Thursday, September 30, 2010
Click for video webcast.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Contact: Ron Milford Email: Hmailto:Haskan1990@yahoo.com Phone: 928-606-0787
Navajo Nation Council Tables Water Rights Settlement
Grassroots Dine’ (Navajo) Vow to Stand Against Oppression
More photos at: http://www.dinewaterrights.org/
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. – Due to community pressure, the Navajo Nation Council decided to put off voting on the Northeastern Arizona Indian Water Rights Settlement Agreement (NAIWRSA) and gave one week for public review but did not specify what that would look like. The Council is set to consider the legislation again on Friday, October 8th but the date is subject to change. Legislation No. 0422-10, also known as NAIWRSA, sponsored by Council Delegate George Arthur has faced increasing community criticism in the last few weeks.
More than 160 concerned Dine’ (Navajo) marched, rallied and packed the council chambers to send the message for the council to “VOTE NO!” on the water rights settlement. Children, elders, parents, students and others from throughout the Navajo Nation joined together in chanting, “Water is life! Save our Future!”
NAIWRSA was created by lawyers including a non-native with the Navajo Nation, Stanley Pollack, as an attempt to resolve water rights claims of the Navajo Nation and Hopi Tribe for water from the Little Colorado River and from the lower Colorado River.
Dine’ community members have raised concerns that NAIWRSA gives the Navajo Nation only 31,000 acre-feet per year of 4th Priority Colorado River water, that would not be available in times of drought, and would require more than $500 million of new federal funding to pay for pipeline infrastructure to deliver water to communities in need. That money would have to be appropriated from U.S. Congress.
One pipeline would be built to send Colorado River water from Lake Powell on the Arizona-Utah border to the reservation.
During the special session Hope Macdonald, Council Delegate from Tuba City, raised concerns on the council floor regarding the document being “out of order." Specifically exhibit A not being located in the agreement and the issue of the agreement being distributed to delegates moments before the meeting. She motioned for the agenda item to be stricken but failed to gain votes.
Delegate Amos Johnson motioned to table the legislation and give one week for council delegates to take the agreement back to their communities for review, 49 voted in support, 32 against with 7 not voting.
“It is appropriate for the Navajo Nation to consider Hogan level family’s water rights and they have an obligation to do that, to take it to the communities for their input which has not been the case," stated Milton Bluehouse Sr. former Navajo Nation President. “The more informed the people are the better the decision will be made, with respect to their rights.”
"Why would we waive our rights to the water for just a promise of federal funding, when we know historically the appropriations have not come to Navajo?" said Hope Macdonald.
“Why was there no deliberate and detailed consultation with the affected Dine' communities?” said R. Begay a concerned Dine'. “Why has this process been so secret? What does Stanley Pollack have to hide? This is an extension of colonialism. We will stand against this oppression.”
“The most important thing to show our leaders is that we are watching them, we are making sure that they are accountable to their communities and what we hold sacred as Dine’ people,” stated Kim Smith, resident of St. Michaels. “Water is an essential part of our way of life, our ceremonies, our livestock and most importantly, it is our future. We are calling on all Dine’ people who value their future, their sacred water to join us when the council goes back into session and let them know we want them to VOTE NO!”
“This movement to oppose the Arizona Water Settlement is about our children, and we will not waive their water rights, not now not ever," stated Ron Milford, a concerned citizen for Dine’ Water Rights.
Concerned citizens for Dine’ Water Rights along with organizations such as Dine’ Care, To’ Nizhoni Ani, Black Mesa Water Coalition, Council Advocating an Indigenous Manifesto, ECHOES, and others are calling for another rally and march at the next council session.
Visit http://www.dinewaterrights.org/ for further details.
“Only one percent of the water in this world is water we can consume,” stated Daniel Tullie a Dine’ student from Phoenix who made the trip with a caravan of ASU students to Window Rock to voice his concerns. “Worldwide water shortages are facing us, we need to protect what we have here, because it is sacred and we need to protect it for future generations.”
Note to editors: High Resolution Pictures Available Upon Request or at http://www.dinewaterrights.org/
Please forward far and wide!
Dine' People can take action today:
1. Call, email, or talk face to face with your Council Delegates
There is a great listing with contact info here: https://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=0AuTy0AwDkD80dG5lbHQ4OThQbUdPeGZ2VTQ3VnEyU1E&hl=en&single=true&gid=0&output=html
2. Write letters to the editors.
Navajo Times: email@example.com
Navajo-Hopi Observer (http://www.navajohopiobserver.com/Formlayout.asp?formcall=userform&form=1)
Gallup Independent: firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Sign the online petition to Protect Dine' Water Rights: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/dine-water-rights
4. Help spread the word! Educate your friends and relatives about this issue.
Come to Window Rock for the next Council session!
BY EVO MORALES AYMA
President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia
Every day an extension of forests and rainforest equivalent to 36,000 football fields disappears in the world. Each year 13 million hectares of forest and rain forest are lost. At this rate, the forests will disappear by the end of the century.
The forests and rainforest are the largest source of biodiversity. If deforestation continues, thousands of species, animals and plants will be lost forever. More than three quarters of accessible fresh water zones come from uptake zones in forests, hence the worsening of water quality when the forest condition deteriorates. Forests provide protection from flooding, erosion and natural disasters. They provide non-timber goods as well as timber goods. Forests are a source of natural medicines and healing elements not yet discovered. Forests and the rainforest are the lungs of the atmosphere. 18% of all emissions of greenhouse gases occurring in the world are caused by deforestation. It is essential to stop the destruction of our Mother Earth. Currently, during climate change negotiations everyone recognizes that it is essential to avoid the deforestation and degradation of the forest. However, to achieve this, some propose to commoditize forests on the false argument that only what has a price and owner is worth taking care of.
Their proposal is to consider only one of the functions of forests, which is its ability to absorb carbon dioxide, and issue "certificates", "credits" or "Carbon rights" to be commercialized in a carbon market. This way, companies of the North have the choice of reducing their emissions or buy “REDD certificates" in the South according to their economic convenience. For example, if a company has to invest USD40 or USD50 to reduce the emission of one ton of C02 in a "developed country", they would prefer to buy a "REDD certificate" for USD10 or USD20 in a "developing country", so they can they say they have fulfilled to reduce the emissions of the mentioned ton of CO2.
