-- Land claim disputes in far-off New York have prompted a French
fellow to invite Native Americans to dinner this month -- sort of.
Ledeau (Rocky Boy Chippewa-Cree), who's teaching a course called
"Contributions of Native Americans" at Salish Kootenai
College, became acquainted with the French chemist a few years ago
after he asked her to explain a land claim controversy that had
led to an armed stand-off between Iroquois, Mohawk and Onondaga
tribal members and New York state police officers.
that he was living and working on stolen lands, the scientist asked
her to think up a way to help tribal people without offending them.
The result is the "Pilgrim Payback" -- a giveaway that
takes place wherever Ledeau finds herself when the chemist's $5,000
arrives in her hand, she said last week.
year's beneficiary was Missoula's Indian population. This year,
it will be Indians living on the Flathead Reservation.
giveaway will come in the form of gift certificates redeemable for
a list of food items that includes just about everything needed
for a holiday dinner: a turkey, canned vegetables, whipped dessert
topping, rolls, potatoes, fruit, marshmallows and a stuffing mix.
committee comprised of SKC employees Lois Slater, Kim Barber and
Anita Big Spring is collecting names for the giveaway, which will
be done through a drawing at a community dinner set for 5:30 to
8 p.m. on Nov. 20 in the Salish Indian Senior Citizen Center in
Ronan. The only requirement for participating: You're an Indian
living on the Flathead Reservation. There's no need to show proof
of tribal affiliation, either. "We're going on the honor system,"
donations are welcome, too, so the program can reach as many families
as possible. Send them to the SKC Pilgrim Payback Fund, Box 117,
Pablo, MT 59855.