More celebs help tribes’ push for sacred SD land …Get INVOLVED!


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — More celebrities are backing an online campaign to raise money so that Native American tribes in South Dakota can purchase land they consider sacred.

FILE - This 2007 file photo provided by South Dakota Magazine shows Reynolds Prairie in the Black Hills of South Dakota. An online campaign to raise money so Native American tribes in South Dakota can purchase land they consider sacred has gained steam with a growing list of celebrities backing the effort. P Diddy and Bette Midler have tweeted their support for the effort to purchase nearly 2,000 acres in the Black Hills of South Dakota. They join actor Ezra Miller and hip-hop producer Sol Guy, who appeared in a recent video online with drawing attention to the effort. (AP Photo/courtesy South Dakota Magazine, Bernie Hunhoff, File)

P Diddy and Bette Midler are the latest big names to throw their support behind a fundraising effort to buy nearly 2,000 acres of pristine prairie grass in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

Three days after the campaign began, P Diddy tweeted: “Help save the Sioux Nation! Click here,” and linked to the website. Midler also lent her voice, tweeting: “Incredible story re the Sioux Sacred Grounds. Donate what you can.”

More than $18,000 had been raised as of Sunday afternoon — $6,000 flowed in immediately after P Diddy’s tweet. The campaign will last through Nov. 30, when the tribes of the Great Sioux Nation must have $9 million in order to purchase the land.

The tribes have raised $7 million so far for the 1,942 acres, which they call Pe’ Sla (pay shlaw), or “old baldy.” There are Sioux tribes in the Dakotas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska and Canada.

The property is important to their creation story, and tribal members have long held ceremonies there. When the land was put up for sale, tribal members worried it would be developed because of its proximity to Mount Rushmore.

Landowners Leonard and Margaret Reynolds canceled a public auction of the property earlier this year after tribal members expressed outrage. The Reynolds then accepted the tribes’ bid to purchase the land for $9 million if they have the money by Nov. 30.

The couple has repeatedly said they will not speak publicly about the land sale.

P Diddy and Midler join actor Ezra Miller and hip-hop producer Sol Guy showing their support for the cause.

Miller, who appears in the recently released movie “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” and Sol Guy flew to South Dakota last month to film a nine-minute documentary-style video about the land that is being used as part of the online campaign.

Miller said the three days he spent in South Dakota learning about the land and the Lakota tribes was life-altering.

“From the moment I arrived to the moment I departed, I was struck repeatedly by an unshakable sensation that this land truly carried something unspeakably important,” Miller said in an email interview with The Associated Press. “There is a motion and a beauty out there in those hills that words cannot do justice.”

He said the fact that the Lakota tribes have done Sundance ceremonies on the land for thousands of years is a “magical reality,” and that America has erased too much of the land’s true history.

Sol Guy, whose TV show “4Real” airing on MTV Canada and the National Geographic Channel has taken celebrities such as Cameron Diaz to Peru and Joaquin Phoenix to the Amazon, said he has been busy sharing the information with his various networks to get the word out and is confident the tribes will be successful in raising all the money.

“My first hope is not to demand people to give money,” Sol Guy said. “If they can afford it, great. But I think what’s more important is that people take it in and learn the history and spread the word and have the conversations about it.”

Chase Iron Eyes, a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe who started the online campaign and appeared in the video, said he wants the celebrity endorsements to help raise money, but more than anything, he hopes it will widen the network of people who are thinking about the land and what it means for the tribes.


