Buried Heart

"The fact that Bush preempted his vacation to say something about Ms. Schiavo and here you have 10 native people gunned down and he can't take time to speak is very telling," said David Wilkins, interim chairman of the Department of American Indian Studies at the University of Minnesota and a member of the North Carolina-based Lumbee tribe.

"He has not been real visible in Indian country," said former senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-Colo.). "He's got a lot of irons in the fire, but this is important."

Even more alarming than Bush's silence, he said, is the president's proposal to cut $100 million from several Indian programs next year.

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