Through this mechanism, developed countries will have handed their obligation to reduce their emissions to developing countries, and the South will once again fund the North and that same northern company will have saved a lot of money by buying "certified" carbon from the Southern forests. However, they will not only have cheated their commitments to reduce emissions, but they will have also begun the commoditization of nature, with the forests
The forests will start to be priced by the CO2 tonnage they are able to absorb. The "credit" or "carbon right" which certifies that absorptive capacity will be bought and sold like any commodity worldwide. To ensure that no one affects the ownership of “REDD certificates” buyers, a series of restrictions will be put into place, which will eventually affect the sovereign right of countries and indigenous peoples over their forests and rainforests. So begins a new stage of privatization of nature never seen before which will extend to water, biodiversity and what they call “environmental services".
While we assert that capitalism is the cause of global warming and the destruction of forests, rainforests and Mother Earth, they seek to expand capitalism to the commoditization of nature with the word “green economy". To get support for this proposal of commoditization of nature, some financial institutions, governments, NGOs, foundations, "experts" and trading companies are offering a percentage of the "benefits" of this commoditization of nature to indigenous peoples and communities living in native forests and the rainforest.
Nature, forests and indigenous peoples are not for sale.
For centuries, Indigenous peoples have lived conserving and preserving natural forests and rainforest. For us the forest and rainforest are not objects, are not things you can price and privatize. We do not accept that native forests and rainforest be reduced to a simple measurable quantity of carbon. Nor do we accept that native forests be confused with simple plantations of a single or two tree species. The forest is our home, a big house where plants, animals, water, soil, pure air and human beings coexist. It is essential that all countries of the world work together to prevent forest and rainforest deforestation and degradation. It is an obligation of developed countries, and it is part of its climate and environmental debt climate, to
contribute financially to the preservation of forests, but NOT through its commoditization. There are many ways of supporting and financing developing countries, indigenous peoples and local communities that contribute to the preservation of forests. Developed countries spend tens of times more public resources on defense, security and war than in climate change. Even during the financial crisis many have maintained and increased their military spending. It is inadmissible that by using the needs communities have and the ambitions of some leaders and indigenous "experts", indigenous peoples are expected to be involved with the commoditization of nature. All forests and rainforests protection mechanisms should guarantee indigenous rights and participation, but not because indigenous participation is achieved in REDD, we can accept that a price for forests and rainforests is set and negotiated in a global carbon market.
Indigenous brothers, let us not be confused. Some tell us that the carbon market mechanism in REDD will be voluntary. That is to say that whoever wants to sell and buy, will be able, and whoever does not want to, will be able to stand aside. We cannot accept that, with our consent, a mechanism is created where one voluntarily sells Mother Earth while others look crossed handed Faced with the reductionist views of forests and rainforest commoditization, indigenous peoples with peasants and social movements of the world must fight for the proposals that emerged of the World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth: 1) Integrated management of native forests and rainforest not only considering its mitigation function as CO2 sink but all its functions and potentiality, whilst avoiding confusing them with simple plantations. 2) Respect the sovereignty of developing countries in their integral management of forests. 3) Full compliance with the Rights of Indigenous Peoples established by the United Nations Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Convention No. 169 of the ILO and other international instruments; recognition and respect to their territories; revalorization and implementation of indigenous knowledge for
the preservation of forests; indigenous peoples participation and indigenous management of forest and rainforest. 4) Funding of developed countries to developing countries and indigenous peoples for integral management of forest as part of their climate and environmental debt. No establishment of any mechanism of carbon markets or "incentives" that may lead to the commoditization of forests and rainforest. 5) Recognition of the rights of Mother Earth, which includes forests, rainforest and all its components. In order to restore harmony with Mother Earth, putting a price on nature is not the way but to recognize that not only human beings have the right to life and to reproduce, but nature also has a right to life and to regenerate, and that without Mother Earth Humans cannot live. Indigenous brothers, together with our peasant brothers and social movements of the world, we must mobilize so that the conclusions of Cochabamba are assumed in Cancun and to impulse a mechanism of RELATED ACTIONS TO THE FORESTS based on these five principles, while always maintaining high the unity of indigenous peoples and the principles of respect for Mother Earth, which for centuries we have preserved and inherited from our ancestors.
EVO MORALES AYMA
President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia
Levanate Araki 011 56 9 81506843
Santi Hitorangi 1 845 596 5402
This morning a C-47 military plane arrived on Rapanui (aka Easter Isalnd) with a contingency of SWAT teams to augment the already in-place armed forces set to remove indigenous Rapanui people from their ancestral lands.. Since July 31, the Rapanui have been non-violently re-occupied the land illegally taken from their grandparents and have been , asking for their legal title to be restored.
Tonight the Rapanui people are on high alert – expecting what may come in the wee hours of the morning.
This afternoon Marisol Hito, spokeswomen of the Hitorangi clan, presented the Rapanui case to the Human Rights Commission of the Chilean House of Representatives. The Commission unanimously voted to stay any order to harm or remove Rapanui people from their claims.
Marisol Hito stated that, “We have been asking to negotiate for 60 days with the Chilean government, but they have refused to negotiate and instead sent in armed troops to cause psychological and physical duress . From day one we have been expressing that our claim is for recognition of title to our lands, and the ability to manage our sovereignty. Under Chilean law only Rapanui people can legally hold title to land on the island.”
The Human Rights Commission filed a protective order for the 18 children that are in occupation at the Hanga Roa Hotel, reclaiming their land title and future. The Hanga Roa property was illegally sold during the Pinochet regime to a non-Rapanui person, and was subsequently transferred to a non-Rapanui corporation, in violation of Chilean law.
Kihi Tuki-Hito showed the Rapanui flag on the back of his jacket and spoke to press after the 8 hour meeting with the Human Rights Commission. He said, “ We want to peacefully restore our rights to our land and self government”.
Chile has refused to conduct serious and meaningful peaceful negotiations and has criminalize all the Rapanui claimants in violation of human rights and of the Universal Declaration of Indigenous Rights, to which Chile is a signatory.
Ironically Chile uses the Rapanui moai, the well-known monolithic stone statutes, on its currency and passports as a symbol colonial supremacy over Rapanui people.
Only 5,000 Rapanui people exist today . Any violence against them is an act of extinction to these legendary people who are a heritage and treasure of humanity. In 1994 UNSECO declared Rapanui as a “heritage of humanity.”
If we as humans can save the smallest inhabited place on the planet earth, Rapanui, then when we can learn how to heal and save our entire human existence on this planet.
This is a an S.O.S. for the world to save itself.
