Anti-Indian Activist Moves to Montana to Fight Tribal Water Rights

Elaine Willman

Elaine Willman

New Report by Human Rights Groups Documents National Anti-Indian Leader’s Moves to Ronan, Montana to Fight Tribal Water Compact

Published September 17, 2015

RONAN, MONTANA —  the heels of state approval of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT) water compact and tribal acquisition of the former Kerr Dam, a leading national anti-Indian activist has moved to Ronan to continue her fight. The Montana Human Right Network (MHRN) and the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights (IREHR) have released a report detailing Elaine Willman’s anti-Indian history and expressing concern for the brand of far right activism she has brought to the State.

The entire new special report by IREHR and MHRN entitled, “The Revolutionary War for Citizens of Montana” is available online now at http://www.irehr.org/2015/09/10/the-revolutionary-war-for-citizens-of-montana/.

In July, Elaine Willman, a longtime leader of the national anti-Indian group Citizens Equal Rights Alliance (CERA), explained that she was relocating because the compact was a United Nations influenced effort to institute socialism in the state and tantamount to “The Revolutionary War for citizens of Montana.”

Willman has gained support of other far right groups in the state, including the Concerned Citizens of NW Montana, who offered to fund her move. During recent speaking tours to Montana, she has shared a stage with State legislators.

As Devin Burghart of the Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights, described, “CERA leaders spread misinformation and far right conspiracy theories that encourage bigotry against Indian people. CERA’s mean-spirited attacks on tribal rights have found a home in a broader far right movement that threatens civil rights and environmental protection.”

In a letter published by the Western Ag Reporter, Willman described the conspiracy theory behind her move and opposition to the CSKT water compact:

“I became convinced that the CSKT Compact is a template for federalizing all state waters and implementing communalism and socialism consistent with Agenda 21 and that it is intentionally aligned to spread tribalism as a governing system while eliminating State authority and duty to protect its citizenry. It is my belief that Montana is Ground Zero for test-driving this model in a highly-prized state of small population. I so seriously believe this peril is a fight worth fighting that I have walked away from an excellent employer and moved my family, household, and consulting business to Ronan, Montana.”

Willman recently resigned as Director of Community Development and Tribal Affairs for Hobart Village, Wisconsin where she helped lead the Village’s opposition to the sovereignty of the Oneida Tribe of Wisconsin. She previously served on the Toppenish, Washington City Council where she opposed Yakama Nation sovereignty and led the anti-Indian group, Citizens Stand-Up! Committee. Willman chaired the Citizens Equal Rights Alliance, the most prominent overtly anti-Indian group in the US, from 2002 to 2007 and has continued on as a board member and CERA national spokesperson.

Rachel Carroll Rivas of the Montana Human Rights Network said of Willman’s move to Ronan, “CERA and Elaine Willman’s involvement in the broader far right reinforces the need for people who support civil and human rights, racial and gender equality, workers’ rights, economic justice, environmental justice and the inherent sovereignty and rights of indigenous people to stand strong together in defense of our communities and common humanity.”

For more information:

Devin Burghart
Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights
Seattle, Washington
(206) 331-2978
dburghart@gmail.com

Rachel Carroll Rivas
Montana Human Rights Network
Helena, Montana
(406) 442-5506 x 13
rachelc@mhrn.org

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