Category Archives: News

UPDATE: Eagle Feather Case – After 10 Years, Robert Soto Announces “WE WON!”

(NOTE: The below message is written by Robert Soto. You will find his contact information at the end. PLEASE read and celebrate with us!)

June 14, 2016

A DAY TO REMEMBER

II Samuel 22:17-18 “He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of the deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me.”

As you have already figured out, back on March 11, 2006 the Department of Interior sent uncover agents to investigate a complaint from a Native who not only worked for the Department of Interior but was from one of our federally acknowledged tribes. We had accepted him into our circle and one of our dancers who happened to teach at the university he attended had decided to tutor him as he was struggling academically and needed to pass her course to get his degree. From the very beginning I did not trust him; after all, he was a federal agent and by experience the federal government had planted feds in the midst of Natives to see if they were violating any federal laws. Well, on October 2005 he filed a compliant against us but the paperwork was not filed on time for our fall pow wow so the Department of Interior waited for our spring pow wow to come in for the kill. What was the problem? The complaint was filed that non-Indians, or Indians not belonging to a tribe acknowledged by the federal government, were illegally using eagle feathers as part of their pow wow celebrations. At that time my first lawyer told me I was facing the possibility of fifteen years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine. My first lawyer which volunteered his time and talents got me out of that mess and for that I was eternally thankful. He was a youth pastor and a Christian and told me he could not see a fellow pastor go to prison for this.

After I was cleared of all charges and my first lawyer proved that I was a legitimate American Indian, I felt I could not just sit around my house praising God that I was not going to prison. I felt God wanted me to do more – but what? No one had ever won against the government on this issue. People came to me and told me to let it go and just be thankful, but as thankful as I was for God’s favor on me, I still felt I had to do more. But I also knew that if I was going to win, it would have to be all God and none of me. Well, long story short, two more lawyers came in that had never defended an eagle feather case. I knew if we were going to win, they were going to have to do their research and God was going to have to give them the wisdom to win. We lost in the lower courts after seven years and eight months of fighting. Most cases of this type are won by our people in the lower courts but lost in the court of appeals. Once again I was told to stop and move on but I still felt in my heart I had to fight. So we went to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and in August 2014 I got the news that we had won. A greater miracle was that on March 10, 2015 I got the fifty feathers back that they had taken. I did not want them because of all the restrictions but my lawyer suggested that I should take them and keep on fighting for things to change. Well, for the last year and a half we have been negotiating with the Department of Interior and today I want you to be the first to know, “WE FINALLY WON!” The lawsuit is over and God the Creator has given us more than we ever imagined; not money, but just the right to say we have made things a little better for our Native Community. But the fight was not ours, the fight was the LORD’s. We could never have accomplished and won the fight without His help. It is like Samuel wrote, “He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of the deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me.” Today I am singing, “PRAISE BE TO GOD FOR TO HIM BELONGS THE GLORY AND VICTORY!” It is truly a day to remember.

For now I want to thank the thousands who have been praying for us in the last ten and a half years.

Robert Soto Lipan Apache and Pastor of:

McAllen Grace Brethren Church
Native American New Life Center
Chief of Chiefs Christian Church
My Rock Native Fellowship

Vice Chairman of the Lipan Apache Tribe of Texas

Contact Robert at: ROBTSOTO@aol.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/robert.soto.18
website: http://www.son-tree.org/

Special Announcement: TONIGHT on John Stossel ~ Eagle Feather Case

Special Announcement:
TONIGHT on FOX Business Network on JOHN STOSSEL

Interview with Pastor Robert Soto (Lipan Apache) regarding the Eagle Feather Case.

Friday, April 17th at 9:00 PM EST
Again on Saturday, April 18th at 5:00 PM and 10:00 PM Eastern Time

This case began March 11, 2006 and finally came to a close on March 10, 2015 when the Department of the Interior returned the original 50 feathers.

Watch. Like. Share. Post. Trend.

Thank you for the many prayers and years of support.

#Stossel
#RobertSoto
#EagleFeatherCase

Emma’s 2015 Missions Trip – Zion National Park, Utah

Emma during a photo shoot in Montana.  Photo by Josh Covill
Emma during a photo shoot in Montana. Photo by Josh Covill

Our daughter, Emma, will be celebrating her 20th birthday in Utah this year.  When she was born, we named her after her great-great-grandmother.   The name means “the one who heals”.     Preparing this post, as I look over her photographs and paintings, as well as the photos of her playing the trumpet, climbing, snowboarding, hiking, running, sight-seeing, and enjoying life, I can’t help but beam with joy.   I know that she brings life to others through all that she does.