For more information go to www.SaveRapanui.org
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Lakota territory on WBAI New York
Photo: Debra White Plume delivering a symbolic blanket of smallpox to the Lewis and Clark Expedition/Photo Brenda Norrell
By Kent Lebsock
Debra White Plume of Owe Aku (Bring Back the Way) will be on Tiokasin Ghost Horse's First Voices Indigenous Radio on WBAI New York City this Thursday, September 30th, from 10 to 11 a.m. Debra is the Director of Owe Aku which is a traditional Lakota cultural preservation, human rights and environmental protection NGO operating from the banks of Wounded Knee Creek on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
Debra will be updating the radio audience on Owe Aku's extensive work to protect sacred water in and around Lakota treaty territory against the unyielding drive by foreign and domestic corporations to destroy soil and water in order to rip uranium from deep in the Earth. Debra will be joined on the program by Owe Aku's coordinator from their International Justice Project, Kent Lebsock. He will briefly discuss the Lakota leadership's concentrated effort to now take the issue of sacred water, as well as many other issues governed under international law by the Lakota treaties of 1851 and 1868, to the International Court of Justice.
The list below contains the ways to access the program from the internet.
If you have any questions or would like any further information, please contact the New York City Office of the Owe Aku International Justice Project at 646-233-4406 or email@example.com.
FIRST VOICES INDIGENOUS RADIO
STREAMS & BROADCASTS On All Stations!
WBAI NY 99.5 FM
120 Wall Street, 10th Floor
New York, NY 10005
www.wbai.org (10AM Eastern) also archived
WJFF 90.5 FM Jeffersonville, NY
W233AH 94.5 FM Monticello, NY
www.wjffradio.org (12AM Tuesdays)
WPKN 89. 5 FM Bridgeport - New Haven, Conn.
www.wpkn.org (12PM Thursdays) also archived
WPKM 88.7 FM Montauk, NY
Westerly, Rhode Island
New London, Conn.
www.wpkn.org (12PM Thursdays)
CKLB 101.9 FM Yellowknife, NT, Canada (rebroadcasts through week)
KVNF 90.9 FM Paonia, Colorado
www.kvnf.org (7 PM Mountain Sundays)
99.1 FM Grand Valley, Grand Junction
88.7 FM Lake City
98.3 FM Hotchkiss Crawford
88.9 FM Ridgway
90.1 FM Ouray
KVMT 89.1 FM Uncompahgre Valley
Owe Aku International Justice Program
Navajo statements on Navajo water rights giveaway
As a young person who values the land, the culture, and people I come
from, I am concerned about the Navajo people's right to water. I was
taught that water is sacred. I was taught that it should be respected
and used appropriately. I am also Tó'áhaní (Near the Water Clan).
Water and the people's access to it is a human right, and as the
indigenous people of this land we have aboriginal rights to water. Our
ancestors lived on this land, developed a relationship with the land
and understood the importance of land and water. Our ancestors
believed in the land so much that they fought and died for it.
It is because of their efforts and struggles that we the Diné are here
today. Our people need to remember who our ancestors were and
everything they did to get us here. Just like our ancestors, we too
need to fight for our land.
At this time, we especially need to fight for our water. We need to
question. We need to demand that our voices be heard and that our
Navajo government does right by the people and not give away our
On Sept. 29, during special session, the Navajo Nation Council may
give away the Navajo people's water and waive our water rights
forever. The Northeastern Arizona Indian Water Rights Settlement
Agreement includes several measures that will harm our people.
In addition to losing our rights to water, there is language that
allows non-Indian users unlimited amounts of C-aquifer water as well
as "underground flow." Non-Indians do not have to worry about what
impact this will have on Navajo use of the aquifers.
The list continues, including prohibiting more than 10,000 acres of
irrigated agriculture along the Little Colorado River. The water
settlement would limit our people to 31,000 acre-feet annually.
The Navajo people need to be warned about this bargaining of our
future, our livelihoods and sovereignty. I am especially concerned
about this legislation because it will affect those in my generation,
and it will forever affect all those who have yet to follow.
What do the council delegates have to worry about? They are all
middle-aged or past. They will not have to live with the effects of
their decision. Many of them will not even be in office when the new
council is seated next month.
It will be my generation who will be devastated and left with nothing.
Denying us access to the water on our land is to deny the survival of
our people. I find it absolutely disgusting that the Diné are expected
to happily accept a drop of water. If tribes like the Gila River are
able to secure 155,700 acre-feet per year for their 14,000 population,
then why can't we too secure an adequate amount of water for our
Think about it, we have a population of 300,000, but yet we're
settling for a meager 31,000 acre-feet per year? This is far less than
Gila River currently claims. This amount is ridiculously low. There
are estimates that say the Navajo people could be claiming as much as
10 million acre-feet annually.
Why are our Navajo Nation officials not claiming our ancestral waters?
Our treaties as well as two Supreme Court cases recognize our rights
to water (Winters Doctrine of 1908 and Arizona v. California of 1963).
Both Supreme Court cases establish Indian water rights as "prior and
paramount" to all surface and groundwater resources on and near a
So, when folks like Stanley Pollock and the Navajo Water Commission
say that water law is based on "use it or lose it," telling us that
since we haven't used our fair share of water, it isn't ours anymore,
this is absolutely false. The Winters Doctrine of 1908 secures a
tribe's future use of water. The Navajo tribe has senior water rights
that are not being asserted.
Now is the time for the Diné to act. Contact your council delegates
and make sure they are representing your best interests. How can
giving our water away be beneficial to our people?
Proposed Arizona water settlement cheats Diné
I'd like to get this off my thoughts/spirit and it's overdue. I do not
have sympathy for Stanley Pollack, the Navajo Nation's water rights
lawyer, who is believed to be the "indefatigable" person on water
It might be true on many small projects/bank accounts, but not on the
huge Colorado River, the largest bank account for Navajo.
The current proposed 31,000 acre-feet Arizona water settlement is
history repeating itself in terms of past Navajo Generating Station
deals in the upper Colorado River Basin (all on Navajo land) and land
swaps, no renegotiations for a higher royalty rate, contamination of
groundwater through uranium and coal mining, etc.
I compare Stanley Pollack with John Boyden, who worked for the Hopi
people and Peabody Coal at the same time. So we have Pollack working
for the Navajo government and adjacent states and multi-billion dollar
Navajo natural resources generate more than $60 billion and economic
spinoffs off the Navajo Reservation, and in return we are offered
31,000 acre-feet of water and $3.5 million in coal royalty renewal
This is total economic suicide/racism and ethnic cleansing and human
rights violations, which is condemned by U.S. senators when applied in
different countries yet it is applied here to the Navajo people in the
form of the Bennett Freeze, forced relocation, and the unclaimed water
rights to the Colorado River.
