and non-member properties, aboriginal and time immemorial baloney etc.).  Resurrecting "Traders with Indians" would literally drive off commerce on Indian reservations, devastate county and municipal operating budgets, and take multi-billions of tax revenues relied upon by the host states of these open reservations.

Perhaps I sound like Chicken Little here, but I believe an early and head-on public education process about this national tribal goal, would nip it in the bud, before it grows unmanageable legs...  The annual operating budgets of almost every tribe in the country is significantly larger than the annual operating budgets of host counties and municipalities, so this qualifies as absolute greed unchecked. 


Bureau of Indian Affairs opens consultation on big economic proposal
Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The Bureau of Indian Affairs isn't letting the change in administration slow down plans to address a big taxation issue for tribes. A notice that will be published in the Federal Register on Wednesday announces a series of consultations on the Indian Trader Regulations. Tribes will be able to use the sessions to address what they consider to be unfair systems of taxation. Businesses that set up shop in Indian Country are often forced to pay taxes to states and local governments. That deprives tribes of revenues that could be used to improve services and infrastructure in their communities. It also creates uncertainty for outside entities that might otherwise want to bring jobs and development to reservations.

"Dual taxation of traders and activities conducted by traders and purchasers can impede a tribe's ability to attract investment to Indian lands where such investment and participation are critical to the vitality of tribal economies," the BIA said last month when it announced plans to update the rule. "Tribal communities continue to struggle with unmet needs, such as in their schools and housing, as well as economic development, to name a few. Moreover, beyond the operation of their governments, tribes continually pursue funding for infrastructure, roads, dams, irrigation systems and water delivery."

The revenues bypassing Indian Country can be staggering. In Washington, the Tulalip Tribes are losing out on about $40 million a year under a taxation system that's being challenged in federal court with the help of the Department of Justice. In North Dakota, the numbers are even more outrageous. In the last three years, Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation has been deprived of more than $1 billion due to the way the state imposes taxes on energy development on the reservation. "We wish the numbers were only $40 million," Chairman Mark Fox said at a tribal conferencewhere dual taxation  was discussed. "A billion dollars. Not $40 million. A billion dollars." The tribe has since threatened to walk away from the agreement. The Indian Trader Regulations were first issued in 1957, at a time when opportunities on reservations were few. The BIA attempted a not well-received update in the early 1980s but tribes have since made great strides in improving their economies through housing, retail, gaming and other developments. With President Donald Trump now in office, the forthcoming update gives his administration a huge opportunity to help tribes make even greater advancements.

*Elaine Willman is author of Going To Pieces...the dismantling of the United States of America, and Slumbering Thumder...a primer for confronting the spread of federal Indian policy and tribalism overwhelming America.
Phone: 509-949-8055



Slumbering Thunder…a primer for confronting the spread of federal Indian policy and tribalism overwhelming America.  (March 2016)


Slumbering Thunder is a lay-persons reference manual for understanding the basics of federal Indian policy, including tools for challenging federal and tribal government over-reaching. The book is especially helpful to local community leaders, elected officials, private property owners and citizens. Slumbering Thunder is a compendium of author Willman’s direct work with local community groups, local governments, and includes informative commentaries on a range of subjects.  Slumbering Thunder includes an extensive Index for easy reference assistance. Slumbering Thunder includes recent federal policy allowing tribal governments to long-term lease their private Indian trust lands to Middle Eastern countries without prior approval or federal oversight. ($25)






GOING TO PIECES…the dismantling of the United States of America.

(May, 2015)

This is the true story of two women who took an adventurous road trip across seventeen Indian reservations from Washington State to New York State. Author Willman and videographer Kamie Biehl interviewed and listened to tribal members, farmers, cattlemen, teachers, bankers, and sheriffs…all folks residing within the reservations. The purpose of the book was to obtain first-person accounts of life on Indian reservations, never reported in mainstream media. The remarkable thing about Going to Pieces is that it has consistently sold well, and is now selling even the more so in 2016 because concerns expressed by folks on Indian reservations 11 years ago, are right in the face of tribal and non-tribal citizens now. Going to Pieces is a great way to enjoy a fascinating read while learning the fundamentals of federal Indian policy. This 2nd Edition Reprint includes an extensive Index. ($25)