Comments about ‘EchoHawk pledges to ease Indian woes’

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Published: Thursday, May 21 2009 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Brian Cladoosby

I am Chairman of the Swinomish Tribe in Wash. State, and Pres of Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians. It was a pleasure to be back in DC when Asst. Sec. Echohawk was going through his confirmation hearing. It was an honor to witness and to hear all the great work this Native American has done for all Native people's. A real trail blazer for all of us. He is a real role model for all Native Americans to show how hard work really pays off. I pray God continues to bless him and his family and wish him all the luck in the world in his new position.

Echohawk Hebrew or Asian?

As a BYU law professor, I wonder if Larry EchoHawk considers himself to be a descendant of Lehi?

A recent study:

Schroeder, Kari B. et al. (2009). Haplotypic Background of a Private Allele at High Frequency in the Americas. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 26(5):9951016. Oxford University Press.

Concludes all modern Native Americans and Western Beringians trace their ancestry to a single founding Asian population that may have been isolated from other Asian populations prior to expanding into the Americas.


I guess this means he won't be teaching my Evidence class in the Fall. Congrats, Prof. Echohawk.

Re: Echohawk Hebrew or Asian?

From the abstract of the article you cite:

"The results support the hypothesis that all modern Native Americans and Western Beringians trace a large portion of their ancestry to a single founding population that may have been isolated from other Asian populations prior to expanding into the Americas."

Most Mormons who have seriously considered claims about the ancestry of Native Americans have come to the conclusion that their ancestry is predominantly Asian. But notice that nothing in the statement quoted above either supports or precludes the possibility that some or all Native Americans are descendants of Lehi.

I have a more relevant answer to your question, though. Based on my interaction with other Native Americans, I'm guessing that EchoHawk sees himself neither as Hebrew or Asian, but as Native American.

Congrats to him, by the way, on his confirmation.

Indian Country Law Enforcement

The best to Mr. Echo Hawk and this enormous undertaking. Hopeful he can see beyond the dysfunctional and corrupt law enforcment in the BIA. Tribal leaders have repeatedly plead for change but have been ignored by those in charge at the regional and national levels. Look, listen and make the necessary changes for our people. They deserve so much more.


To 12:36 p.m.

"notice that nothing in the statement quoted above either supports or precludes the possibility that some or all Native Americans are descendants of Lehi."

That is a very weak position: "I believe it because science does not (yet) preclude it."

We could stubbornly retain our belief in unicorns by the same argument: "Nothing supports or precludes the possibility that unicorns are real."

Nothing in science "supports or precludes the possibility that" --------- (insert your favorite myth here)... is a fallacious form of argumentation. If that is the best defense the LDS have against scientific findings, then I strongly recommend LDS Church members get out now and beat the Christmas rush.

Herb Gravy

Dear old (tired) "Anonymous": As usual, you hit the nail squarely on the head. I know of no one more anxious to get off the subject than you. Thanks again for your arcane insights and your recommendations. I am confident they are universally appreciated and will be "religiously" adhered to (post haste).

Re: Anonymous | 1:47 p.m.

The 11:43 a.m. commenter overstated the conclusions of the article he cited. My point was that, contrary to the implications of his posting, the article he cites cannot be used as evidence for or against a Native American ancestral connection to Lehi. There is no fallacy in this refutation.

There is, however, a fallacy in the straw man you've constructed to caricature my position. You assume that my belief is based on the absence of scientific evidence to the contrary. That is your claim, not mine. (In fact, I don't believe I stated any belief at all. You presumed to state it for me. Thanks.) You also presumed that my response was a defense against scientific findings. That's clearly not the case. I accept the science in the paper in question. As previously stated, it doesn't contradict anything I believe.

To Anon.

Boy, those Mormon apologist philosophes are slippery, aren't they!


The word "apologist" seems to be misused many times on these boards. Do people just like the way it sounds and so use it without knowing what it means or doesn't mean?

Good Man

Brother Echohawk is a good man who has raised a wonderful family of talented people. I knew him in my ward in Idaho and I knew his sons. He is a wonderful, faithful man with more talent and gifts that one man ought to have. His wife is only about twice as spectacular as him and therefore good things surround him and his future.

He is the most honorable and impressive democrat I have ever personally known in the 9 states I have been privileged to live in. This is a very strong appointment. If there were more democrats with as much personal principle and honorable values as those I see in him, I'd almost be one :)


Congrats to a good man.

Notice the long list of

government bureaucracies that deal with natice americans. "Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Bureau of Indian Education, the Office of Indian Gaming, the Office of Self-Governance, the Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development and other Interior offices relating to Indian tribes and issues."

That is ridiculous. I'm not saying that there shouldn't be any, but surely just one could cover all of these issues. No wonder the federal government budget so large and its tax appetite is so voracious.


It is a dark blot on us as a nation that the position was vacant for so long. It says "these people are not important"...

Who cares about ancestry? This is an important position that needs a good man, no matter anything else.

Yes, they need help. Education is a key to unlock many doors.

I sincerely hope he does not go in and force his religious points of view on their affairs with his decisions.

It will be a touch of grace for Native Americans if he is the man everyone says he is, Mormon or not. A good person is always a blessing.

Original Pechanga

Many in California are hoping Larry Echohawk will do smthing about the tragedy of Tribal disenrollments that has grown out of the gaming here. Tribes are eliminating more Indians that the white man, so they can get more per capita. Original Pechanga's Blog tells the stories of Tribes like Redding, Picayune and Pechanga. Larry, it's time to step up and enforce the Indian Civil Rights Act.


No Mormon theology states that Lehi is the sole ancestor of Native Americans. Matter of fact, any evidence in the Book of Mormon itself indicates that they lived in a pretty limited geographic area, and that there were other peoples with whom they interacted. So it's not strange at all, that a people who were only a small part of the DNA pool, of whom most were wiped out over 1600 years ago, should not have DNA markers in the current population that we associate with modern Hebrews. For that matter, who knows what DNA differences existed between the tribe of Judah and the tribe of Manasseh anciently? Some DNA researchers have stated that it would be more unusual to see commonalities that had survived that long, in such a mixed population.

Now, Mormon bashing aside, congratulations to Mr. Echohawk, and I wish him well in his new position.

Mr. Anonymous

You obviously believe that Mormon belief is a fairy tale. So you use the article to support that belief regardless of what it says. Why would you use an article to disprove Mormonism and then accuse a Mormon of believing nonsense when he reminds you the article doesn't refute Mormon belief? Science is fine, but it has meaning only as it supports our pre-conceived ideas. We can't escape belief because it represents what we hold as true. Science and religion just provide the evidence and the clique.


A great man for a difficult job. I have seen first hand many of these people and the way they live. Despite all of the programs and billions of dollars allocated and spent over the past years many of these people choose to live in poverty and will not leave their homes. They will have to either leave their homes for education or jobs(there is plenty of money allocated for programs that support that) or build industry(aside from casinos)close to their homes and train the ones who are willing to work. All the programs and money in the world will not help those who cannot or will not adapt.


Congratulations to Mr. Echohawk, my favorite law school professor.


would he have control over Indian Health Services too? I hope he can straighten out the big mess and disorganization in that department. The best of luck to him in this new course in his life.

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