This settlement agreement affects/impacts all Navajo citizens with
census numbers because it totally wipes out past accomplishments by
our forefathers who persuaded the U.S. government, after eight
attempts, to come back to Dinéh land in 1849 and 1868 treaties. Our
forefathers did this in unity with one prayer, one song, one spirit
with less than 4,000 people strong yet we are over 300,000 people
using less than 20 percent of our political power on this water rights
... get proactive and voice your concerns for a true honest government
by escorting Stanley Pollack off the Navajo Nation.
...rescind all chapter resolutions supporting the proposed water
rights settlement agreement, and write/call your delegates to oppose
this during any Council special session this fall and spring until all
Navajo citizens are aware of their potential true water rights to the
Do you think you would excuse someone if they took 100 sheep from
Grandma and told you they will only give you back one to 10 sheep?
Well, this is exactly what is happening with this proposed, insane
31,000 acre-feet settlement. You are settling for less than 10 sheep!
Don't get me wrong, there are certain good honest non-Navajo citizens
working for the Navajo people.
Water proposal is a huge scam
For the past few years, the Navajo Nation government has been working
on the Arizona water settlement for the Little Colorado River and the
lower basin of the main stem Colorado River.
Recently, council delegates and local leaders have been pushing for
voters to approve resolutions in support of this settlement.
From a grassroots point of view, the supposed Arizona water settlement
is a huge scam and we, as indigenous people who have been here for
many generations, will be losing our basic water rights for the sake
of money, power and control.
Back in 2007, I wrote a statement about the infamous Mohave Generating
Station negotiation agreement titled "Mohave Mediation Memorandum of
Recommended Non-Economic Terms." In that agreement, the $600 million
lawsuit brought against the federal government would have been
dismissed in exchange for giving away C-Aquifer water to the "Black
Mesa Project." In the same agreement, we, as a nation, would have
waived and released any and all claims against APS.
With the Arizona water settlement, we will have the same terms...In
order for Navajo Nation to approve (it), the Navajo Nation must waive
rights to water such as the Winter's Doctrine. I want to emphasize
that the treaties of 1849, 1868, and the Winter's Doctrine entitle the
Navajo people water rights.
To all farmers, ranchers, sheepherders, Navajo Times readers, the
great people of the Navajo Nation, please urge and demand your leaders
not to approve the Arizona water settlement.
Navajo Nation leaders should be fighting for and defending the
treaties of 1849, 1868 and the Winter's Doctrine.
Thank you for your time and as always be safe out there and keep
reading the Navajo Times.
We will lose what we have left forever
At the Western Agency Council meeting in Tuba City on Sept. 18, a
resolution was presented requesting to the Resource Committee to
renegotiate the lease reopener with Peabody Coal Company by upgrading
the lease to a rate beyond the 12.5 percent including other associated
offer by Peabody.
Although the resolution passed, two delegates - Jack Colorado of
Cameron Chapter and Kee Yazzie Mann of Kaibeto Chapter - objected and
actually attempted to prevent the resolution approval and tried to
convince the WAC that the presenters were lying.
Delegate Harriett Becenti of Rock Springs Chapter also opposes the
idea, likewise with George Arthur, the Resources Committee chairman.
What is going on here? There's a real problem with these individuals'
negative attitude on the matter. There's something fishy about their
You would think these so-called leaders understood our people are
suffering the lack of tribal funding that is required for all their
dire needs of water, electricity, good roads, etc., and while all the
far away cities are enjoying the benefits from our resources, our
so-called leaders are again looking to continue selling our
high-quality coal dirt cheap.
Two coal leases on Black Mesa, Kayenta, and Black Mesa Mines, were
agreed on in 1964 and 1966, respectively, where the Navajo Nation and
the Hopi Tribe were literally cheated out of their high-quality coal
at dirt-cheap prices. The leases were amended in 1987 where 12.5
percent royalty was imposed and to date remains the same in spite of
the rising cost of living, not to mention the coal prices on the open
market has increased since 1987.
My goodness, that's nearly 15 years ago and prices of everything we
purchase today has about tripled and here we are with some ignorant
leaders going along with the notion that everything is static and are
ready to agree with another of the same.
We lost Mohave Generating Station in 2005; P&M mine just shut down in
December 2009; the Four Corners Power Plant is threatened to be shut
down by the Environmental Protection Agency.
And with the council's careless spending, the Navajo Nation is in the
red by $24 million. For crying out loud, how do we get these leaders
to come to their senses?
Presently there is another proposal coming before the Navajo Nation
Council at the Sept. 29 special session. This proposal is again
another shaft by the government and corporations: a 31,000-acre-feet
of water is offered to the Navajo Nation with another catch.
This one is if the council approves the offer it will be an agreement
to never sue the corporations, energy companies, and government ever
again. Simply meaning we won't be able to force better deals for our
resources, including our land, water, and whatever other precious
minerals that may be within our land.
Then what happens to the upcoming generations of our children, their
children and so forth?
If the council agrees to this new proposal of the 31,000 acre-feet
water settlement we will lose the rest of what we have left, forever.
For the sake of our present needs and our future generations the
council better vote this down.
Rock Springs, N.M.
Comment from Censored News
An eye on those non-Indian attorneys
By Brenda Norrell
Today, Navajos march and rally at the Navajo Nation Council to defend their right to water.
Earlier, my Facebook access was frozen when I posted a comment about Navajo water rights and non-Indian attorneys working for Arizona Indian Nations.
The attorneys who worked for the Navajo Nation, and were involved with the removal of former Navajo Chairman Peter MacDonald in 1989, went to work for southern Arizona Indian Nations after his removal. Those attorneys were involved with water rights settlements for southern Arizona Indian Nations. That is all but one. She transferred to Washington D.C., where she worked on water rights. I ran into them through the years as a news reporter.
During the federal trial of Peter MacDonald in the early 1990s, when he was sentenced to federal prison on other matters, a Navajo businessmen said to me, "You know what this is really about: Water rights."
Few reporters followed the truth about the accusations about Peter MacDonald. Most failed to report that real estate broker Byron Bud Brown never gave MacDonald the millions as Brown claimed for the flip sale of the Big Boquillas Ranch. MacDonald served a decade in jail and federal prison, and underwent heart surgery in prison.
Brown admitted later in a federal court hearing in Phoenix that he never gave MacDonald the money.
Brown, it turns out, stashed those millions in his island bank account. Federal prosecutors could not prosecute Brown for lying under oath because he had earlier been given immunity from prosecution in exchange for his testimony.
Also see: Kit Carson Returns: Navajo Water Settlement by Bill Edwards, Navajo Family Farms, Leupp:
Monday, September 27, 2010
By Forgotten People
September 24, 2010
Photo: Unremediated abandoned uranium pit on Navajo Nation/Forgotten People
Forgotten People supports James W. Zion, Esq.’s comments on Kirkpatrick discussion draft of the former Bennett Freeze Area Development Act herein attached. We agree with James Zion that the draft is a disappointment. First, it is authorization legislation, not required by the Constitution, and all it would do is set up a new trust, to be funded from sources that are not likely, and authorize appropriations that will never come.