Emma with the children in Belize last year.
Emma with the children in Belize last year. Photo by Lori Peppenger Bryant.

Friday she travels to Colorado for a weekend training with A Christian Ministry in the National Parks (ACMNP).    There she will meet several young people from all over the country with the same desire … to minister through interdenominational church services at the National Parks.    She’ll get instruction and hear the testimonies of others who have served in years past.

Then in May she will travel to Zion National Park where she will work and minister for three months.   She will work at the park, earning what she needs for living expenses, and she will also be part of a team that will organize the weekly church services.   Click this link for an outline of the ACMNP ministries in Zion.

Today I am writing to share with you a fundraising page Emma set up specifically for her travel expenses to Colorado for training and to Zion for her missions tour.    Please follow the link where you will find a letter from Emma and instructions for leaving encouraging messages and making donations.  Emma’s Summer Ministry in Zion.  (GoFundMe)

As someone who has participated in missions trips in Peru and Israel, as well as around the US and Canada, there are no words for how excited I am for her.   I know that she will be a blessing to others and she will gain from it as well.   We also ask for your prayers, knowing that prayer is vitally important.

Following are some photos of Emma.  The first is Emma receiving a surprise birthday cake while in Belize.  The next is playing with the fish while in Belize.  The last is Emma ministering through art in Belize.   As we look at the photos from her last trip, we have great expectations for her upcoming trip to Zion.

Happy Birthday Emma!
Happy Birthday Emma! Photo by Caitlin Porter.
Emma bonding with the fish in Belize.
Emma bonding with the fish in Belize. Photo is a screen shot from Emma’s go-pro.
Emma ministering through art in Belize.
Emma ministering through art in Belize. Photo by Hallie Medlock.

Thank you for taking the time to read through the post.  Please keep Emma and all the other program participants in your prayers.

Nvwadohiyada

Jeny Running Brook Covill
FirstNationsMonday.Com

Missing In America Project Inters Remains of 9 Veterans Left Unclaimed in a Funeral Home in Bozeman, Montana

Missing in America Project
Veteran Recovery Program

You served your country through a war, or through peacetime. You expected to receive a military burial, recognition by our government of your commitment to our great country. You expected to have honor and respect paid to you as a result of your service to our great country. Instead, you reside on a shelf in a mortuary or a storage facility at a crematorium.

This is happening here in Montana as well. Recently volunteers have located and identified the cremains of nine veterans that have been left unclaimed in a funeral home here in Montana. On July 26th, 2014 at 11:00 am, The Missing in America Project (MIAP), American Legion, Montana Veterans Administration and other state and federal organizations will be interring these American heroes with full Military honors at The Yellowstone National Cemetery in Laurel, Montana.

On the morning of July 25th, 2014, a motorcycle procession from Billings will ride to the Dokken-Nelson Funeral Home in Bozeman, MT where they will meet up with riders from all across the state of Montana and surrounding states to pick up and escort the remains of nine veterans to Billings. Then on the morning of Saturday July 26th, the riders will again assemble to form a funeral procession from Billings to the Yellowstone National Cemetery.  There, an internment ceremony will take place giving these American heroes
the proper honor and respect that they deserve.

The mission of the MIAP is to locate, identify and inter the unclaimed cremains of veterans through the joint efforts of private, state and federal organizations. These forgotten veterans have served our country and, as such, deserve to be buried with honor and respect. The impetus for our fine program began in November 2006. The Idaho State Veterans cemetery interred 21 cremains of forgotten veterans, with full military honors and the dignity these fallen heroes so richly deserved. Recently, a state hospital announced that 3500 cremains were on shelves to be identified. On the shelf were cremains for the time span of the 1890s to 1971. It is estimated 1,000 of these cremains are veterans. This is happening in every state.

Here is a list of the veterans that will be laid to rest July 26th.