Support President Obama

Barack Obama's 2009 presidential inauguration ...
Barack Obama’s 2009 presidential inauguration in Washington, DC. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Midwest Bus Trip to President Obama Swearing In Ceremony


Thursday, January 17, 2013 at 9:00 AM – Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at 3:00 PM (CST)


Ticket Information

Ticket Type Remaining Sales End Price Fee Quantity
Quad Occupancy (Early Bird – Prior to Nov, 23, 2012) more info 

$750/person/quad occupancy 5days/4nights hotel accomodations at the Hilton with Roundtrip coach bus transportation. Due to the popularity of this event, majority of the accomodations require 4 people to a room. Double Occupancy option has limited availablity and is on a first come first serve basis.
1 ticket Nov 23, 2012 $750.00 $9.95 0
Double Occupancy (Early Bird – Prior to Nov, 23, 2012) more info 

$1500/person/double occupancy 5days/4nights hotel accomodations at the Hilton with Roundtrip coach bus transportation. Limited availability-First paid in full basis.
1 ticket Nov 23, 2012 $1,500.00 $9.95 01

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Event Details

President Barack Obama

Swearing In Ceremony

Thank you for your interest in traveling with us to the 2013 Inaugural Swearing-In at the U.S. Capitol.

We welcome you to join us and witness history at President Barack Obama’s 2nd Inauguration Ceremony This is the last opportunity to be a part of history. We will depart on Jan 17, 2013 and return on Jan 22, 2013. We encourage you to reflect and celebrate both the King Holiday and the Presidential Inauguration Ceremony while in Washington, DC.

Buses will leave from Lansing, IL

Chicago (TBD).

You and your party will enjoy comfortable and luxury accommodations at the Hilton Hotel Washington


  • o Includes round trip coach bus from Chicago to DC with comfortable seating. This is the largest bus in our fleet and it features Wi-Fi, entertainment systems, large lavatory, and multiplevideo monitors with Satellite and DVD players for your movie enjoyment.


  • o Enjoy your historic and relaxing experience at the Hilton a 4 star hotel (ratings from actual customer reviews on trip advisor)

Tentative Itinerary:
(We are still working on securing other activities)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Pack a lunch
9:30 AM Bus Check in
10:00 AM – Load Bus

11:00 AM – Depart Chicago for Washington, D.C.
11:00 PM – Hilton – Washington

Friday, January 18, 2013
7:00 AM – Depart for Washington, D.C.
11:00AM – Optional Tours ^^See below tour options

6:30 PM – Return to Hotel

Saturday, January 19, 2013
8:00 AM – Depart for Washington, D.C.
Optional Tours **See below tour options
6:30 PM – Return to Hotel
Goodnight – Relax Sunday – Monday will require harmony, joy, and patience. It will be challenging.

Sunday, January 20, 2013
Please indicate your Meal Time preference** (max 50 people per time slot)

1:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m., 7:00 p.m. (one time slot per person)

Commuting to DC via Metro on Monday may be the best option.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Pack and reload bus for prompt departure after Swearing in Ceremony ends
4:00 AM – Depart for Washington, DC
12:00 Noon – Presidential Swearing In Ceremony

**Some Tour Options:

There are many other great places to visit in the city, too!

Public tours of the Library of Congress are offered without reservations and are meant for individuals and families. The Jefferson building of the Library of Congress is one of the most beautiful buildings in Washington – I highly recommend a visit. You can inquire at the Jefferson Building, Ground Floor Information Desk for availability.

They are offered Monday through Saturday:

  • 10:30 a.m.
  • 11:30 a.m.
  • 1:30 p.m.
  • 2:30 p.m.
  • 3:30 p.m. (except Saturdays)

The Supreme Court offers a varying schedule depending on the actual courtroom schedule of the Supreme Court. There is not a guided walking tour of the Court, but they offer Courtroom Lectures and the first two floors are always open to the public. The lectures are very informative and building is gorgeous, so if you have the time, I would recommend a stop. When the court is not hearing oral arguments, lectures are generally every hour on the half hour beginning at 9:30 am with the last lecture at 3:30 pm. If the Court is in session, the lectures only begin after they finish oral arguments.

You can get more information and check the constantly changing schedule here.