The Office of Navajo and Hopi Indian Relocation (ONHIR) and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) have never served the victims and survivors of the Bennett Freeze and Relocation. Forgotten People doesn’t know what the Navajo Hopi Land Commission (NHLC) and Rep. Kirkpatrick are doing because they are operating in secret. Read more:
President Evo Morales Ayma of Bolivia
UN News Service
The provision of water and other basic services, including energy and electricity, are human rights, he said, also urging the protection of migrants.
“Walls were built for cattle and sheep,” Mr. Morales told world leaders gathered at the Assembly yesterday, criticizing the erection of barriers in Mexico and the occupied Palestinian territory. “We cannot confuse human beings with animals.”
Commerce can circulate freely but people cannot, he said, calling for an end to embargoes such as the one against Cuba put in place by the United States.
The new alliance would also help to conserve the environment, the President said, speaking out against the selling of so-called carbon bonds. “How can Mother Earth be turned into a business?” he asked.
The coalition must also promote equality and justice for all, which he said is the backbone for peace.
Its final objective, Mr. Morales said, is to strengthen the United Nations by democratizing it, which he said would be a “difficult task.”
Saturday, September 25, 2010
November 20-27, 2010
These Front-Line Resistance Communities, in their Struggle for Life, Land, & Future Generations, Have Always Maintained That Their Struggle Is For Our Collective Survival.
May They Be Supported Now and Always!
Greetings from Black Mesa Indigenous Support,
We are excited to extend the invitation from Dineh resisters of the Black Mesa region to join BMIS's caravan to support their ongoing struggle. On behalf of their peoples, their sacred ancestral lands and future generations, the Dine' and also Hopi communities continue a 36 year long struggle against the US Governments forced relocation efforts, Peabody Coal's financial interests, and an unsustainable fossil fuel based economy. They continue trying to halt and repair the devastating impacts of colonialism, coal mining, and forced relocation of their communities, sacred lands, and our planet. As one of their resistance strategies they call upon outside support as they maintain their traditional way of life in the face of the largest relocation of indigenous people in the US since the Trail of Tears.
By assisting with direct, on-land projects you are supporting a broad movement for climate justice and families right to stay on their ancestral homelands in resistance to an illegal occupation. The oil spill in the Gulf highlighted the dangerous and unsustainable reality of our fossil fuels based economy. Another example of this dangerous reality comes from Black Mesa. The recently approved carbon capture storage project will capture the coal firing plant emissions and use clean water to pump the carbon an estimated 9,000 feet into the ground to be stored near their major aquifer. False solutions to climate change and large scale coal extraction must be stopped! We propose participating in this caravan as one small way in supporting these courageous communities who are serving as the very blockade to coal mining on Black Mesa!
In honor of the sacred ancestral homelands of the Dine' and Hopi peoples that we'll be traveling to, and in honor of this years host family who are so graciously offering their home so that we can gather together, and in regards to the positive feedback as well as constructive criticism from past caravan attendees, we've placed a limit to the number of caravan participants. Caravans in years past were a tremendous success however when the numbers get too big it becomes difficult to manage.
This year we're already getting a huge response. This is another reason why we're encouraging you to join regional BMIS groups leading up to the caravan and after it is over. Most of the regional groups are working in their communities year-round in supporting indigenous leadership such as those of Black Mesa.
Supporting Indigenous leadership and creating models for support that are based on the priorities and visions of their communities is a major goal of BMIS. While BMIS wishes for this caravan and the support network as a whole to be an opportunity for people of all backgrounds to listen to and work with the families of Black Mesa, we are prioritizing the participation from already-politicized accountable movement builders. We are particularly seeking people of working-class based struggles, environmental, global justice organizations, indigenous people, people of color, LGBT and queer-identified participants, members of movement organizations, women, organizers working in anti-war/occupation movements.
We are also encouraging the participation of returning supporters and those who plan to come before or stay weeks after the caravan, as well as anyone who is planning to be involved long term. Supporters who have experience operating chainsaws or chopping wood, are carpenters, and/or can drive your trucks on back country roads, we encourage to apply as well.
This years caravan will be held at some amazing organizers' homes so we are excited to focus on movement building, strengthening resistance movements and support networks that will make victories possible not only on Black Mesa, but in communities all across the world. We are creating a space for sharing updates from 'The Land' and for dialogue about the connections between Black Mesa and various struggles in which they are interconnected. We encourage regional organizing and fundraising to support the participation and leadership of people most impacted by interlocking systems of oppression. We are prioritizing the participation from people who are deeply invested in and on the front-lines of movements for social, economic, environmental justice in their communities, as they will have the most to offer and gain from gathering, talking with, and working with each other and the elders. We are also encouraging the participation of returning supporters or those who plan to come before or stay after the caravan, as well as anyone who is planning to be involved long term. We look forward to seeing how caravan participants can integrate their work, their lessons, and of course the communities' stories and visions into their work and life!
The U.S. Government began relocating Black Mesa residents from their ancestral homelands in 1974 to pave the way for Peabody's mining. Families are in their FOURTH DECADE resisting this travesty. And, since relocation laws have made it nearly impossible for younger generations to continue living on their homelands, many of the residents are elderly and winters can be extremely rough in this remote high desert terrain. The aim of this caravan is to honor the elders' requests and, under their guidance, carry out direct, on-land support: chopping and hauling firewood, doing minor repair work, offering holistic health care and sheep-herding before the approaching cold winter months arrive.
"The Big Mountain matriarchal leaders always believed that resisting forced relocation will eventually benefit all ecological systems, including the human race," says Bahe Keediniihii, Dineh organizer and translator. "Continued residency by families throughout the Big Mountain region has a significant role in the intervention of Peabody's future plan for Black Mesa coal to be the major source of unsustainable energy, the growing dependency on fossil fuel, and escalating green house gas emissions. We will continue to fight to defend our homelands."
