arizona’s broken arrow
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Arizona’s Broken Arrow
November, 2008, Page 134
She remembers sitting in the back of the room with Martin and “Dracula” (Benyshek had flown in from Las Vegas for this presentation). In the front of the room, on the dissertation panel, sat Markow.
As she listened to Dan Garrigan defend his research on Native American migration patterns, Carletta heard him make reference to 18 blood samples from the Havasupai Tribe, “and I thought, oh my God,” she remembers. “And I’m getting angrier and angrier. I get nervous when I talk in front of people, but I raised my hand and I asked, ‘Did you get proper consent from the tribe to do this research?’ The whole room looked at me.”
She remembers Garrigan became flustered, admitted he didn’t have permission, and then someone quickly adjourned the panel.
“John Martin turned to me and said, ‘Bullets are going to fly.’”
She remembers an ASU dean rushing up to her, saying he wanted to talk. “He ushered me into another room” with all the professors, and “everyone was yelling at each other.”
She says she will always remember seeing Markow reaching her arms up as far as they would go, declaring, “I have consent forms this high.”
“The dean asked, ‘What could we do to remedy this?’” Carletta remembers. “That was the first and last time they asked that question.”
She went home to her husband, attorney Robert Lyttle, whose entire law practice focuses on Native American claims. They found the situation to be unbelievable. Then she called Tribal Chairman Watahomigie to tell him what she’d learned. She remembers the sad trip home, when she went “door to door” to explain to each person what had happened. There also was a meeting attended by most of the tribe, during which they confronted Martin and Benyshek. Martin laid all the blame on Markow, characterizing her as “arrogant and reckless.” He contended she “controlled the funds, controlled the knowledge and controlled the raw materials.”
But the answers were skimpy and spotty, and Carletta looks back and realizes they didn’t have any idea yet how big the problem was or what had happened with their blood samples. But they knew enough to know ASU hadn’t been honest with them.
As attorney Rosette puts it: “This was like taking their land. Now they’re taking a part of them that’s worth billions in research, but who in this tribe would know that?”
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