1. CPL Davies P. Anderson – Army – WWII (Unclaimed 5 years)
2. SN Gerald E. Campbell – Navy – Korean (Unclaimed 8 years)
3. SP4 Robert F. Derencin – Army – None (Unclaimed 13 years)
4. SP5 Larry D. Klein – Army – Vietnam (Unclaimed 6 years)
5. Pvt. Robert L. Lewis – Army Air Corps – WWII (Unclaimed 14 years)
6. PVT Lloyd H. Miller – Army – Korean (Unclaimed 9 years)
7. 1st LT Kenneth E. Monroe – Army – WWII (Unclaimed 14 years)
8. SA Daniel Smallegan – Navy – Vietnam (Unclaimed 12 years)
9. A1C Robert L. Walls – Air Force – Korean (Unclaimed 11 years )

Join us for a funeral escort from Bozeman to Billings and the Yellowstone National Cemetery in Laurel, Montana.

On the morning of July 25th, 2014, a motorcycle procession from Billings will ride to the Dokken-Nelson Funeral Home in Bozeman, MT where they will meet up with riders from all across the state of Montana and surrounding states to pick up and escort the remains of nine veterans to Billings. Then on the morning of Saturday July 26th, the riders will again assemble to form a funeral procession from Billings to the Yellowstone National Cemetery.  There, an internment ceremony will take place giving these American heroes the proper honor and respect that they deserve.

DATE: 07/25-26/2014    TIME: 8:00 AM
LOCATION: BEARTOOTH HARLEY DAVIDSON PARKING LOT
CONTACT: MARTY MALONE, MONTANA STATE COORDINATOR, AT 406-281-2017 FOR MORE INFORMATION.

For General Questions or PDF / DOC files for distribution:

Contact: Marty Malone – MIAP Montana State Coordinator
Phone: (406) 281-2017
Email: marty.malone@miap.us

Contact: Rikki Perkins – MIAP State Chaplain
Phone: (406) 212-3410
rikkirperkins@gmail.com

Missing In America Project, Veteran's Recovery Program.
Missing In America Project, Veteran’s Recovery Program.

ABOUT MISSING IN AMERICA PROGRAM

Missing in America Project
Veteran Recovery Program

Mission Statement:

The mission of the MIAP project is to locate, identify and inter the unclaimed cremated remains of veterans through the joint efforts of private, state and federal organizations; to provide honor and respect to those who have served this country, by securing a final resting place for these forgotten heroes.

If these forgotten veterans have no family to invite us, do we leave them sitting in a storage closet, or do we show our sincere respect for our fallen heroes and work to ensure a dignified resting place to honor the veteran, their family and their community?

History:

During an inventory of a crematorium, two cremation urns were discovered in a closet storage facility.

The urns contained the unclaimed remains of Sgt. Trueman, a veteran of the Vietnam conflict and his wife (also a veteran). The year of death for Sgt. Trueman was 1979. For 27 years the resting place for Sgt. and Mrs. Trueman was a storage facility in a crematorium. Other funeral homes and crematoriums were inventoried. Other unclaimed remains of veterans were discovered. In November 2006, the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery interred 21 cremated remains of forgotten veterans, with full military honors and the dignity these fallen heroes so richly deserve. This incident inspired MIAP.

Scope:

The MIAP project is two-fold. The initial focus of the MIAP project encompasses a massive, nation-wide effort to locate, identify and inter the unclaimed remains of forgotten veterans. This task will be executed through the combined, cooperative efforts of citizens, volunteer service and veteran organizations, funeral homes, state funeral commissions, State and National Veterans Administration agencies, and the State and National Veterans Cemetery Administrations. Local, state and national laws must be followed in the identification, claiming process and proper interment of our forgotten veterans.

This will be a lengthy project and will require many man-hours to ensure that we have done our utmost to discover every forgotten veteran and procure, for each, a dignified resting place. This will also be a labor of love, a task of redemption, for a debt of service that can never be repaid.

MIAP will be a long-term project but not time sensitive.

Organization:

Since the success of the MIAP project lies with the cooperative efforts of many organizations and agencies, we will employ a standardized organizational structure. It is our hope that we will meld personnel from a variety of organizations, provide logistical and administrative support and avoid duplication of efforts by our volunteers.

MIAP is an all-volunteer project. The only requirement to join us is a desire to help our veterans attain the military honor and respect due them by virtue of their service to our great country.

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For a video produced by the MIAP Montana State Chaplain, visit this YouTube link:
Missing In America Project MT Chapter Slide Show.