Peabody Energy's Disastrous Coal Mining Operations on Black Mesa:
At this moment, decision makers in Washington D.C. are planning ways to continue their occupation of tribal lands under the guise of extracting "clean coal," with false solutions to climate change such as carbon storage and cap and trade carbon offsets. In 30 years of disastrous operation, Peabody's coal mining has ravaged Dineh and Hopi communities by forcibly relocated thousands of families, draining 2.5 million gallons of water daily from the only community water supply, and has left a toxic legacy along an abandoned 273-mile coal slurry pipeline. Peabody's Black Mesa mine has been the source of an estimated 325 million tons of CO2 that have been discharged into the atmosphere. Coal from the Black Mesa Mine could contribute an additional 290 million tons of CO2 to the global warming crisis!*
As a result of hard and strategic work from the Black Mesa resistance community, Black Mesa Water Coalition, To Nizhoni, The Forgotten People, the Sierra Club and others, Peabody's mine expansion project is temporarily slowed. As a way to honor and continue that work, now is the time to strengthen networks of direct support to the resisters, to ensure that when they try again for the expansion, resistance communities are prepared and resilient.
Peabody Coal Co. plans to seize another 19,000 acres of sacred land beyond the 67,000 acres already in Peabody's grasp at Black Mesa. Peabody Energy, previously Peabody Coal Company, is the world's largest private-sector coal company, supplying 10% of U.S power and 2% of worldwide electricity. Peabody's coal mining will exacerbate already devastating environmental and cultural impacts on local communities and significantly add fuel to the fire of global climate chaos!
We are at a critical juncture and must take a stand in support of communities on the front lines of resistance now! Indigenous and land-based peoples have maintained the understanding that our collective survival is deeply dependent on our relationship to Mother Earth. Victory in protecting and reclaiming the Earth will require a broad and multi-pronged movement.
BMIS wishes for this caravan to be an opportunity for people of all backgrounds to listen and work with the families of Black Mesa to generate more awareness that relocation laws and coal mining need to be stopped, that these communities deserve to be free on their ancestral homelands. We hope to come together to strengthen our solidarity and find ways to work together to protect Black Mesa and our Mother Earth for all life.
Ways you can support:
Join the Caravan and Be Self-Sufficient! By connecting with a regional coordinator and joining one of the volunteer work crews from your region, you are expected to be adequately prepared and self-sufficient prior to your visit on Black Mesa, which is a very remote area in a high desert terrain. There is no electricity, no central heating, and no running water. You must come prepared, and bring everything you will need. There could be extreme weather, and it will be cold especially at night. Each participant will need to bring food, water, outdoor camping gear (although we will likely be staying inside with families), very warm clothing, and appropriate attire for hands-on manual work. Coming equipped with chainsaws, trucks, shovels, axes and mauls dramatically increases your effectiveness as a work crew!
Read and sign the Cultural Sensitivity and Preparedness Guide: All direct, on-land supporters of Black Mesa are required to thoroughly read over and sign the Cultural Sensitivity and Preparedness Guide. This document is an in-depth guide that contains important information that you will need prior to and during your visit with a host family on Black Mesa. This guide gives you crucial information about how to be adequately prepared, background of the struggle and current his/herstory, safety and legal issues, cultural sensitivity, code of conduct, and a suggested list of what to bring with you. We want to ensure that each person is informed about the agreements and basic requests from these communities, that each person is safe and accounted for, and that we have your emergency contact info should an emergency arise. It is of the utmost importance that each caravan participant understands and respects the ways of the communities that we will be visiting. Please print out and bring this guidebook with you during your visit to Black Mesa http://blackmesais.org/tag/cultural-sensitivity/
Pre-register: To help us estimate how many people to expect as well as to help us make necessary accommodations for all. For participants coming from areas with BMIS designated regional coordinators, please register with them - see our website.
Host or attend regional organizational meetings in your area: We strongly urge participants to attend or organize regional meetings. Caravan coordinators are located in Prescott, Phoenix and Flagstaff, AZ; Denver, CO; Santa Cruz, CA; Eugene and Portland, OR; and the San Francisco's Bay Area. The meeting locations and dates will be posted at the BMIS website and Face Book as coordinators set them u p. This caravan will be collaborating with the annual Clan Dyken Fall Food and Supply Run on Black Mesa.
Raise Awareness: about Black Mesa and the caravan. You can obtain literature from BMIS.
Organize fundraisers: At the weeks prior to every caravan, grassroots supporters from all over throw benefits to raise the much-needed funds, for such things as supplies, wood, and direct, on-land people-support. Please contact BMIS for guidelines prior to any fund-raising in the name of Big Mountain and Black Mesa.
Collect supplies: Chainsaws, axes, mauls, axe handles, shovels, tools of all kinds, organic food, warm blankets, and especially trucks --either to donate to families or to use for the week of the caravan--are greatly needed on the land to make this caravan work! Check back on the BMIS website for an ongoing list of specific requests from the land.
Donate: We are not receiving nor relying on any institutional funding for these support efforts, but are instead counting on each person's ingenuity, creativity, and hard work to make it all come together. We are hoping to raise enough money through our community connections for gas, specifically for collecting wood and food for host families, and for work projects.
The communities request support throughout the year: If you cannot attend the caravan and still want to support the resistance, please contact BMIS! We will provide support options or help facilitate your stay with a resisting family any time through the year!
So, please be sure to let BMIS know sooner rather than later! Thank you everybody for your continued support!
We can't wait to see you in November! Give back to the Earth! Give to future generations!
Black Mesa Indigenous Support
Black Mesa Indigenous Support (BMIS) is a grassroots, all-volunteer organization dedicated to working with and supporting the indigenous peoples of Black Mesa who are targeted by and resisting unjust large-scale coal mining operations and forced relocation policies of the US government in their struggle for Life and Land.
Address: P.O. Box 23501, Flagstaff, Arizona 86002
Voice Mail: 928.773.8086
Facebook: Black Mesa Indigenous Support
PHOTO: This is Everson Museum pic of my new mirror painting titled "Reflections of Injustice" my statement on what happened to the Iroquois Nationals this summer.This my statement on what happened to the Iroquois Nationals in July of 2010:
It was a sad feeling, that the team didn't get to go the World Lacrosse Games.
But to us they're heroes of what are ancestors fought for ... our survival, that
is why we are still here today. They instilled pride into our children, and that
they can never take away. Our sovereignty, meant more than a trophy, it was a great day for all indigenous peoples, that we showed the World, who we are, The Haudenosaunee-People of the Longhouse.
Also thanks to Mike Greenlar for letting me use his photograph, to make
this picture, for the exhibition.