The Kennedy Center has guided tours beginning approximately every ten minutes from 10 AM until 5 PM daily. If you are interested in taking a tour, just visit the Tour Desk on the A level of the center. For directions to the Kennedy Center, you can visit

The Holocaust Museum is a really interesting museum to visit. Please see the museum’s website for more information on visiting. Between March and August, timed passes are needed to enter the museum. Passes are distributed on a first come first served basis when the museum opens at 10 am. Since you are coming during a busy time of the year, I would suggest trying to get to the museum as early as possible.

The Bureau of Engraving and Printing offers walk-up tours on a first-come first-served basis. You may find more information here. As the website notes, timed passes are given out each morning, and you must line up early to ensure that you receive a pass.

Tours of the National Archives are offered daily and do not require advance reservations or timed passes. If you wish to avoid waiting in line outside, you can purchase advance reservations for $1.50 per person here. During popular times of year (Spring Break, summer vacations, etc), the wait to get into the building can take up to one hour or more, so the passes are an easy way to skip the line.

These are only a few of the many places you can go! I’d definitely recommend checking out some of the Smithsonian Museums. They are free to visit and have some really cool things to see!

By listing this item I verify that I am the actual travel coordinator or travel provider and not a third party affiliate. The travel/accommodations in this event will be booked directly through me and not an outside agency.

Please note: We reserve the right to cancel this trip due to low participation, all funds will be refunded in the event ForwardtoDC cancels the trip.


Early Bird Special Nov 12-23, 2012

*$750/person/quad occupancy

*$1500/person/double occupancy
*A non-refundable deposit of 50% (of the total) will hold your seat and hotel room (due immediately). First Payment is due by November 23, 2012

Installment payments:

*1st payment amount of 1/3 of the remaining balance is due on Dec, 1. 2012.

*2nd payment amount of 2/3 of the remaining balance is due on Dec 8, 2012

*3rd and final payment paid in full is due on Dec 15, 2012

Late registration: – After Nov 27, 2012

^$900/person/quad occupancy

^1800/person/double occupancy

^A non-refundable deposit of 50% (of the total) will hold your seat and hotel room (due immediately). First Payment is due by Nov 30, 2012,

Installment payments:

*1st payment amount of 1/2 of the remaining balance is due on Dec, 8. 2012.

*2nd and final payment paid in full is due on Dec 15, 2012
Refund: No refunds will be issued after Dec 8, 2012

**Tour of the White House(optional)

Send all White House tour inquiries to

White House Security instructions (Please do not submit any confidential information during your initial purchase)

All visitors requesting a visit to the White House must submit the following information to Secret Service:

Last Name

First Name


This should be your middle initial. It can also be your full middle name. This field cannot be left blank – if you have no middle name, please enter NMN (for No Middle Name).


Date of birth must be entered in the following format: MM/DD/YYYY


Your Social Security number should be entered with no dashes and must be 9 digits. (e.g. 012345678)


Y/N – If you are a US citizen, put Y – if not, put N.


This is the country where you were born. Please use the 2 letter Country Code from the list found below.


M/F – This should match what is on your government issued ID

City and State:

This is the individual’s primary residence. The city and state of residence for foreign visitors should match the location where they are currently residing in the United States during their stay.

**Please note that the spreadsheet should contain no punctuation and no spaces except for slashes in the date field**

Identification Requirements Reminder

All guests 18 years of age or older will be required to present government issued photo identification at the gate. Acceptable forms of ID include:

Valid Government issued United States drivers license

Valid Government issued United States identification card

Valid United States or other official government issued passport

Valid United States State Department Diplomatic ID

Valid PIV card

All foreign nationals must present their passport. All other forms of foreign identification will not be accepted.

Inaugural Ceremony
Please understands that purchasing a seat on the bus does not imply you will receive a ticket to the Inaugural Swearing-In at the U.S. Capitol. Please contact your congressman to find out if you can obtain tickets to the inauguration. Each Congressional office receives a limited number of tickets for the ceremony as determined by the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies.

Please note that we cannot provide tickets to private inauguration events such as the balls, etc.

