The University of Arizona has agreed to pay $700,000 to 41 Havasupai tribal citizens to settle claims that the university misused DNA samples given by tribe members over a decade ago.
In 1989, some members of the small Grand Canyon-based Havasupai Indian tribe gave their blood to university researchers in order to participate in diabetes study. Tribal members later learned that samples of their DNA, without their knowledge or approval, had been analysed further, and played a key role in research conducted on schizophrenia, inbreeding, and one study even supported the Bering Strait Land Bridge theory.
In addition to monetary compensation and returning blood samples, both ASU and ABOR formally apologized to the Havasupai tribe for the alleged wrong doing.
Other important provisions of the agreement included a promise to collaborate with the Indians on various issues including health, education, economic development and engineering planning.
Also, a third party funding for a health clinic and high school is in the offing.
Among the immediate gains will be tele-medicine services for Havasupai citizens, and scholarships for tribal members at ASU, the University of Arizona, and Northern Arizona University.
The tribe had originally asked for $50 million in its pre-litigation claim, and individuals who filed the other separate lawsuit sought $10 million.
Carletta Tilousi, the lead plaintiff in the case and a tribal council woman, said she hopes the settlement will make a statement on behalf of all indigenous people that their cultures should be respected, not analysed by scientists.
Kevin James Manix, 58, born in Boulder City, Nevada and now living in Henderson, Nevada, knows where all the great petroglyphs are in the Southwest– but he’s just not telling exactly where.
“I don’t tell people where these things are,” Manix said. “We’ve got to preserve them.”
Mannix’s 35 primo photographs of them, though, weave an unbelievable story. The photographs were taken between 2002 and 2007 and all feature ancient art – petroglyphs or rock art – and were taken at various places, including Grand Gulch in Utah, White River Narrows in Nevada, and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. For some, he walked 50 miles just to take one photograph.
Mannix is sharing some of the images he has captured, once hidden and left by Native Americans, in a Southwest Photography exhibit that runs through May 3 at the Rainbow Library Art Gallery, 3501 N. Buffalo Drive, in Las Vegas.
Our economy is tanking, but don’t tell that to the thousands of tourists that daily fly in helicopters to get a birdseye view of the majestic Grand Canyon. An average of 99 helicopters fly out daily from McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, just six fewer than the 2005 peak. And that doesn’t include the additional 3,500 customers that are planned to fly daily from the new Boulder City Aerocenter [Las Vegas Backstage Access April 2 article].
The first phase of the proposed 229-acre Sloan heliport, costing an estimated $115 million and projected for a mid-2011 completion, will provide the home for 80 to 110 helipads.
That will make the heliport the biggest on the planet, say Federal Aviation Administration officials.
The heliport will also clear McCarran airport space for jetliners to bring much-needed tourists to boost the Las Vegas Valley’s economy, while safely moving helicopters away from crowded city neighborhoods.
The FAA has recently signed off on the environmental assessment that now paves the way for the Bureau of Land Management to transfer the Sloan heliport property to Clark County.
Heliport project groundbreaking is planned for early 2010.
Maverick Helicopters is planned to be the first tenant to lease heliport space, which may approved as early as April 7 when the Clark County commissioners meet to discuss the matter. Two more tour operators could join Maverick in occupying the heliport.