Last updated 2:16AM ET
December 13, 2017
KSUT Regional
KSUT Regional
Cortez Group to Address Native Attacks
(2007-01-09)
(ksut) - HOST LEAD: Attacks on three Native Americans in Cortez, the weekend after Thanksgiving are causing concern, and prompting one group to action.
KSUT's Victor Locke reports.

NESKAHI: WELL, JUST THE WEEKEND AFTER THANKSGIVING THERE WERE THREE SEPARATE ATTACKS ON NATIVE PEOPLE IN THE CORTEZ AREA.
Art Neskahi is President of Southwest Intertribal Voice.
The organization was formed two years ago in Cortez, to address issues facing native americans living off the reservations.
Violence against native peoples has been at the top of the groups list of concerns, in particular violence against intoxicated and homeless native american men.
Neskahi says the problem is not new, but the post Thanksgiving attacks took a new and disturbing twist.
NESKAHI: ONE OF THE ATTACKS INVOLVED AN ATTACK ON A NATIVE AMERICAN WOMAN. ONE OF THE PEOPLE WAS BEAT VICIOUSLY AND SENT TO THE HOSPITAL. IT'S JUST AN ONGOING THING.
Neskahi says police apparently have few leads.
NESKAHI: THEY SAID THE VICTIMS WERE JUST TOO INEBRIATED TO DESCRIBE ANY OF THE ATTACKERS OR ANY OF THE VEHICLES. THE ONLY THING THEY GOT WAS A RED PICKUP TRUCK AND TWO OR THREE WHITE MALES WHO ATTACKED THEM.
Calling such violence "despicable," Neskahi and Southwest Intertribal Voice are planning a regional Summit later this Spring to address the violence against Native Americans.
A planning session for the summit is scheduled tomorrow evening at the Cortez Cultural Center.
Neskahi says they've contacted representatives of the Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs and the Colorado Office of Civil Rights who plan to participate.
And they hope citizens of Cortez will also get involved in planning the summit.
NESKAHI: THESE INCIDENTS HAVE BEEN GOING ON FOR AT LEAST FORTY YEARS THAT I KNOW THAT MY FAMILY HAS MOVED INTO THIS AREA AND THERE MUST BE SOME ADULTS AND PEOPLE WHO PARTICIPATED AND DID THESE THINGS WHO ARE NOW ADULTS, AND HOPEFULLY THERE MAY BE A FEW WHO HAVE CHANGED THEIR ATTITUDES OR MAYBE FELT SOME REMORSE ABOUT WHAT THEY HAVE DONE IN THE PAST, WHO WOULD COME FORWARD AND TALK ABOUT IT AND SHARE, YOU KNOW, WHAT THEY DID AND WHAT THEIR IDEAS ARE ON HOW TO ADDRESS THE ISSUE.
Neskahi says the issue of violence needs to be addressed before someone is killed.
NESKAHI: THERE NEEDS TO BE MORE EFFORT PUT INTO STOPPING THIS BY THE POLICE AND THE WHOLE COMMUNITY.
Again, the planning session for the Southwest Intertribal Voice Regional Summit on violence against Native Americans will be tomorrow, Wednesday evening, starting at 6pm at the Cortez Cultural Center. Anyone can attend.
From KSUT, Four Corners Public Radio, I'm Victor Locke.
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