For additional information on private events, follow the links below.

Inaugural Parade
The inaugural parade is open to the public. For more information, please visit

Inaugural Balls
The Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) plans the official Presidential Inaugural Balls. These events require tickets that will be available only through the PIC. Please visit for more information.

 Midwest Bus Trip to President Obama Swearing In Ceremony

Sonny Skyhawk Advises XFINITY, Helps Explain Native Heritage Month

by |

Sonny Skyhawk.

It’s lunchtime, and Sonny Skyhawk is at a table in a restaurant near his Pasadena home, holding court in a corner table in the back. The topic of discussion is an unfortunately familiar one for the soft-spoken but quietly determined and passionate man – the depiction of Native Americans in media, especially Hollywood.

Skyhawk has been frequenting this restaurant for nearly 40 years, since he was a young actor studying at the nearby Pasadena Playhouse and working as an extra on TV shows and movies (Bonanza, A Man Called Horse). His memories of those days are mixed. “I loved acting – and still do,” he says. “But I became very adept at dying, because that’s what I did in the majority of the shows and films. It was a farce.”

View the Native American History Collection Here on

Off-screen, it was often worse. “When it came to lunch, they would say, ‘okay, all you Indians get over here and stay over here and you’ll eat after everybody else eats,’” he recalls. “So consequently cowboys and the Calvary would eat first and step all over the food so to speak, and then the Indians would be behind them and eat whatever was left over.

“I never thought that was right because we worked just as hard, if not harder by running around and getting shot at,” he continues. “And when I questioned it, they said, ‘well that’s the way it’s always been.’ And I said, ‘well it’s wrong, and hopefully one of these days I’ll be able to say something about it and change it.’”

In 1981, Skyhawk founded American Indians in Film & Television to “educate, promote, and defend, the image and portrayal of the American Indian” in Hollywood. Unfortunately he is not able to rattle off examples of progress. Instead, he reveals that his morning on this day just before Americans elected the first African-American president to a second term and several states voted to allow gay marriage was spent dispensing statements to media outlets about the misrepresentation of Indians in a new music video from Gwen Stefani’s band, No Doubt.

“They offered an apology and pulled the video,” he says. “That was refreshing. I’m hoping once again that people learn from it.”

Watch “Dances with Wolves” here

There couldn’t be a better time. November is Native American Heritage Month, and Comcast is recognizing the occasion with a collection of award-winning movies, biographies and TV specials that celebrate the very first Americans. The collection will be available to all XFINITY TV customers on XFINITY On Demand and will include select programming also available on, XFINITY TV on Xbox 360 and the XFINITY TV Player app, throughout November.

“Xfinity TV is proud to celebrate the rich culture and history of the Native American community, and we encourage customers to take part in the celebration by watching all month long,” said Ruben Mendiola, Vice President and General Manager of Multicultural Video Services, Comcast Cable. “We look forward to bringing customers even more Native American movies, specials and educational programming designed to entertain, inform and inspire in the months to come.”

Skyhawk, who advised XFNITY TV on its collection, is accustomed to educating others. “To me, being Native American means being in a constant state of explanation,” he says. “I do a lot of explaining and answering questions. Where are you from? What tribe do you belong to? Are you a real Indian?”

As Skyhawk says, “In all the years that I have been involved in the entertainment business, it’s been something very close to being in a constant state of explanation.” Take this basic exchange: Tell me about your background. “I am an enrolled member of a federally recognized tribe,” he says. What does that mean? “To be a federally recognized tribe, you have to have existed as a government for X amount of years,” he says. “Some tribes haven’t achieved federal recognition. Some were ousted, so to speak, by the U.S. government many years ago and don’t qualify.” What is your tribe? “I am a member of the federally recognized tribe called The Rosebud Sioux Tribe in South Central South Dakota.” Where is that? “We’re on the border almost of Nebraska and South Dakota.” Is that Lakota territory? “Yes. I am what is known as a Lakota, a member of the Lakota Nation,” he says. “We are one of the last tribes to have any kind of conflicts with the United States government. So we basically are kicking and screaming through the whole thing.”