NATIVE VOICE TV on the web: Cihuapilli Rose Amador talks with activist Wounded Knee De Ocampo and Native Voice TV, still photographer,Cipactzin David Romero about the desecration of sacred sites on Native lands around Turtle Island
ALL NATIVE VOICE TV SHOWS CAN NOW BE SEEN streaming live on SATURDAYS AT 4:00pm P.S.T. and MONDAYS at 8:00pm@ http://www.creatvsj.org/
Steve Macias is one of the original founding members of the Santa Clara Vanguard Drum and Bugle Corps, a bass player, former jet dragster driver turned associate producer, director and editor for Native Voice TV in San Jose, California. We're trying to meet and help promote Indigenous people from the music, movie and entertainment industries as well as artists and craftsmen of Native art. We also keep the Native community up to date with local and national political issues that affect the Native community and interview guests who are active and involved with the issues of today.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
SERIOUS RISK OF NAVAJO NATION WATER RIGHTS
Article and photo by Calvin Johnson, Navajo, Leupp, Arizona
NAVAJO NATION COUNCIL DELEGATES: DO NOT WAIVE THE TREATIES OF 1849, 1868 AND THE WINTERS DOCTRINE
For the past few years, The Navajo Nation Government has been working on the Arizona Water Settlement for the Little Colorado River and the Lower Basin of the main stem Colorado River .
Recently, Council Delegates and local leaders have been pushing for voters to approve resolutions in support of this settlement.
On September 17, 2010 Speaker Lawrence T. Morgan announced a Special Session, set for September 29, 2010 at the Navajo Nation Council Chambers. The session is to start at 10 a.m. (DST) with water rights settlement as an action item listed under new business. The agenda lists Council Delegate George Arthur (T'iistoh Bikaad/San Juan/Nenanezad), the current chairman of the Resources Committee, as the sponsor of Legislation No. 0422-10 “Northeastern Arizona Indian Water Rights Settlement Agreement legislation” and per Office of the Speaker press release states the settlement “would settle the Navajo Nation’s and Hopi Tribe’s water rights claims in the lower basin of the Colorado River and Little Colorado River system.”
Preliminarily and from a grassroots point of view, the supposed Arizona water settlement is a huge scam and we as indigenous people who have been here for many generations will be losing our basic water rights for the sake of money, power and control.
Recently at Tolani Lake Chapter meeting, Delegate Leonard Chee stated to the public that it was “the fault of the people that the Navajo Nation will be only receiving 45,000 acre-feet/year total from the C-aquifer”. It was “they who were saying NO to water." Well, with all due respect if Mr. Chee took the time to read all the agreements/settlement and spoke to activist who understand water rights, he would have read that Navajo water is NOT FOR ALL THE NAVAJO PEOPLE.
Back in 2007, I wrote a statement about the infamous Mohave Generating Station negotiation agreement titled “Mohave Mediation Memorandum of Recommended Non-Economic Terms." In that agreement, the $600 million dollar lawsuit brought against the Federal Government would have been dismissed in exchange for giving away C-Aquifer water to the “Blackmesa Project." In the same agreement, we as a Nation would have waived and released any and all Claims against APS, Southern California Edison, Salt River Project, Nevada Power, Tucson Electric Power and LADWP, waived of certain natural resources damages claims, waived sovereign immunity. With the Arizona water settlement, we will have the same terms because the Treaties of 1849, 1868 and the Winters Doctrine (Winters v. United States, 1908) guarantees the Navajo People water rights to the Little Colorado River and the Lower Basin of the main stem Colorado River.
In order for Navajo Nation to approve the Arizona Water Settlement for the Little Colorado River and the Lower Basin of the main stem Colorado River, the Navajo Nation must waive our rights to water such as the Winters Doctrine. I want to emphasis again, that the Treaties of 1849, 1868, and the Winters Doctrine entitles all the Navajo People as a nation water rights whether it’s brown, clear or underground.
Additional serious and grave concerns regarding the Little Colorado River and the Lower Basin of the main stem Colorado River Settlement are the lucrative terms such as:
• Allowing of non-Indian users to pump unlimited amounts of C-aquifer water from wells beyond 18 miles south of the Navajo Nation boundary;
• Allowing of non-Indian users unlimited amounts of C-aquifer water 18 miles south of the Navajo Nation boundary –even though excessive pumping will reduce flows in the River and may bring more salty water to Navajo wells .
• Allowing of non-Indian water users to pump as much “underground flow” as they want without regard for impact on Navajo use of same aquifers.
• Waiving all Navajo priority and reserved water rights to the Little Colorado and Colorado Rivers for other uses forever .
To all farmers, ranchers, sheep herders, elders, youth, the great people of the Navajo Nation please call the speaker’s office at (928) 871-7160 or the Navajo Nation Council’s Office at (928) 871-6380 and urge your local leaders, delegates to VOTE NO on the Arizona Water Settlement for the Little Colorado River and the Lower Basin of the main stem Colorado River.
The Navajo Nation leaders should be fighting and defending the Treaties of 1849, 1868 and the Winters Doctrine. Every drop of what belongs to Navajo is will deserved, not by giving it away to greedy corporations or entities who in return do not help our nation. Also, a clarification of Mr. Chee’s accusation of the residents of Canyon Diablo who were saying no water for Peabody was due to the fact that impacted residents were not to receive a single drop of water even if the pipeline was directly in front of their homes. Same goes for the Dilkon Water Project: Water will be piped to Dilkon but impacted residents living in front or directly of the line will NOT receive any water. Would you say yes to such a project if you were not to get water for 15 years down the road?
Disclaimer: The opinion expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions officially of my employer or the Leupp Schools Inc., its employees, staff and/or its board.
PO Box 5527
Leupp, AZ 86035
Also see: Secret negotiations exposed on Navajo water rights
Navajos urge Navajo Nation Council to vote 'No' on Sept. 29 to this settlement of Navajo water rights, a giveaway of Navajo water rightshttp://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2010/09/secret-negotiations-released-on-navajo.html
Download or print this document:
A prominent Australian war correspondent has revealed the news giant CNN refused to air footage of an apparent war crime by US troops in Iraq. In an interview with the Australian network ABC, Michael Ware says he witnessed a US soldier fatally shooting an Iraqi teenager in the back of the head. The boy then lay dying for twenty minutes. Ware says CNN decided the footage was too graphic for broadcast. He’s been unable to release it because CNN owns the tapes.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Bolivian President Evo Morales and Palestinian Authorities will speak in New York on Wednesday, on "The Right to Water for Occupied Palestine," as President Morales presses the nations of the world to guarantee the right to water for humanity.
The right to water is one of the fundamental rights stated in the declarations produced by those attending the World Peoples' Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth in Cochabamba, Bolivia, in April. Of the 35,000 people attending, the majority were Indigenous Peoples.
President Morales has carried those concepts to the United Nations, as the governments of the world prepare to negotiate at the UN Climate Conference in Cancun, Nov. 29—Dec. 10.
President Morales announced today that he would join high-level Palestinian Authorities in New York to speak on the Right to Water, while in New York for the General Assembly of the United Nations.