Born in Scotts Bluff, Nebraska, Skyhawk is the only child of Phillip and Josephine Roubideux, migrant workers who picked beets, potatoes and beans. “They had a little circuit where they would go from South Dakota into Nebraska and then to Colorado and back, depending on the season,” he says. His French surname stems from a trapper who worked as an interpreter for the government, but his family’s Lakota name is Red Blanket. His grandmothers and great-grandmothers were midwives on the reservation. In 7th grade, Skyhawk followed a girl he liked into the school play, Jack and the Beanstalk, and the acting bug stuck.

Watch “Windtalkers” here

“Long story short,” he says, “we went on to the 8th grade and high school and did a lot of plays in high school, and we became boyfriend and girlfriend type thing and high school. We separated right after high school. She went into the Marine Corps and I went on to try and pursue my acting and do small theater. I met her again about 15 years ago in a Sears store. We were shopping. She had gotten out of the service and had seven children. And it was so cool to see her again, after all those years.”

In the meantime, Skyhawk finished high school in San Diego, then moved to El Monte, in South East Los Angeles. He honed his acting at the Pasadena Playhouse. “I had experienced a lot of bigotry and a lot of racism in my young life,” he says. “But I found that in the theater you were judged by what role you played and the performance rather than the color of your skin.” TV and movies proved a different experience. “Indians were treated less than,” he says, adding that “a few [movies] showed the Indian side of it a little better, but you can probably count them on one hand. Most were denigrating to the Native people. There had to be a winner and a loser, a good guy and a bad guy, and the Indian was chosen.

“As a young man, I was very militant – I guess that’s the right word,” he says. “I experienced racism on the sets and films that I was associated with or Westerns that I was performing in, and I knew it wasn’t right. So I said to myself, one of these days when I get some kind of notoriety behind me, I’m going to speak out about this and try to change things.”

After changing the practice of segregated on-set meals by threatening to walk off the set, Skyhawk added full-time advocate to his resume. That was decades ago. Since then, he has worked steadfastly to open doors to Native people in all aspects of the entertainment industry, both in front of and behind the camera. More recently he has consulted and pushed in network boardrooms to get recognition of Native American Heritage Month. “I saw the networks paid homage to African-Americans and Hispanics, Asians and the Lesbian-Gay community,” he says. “But where was the acknowledgement of Native people? Again, I needed to change this. We are the first Americans, but we are the last, unfortunately, to be recognized.”

Skyhawk points to Kevin Costern’s Academy Award winning movie Dances with Wolves, available with XFINITY On Demand in the Native American Heritage collection, as a breakthrough for Native people. “It’s probably the first film in the history of filmmaking that showed Native Americans being kind to each other,” he says. “The filmmakers consulted us and paid a lot of attention to the details of our culture and customs.” He served as a consultant for Columbia pictures on Geronimo: An American Legend (“we did everything possible to acknowledge and accurately show the Apache Nation,” he says), and he cites the more recent film, Smoke Signals, also part of the XFINITY TV collection, as an example of progress behind the camera. It’s director Chris Eyre is of Cheyenne-Arapaho descent, and it was based on the novel by acclaimed Native American novelist Sherman Alexie.

Skyhawk has worked with NBC since 2000 as part of its Joint Diversity Council. Since Comcast purchased NBCUniversal in 2011, Skyhawk has worked closely with the parent corporation. “Comcast is using the same type of innovative understanding as NBC,” he says. “They get it. They understand that we’re consumers just like everybody else who watches television. We are cable subscribers. And most importantly they’re committed to entertainment that’s reflective of everybody in American, and that includes the Native people.”

Skyhawk calls attention to the American Indian Film Institute’s 37th annual festival in San Francisco as an example of a small but vibrant film community among Native people. “Good films are being made,” he says. “The challenge is getting them seen by a wider audience.”

But his goal is more representation of Native people in the mainstream. “The issue is still a lack of being present on the screen,” he says. “We have an extraordinarily high dropout rate in high schools on reservations. When I speak with young people, I’m constantly told ‘I don’t see myself as being part of mainstream America. Why should I? I don’t see myself period on TV or in the movies. So why should I strive to finish school if I’m not part of the system?’ And that is very depressing.

“It is very – it becomes very personal to me because I do have the power to be able to say something and especially here, in this medium.”

Erick Warner via

My public high school threatened to suspend 20 students for wearing pro-gay t-shirts. Tell my school to stop discriminating and allow students to create a Gay-Straight Alliance.
Sign My Petition


The students at my high school need your help. I’m a 16-year-old junior at Celina High School — a public high school in northwest Ohio. We’re trying to make our school more accepting and safe for gay students, but the administration won’t let us.

Recently, 20 students tried to fight homophobia by wearing homemade t-shirts to school that said things like “Straight but Supportive” and “I Support [Rainbow].” Our Vice Principal told students that they had to stop wearing the shirts or face suspension.

I’m straight, but I think it’s wrong that my school is discriminating against gay students and suppressing students’ rights to express our opinions.

I started a petition on demanding that my school promote a more welcoming environment, including allowing students to create a Gay-Straight Alliance. Click here to add your name.

We all know that anti-gay bullying is a serious problem. In the past few years, we have seen so many kids tragically take their own lives because they were bullied for being gay or perceived to be gay.

I think it’s crazy that at my school, it’s not the kids doing the bullying. It’s the adults who are supposed to be our leaders and role models.

Well I’m not going to take it anymore. Other kids have gotten their schools to allow Gay-Straight Alliances after they started petitions on — I know that if enough people sign my petition, my school administrators will cease their shameful behavior and create an environment that is supportive for all students, not just straight ones.

Click here to sign my petition demanding that the administrators at my public high school allow students to create a Gay-Straight Alliance.

Thank you,

Erick Warner
Celina, OH

a message from Howard Dean

As you read this email, I am in rural Thailand near the border with Burma with 20 mostly young people from all over the world who have walked over 200 miles so far to raise money for five organizations on five continents which fight human trafficking. The whole 15-day walk was organized by a 23-year-old American woman and a 23-year-old Thai woman who met while volunteering for victims of Thailand’s devastating floods in 2011.

Yesterday was my birthday, which I spent on this walk. I would love it, as a birthday present, if you could go to, learn more, and donate to help save people who have been trafficked, and to work to prevent trafficking.

Human trafficking is, short of genocide, the most evil form of humans devaluing other human beings. The traffickers make money by exploiting children and adults of both genders not only for sex, but for forced labor. Governments often turn a blind eye because of corruption, or simply because this is a hard problem to deal with and powerful people in or near governments make a lot of money if they don’t have to pay a workforce.

The most vulnerable are the likeliest victims. Adolescent girls in the US and abroad are sold into brothels after they are lied to about legitimate job opportunities. Small children are simply kidnapped in India or Africa to provide 15-hour days of labor for no compensation. Even able-bodied men in China are forced into a cycle of indentured servitude all over the world, from which they cannot escape.

A lot of progress has been made. Moldova, which was one of the most notorious centers for traffickers in Europe, has made huge strides in reducing trafficking based there. And President Obama made fighting against traffickers one of the main issues in his speech to the UN this year.

For my birthday, I ask that you support my efforts, and those of many others with a contribution to so we can bring awareness and hopefully an end to this international travesty.

This has been a long, hard political year, and for the most part, we won a lot more than we lost. But I remind you that the purpose of these political fights is to create real change. We won the election. Now we have to act to force change. Keep up the fight.

Warmly, and another year older,


Gov. Howard Dean, M.D.
Founder, Democracy for America