Continuing to speak out for the rights of nature, President Morales' address at a gathering on Tuesday is, “Nature is not for sale: The Rights of Mother Earth."
In Cochabamba in April, Morales demonstrated his message of living well and living free from the disposable plastic and Styrofoam items that pollute the earth. Morales invited the foreign press to accompany him for a soccer game and traditional feast in the mountains of Bolivia. After playing soccer, Morales joined news reporters for a feast of locally grown potatoes, corn and beans, and fresh fish, all served on locally made clay plates.
Since then, Morales has been successful in carrying the standards formulated in Cochabamba to the United Nations and initiating change.
In July, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution submitted by Bolivia declaring that the right of access to water and sanitation is an essential human right, without which other human rights cannot be fully enjoyed.
Native American delegations from the United States and Canada are now preparing to join Indigenous Peoples from around the world for the UN Climate Summit in Cancun in November, pressing for the protection of the land, forests and oceans, while upholding the Rights of Mother Earth and exposing the scams of the carbon credit market.
As President Morales and Palestinian Authorities speak out on the right to water in New York, Navajos continue their battle against secret negotiations by the Navajo Nation government for the sale of their ancestral water rights, vital for future generations.
President Morales announced the following key elements within the declarations of Cochabamba are now in the United Nations documents for climate change negotiations:
50% reduction of greenhouse gasses emission by developed countries for second period of commitments from the Kyoto Protocol years 2013 to 2017.
Stabilize the rise of temperature to 1 C and 300 parts for million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
To guarantee an equitable distribution of atmospheric space, taking into account the climate debt of emissions by developed countries for developing countries.
Full respect for the Human Rights and the inherent rights of indigenous peoples, women, children and migrants.
Full recognition to the United Nations Declaration on of Indigenous Peoples Rights.
Recognition and defense of the rights of Mother Earth to ensure harmony with nature.
Guarantee the fulfillment of the commitments from the developed countries though the building of an International Court of Climate Justice.
Rejection to the new mechanisms of carbon markets that transfer the responsibility of the reduction in emissions of greenhouse gases from developed countries to developing countries.
Promotion of measures that change the consumption patterns of the developed countries.
Adoption of necessary measures in all relevant forums to be excluded from the protection of the intellectual property rights to technologies and ecologically sustainable useful to mitigate climate change.
Developed countries will allocate 6% of their national gross product to actions relatives to Climate Change.
Integrated management of forest, to mitigation and adaptation, without market mechanics and ensuring the full participation of indigenous peoples and local communities.
Prohibition the conversion of natural forest for plantations, since the monoculture plantations are not forest, instead should encourage the protection and conservation of natural forests.
By Brenda Norrell
TUCSON -- Native Americans are calling for a boycott of the University of Arizona for profiteering at the border, as the university continues to be funded and coopted by Homeland Security. The University of Arizona's most recent cash from the militarization of the border comes in the form of $500,000 to evaluate the effectiveness of Border Patrol checkpoints and their impact on nearby communities.
Native Americans say the US military, federal agents and US spy operations have no place on university campuses.
The University of Arizona's National Center for Border Security and Immigration opened in September of 2008 with funding from the Department of Homeland Security. The operation is co-led by the UA and the University of Texas-El Paso, which will also get $500,000 to study checkpoints.
The US has already reported that the checkpoints have not proven to be efficient or effective. The militarization of the border has resulted in the increased targeting of people of color by border agents, including Native Americans who live in their homelands.
The border hysteria and new passport laws means that Indigenous Peoples are subjected to abuse from border agents and police as they travel in their homelands, from the Kumeyaay in Calif., to the Cocopah and Tohono O'odham in Arizona and the Ysleta del Sur and Lipan Apache in Texas. Yaqui, O'otham, Apache and Yavapai also have communities in the US and Mexico and are subjected to abuse by border agents during family visits and while traveling to ceremonies.
The latest funding comes as the University of Arizona continuous to engage in global cyber spy activity, increases the climate of racism by targeting people of color during classroom spy instruction, receives Department of Defense funding, and increasingly has Homeland Security agents on campus.
Previous article: The University of Arizona just got a lot creepier
Classroom spy training targets people of color as university celebrates its global cyber spy:
Saturday, September 18, 2010
By Brenda Norrell
It seems unlikely that the rightwing Tea Party would be seeking converts in Indian country, but that's what is happening in Montana and South Dakota. In Arizona, heavily-armed Tea Party style hunters are stalking human beings on the Arizona border.
This week, I posted this comment and question, "The Tea baggers, as they are called, are edging their way into Indian country. Any sightings?"
The first confirmation came by way of a link to Wanbli's Indigenous Rights Movement Blog Talk Radio show, about the 'Lakota Tea Party.'
As the questions rolled in about the Tea Party, I added this on Facebook, "The rhetoric is of course racist. Although many people are not happy with some, or many, of Obama's decisions, the Tea Party rhetoric often crosses the line into harsh or violent rhetoric.
"Rush Limbaugh and Arizona Gov. Janet Brewer also seem to be heroes of the Tea Party guys."
Although Native American readers seemed assured that there was no way that the Tea Party would gain a stake in Indian country, it turned out it had already happened. The Tea Party was in Crow country in Montana, and attempting to organize with Lakotas in Pine Ridge, South Dakota.
This article on the Crow Tea Party appeared in the Billings Gazette:
One person responded, "It is a tactic of the rightwingers to pit marginalized groups against one another. They want to see us fight over the scraps that the dominant culture throw us."
The majority of Tea Party members are white, protestant, conservative and rich, according to Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Tea_Party_Demographics.gif
Of course, the root of the modernday Tea Party is colonization and the colonizers. Wikipedia states, "The name 'Tea Party' is a reference to the Boston Tea Party of 1773—a protest by American colonists against various acts by the British Government which, among other things, attempted to establish a monopoly on the importation of tea into the colonies by giving a cut on re-importation tax imposed on the East India Company."
It turns out that the Tea Party was already organizing in Pine Ridge.
One reader writes, "They had a tea party meeting at Pine Ridge during Oglala Lakota Nation Pow-wow. I never heard how the turn out was or what they were framing their voice around."
Then from Arizona, came these comments.
"Down here in southeastern Arizona, JT Ready and his for hire mercenaries often say the same things and he has an Apache in his group that is very confused about why he helps the damn NAZI," wrote another.
In South Dakota, Native Americans already talk of a "Tea bagger infestation."
The idea of Native Americans promoting the Tea Party, along with white conservatives, was too bizarre for most. One person e-mailed and questioned whether Native Americans are being paid to travel and organize Tea Party meetings in South Dakota and Montana.
Another person on the Navajo Nation wrote, "I smelled them at the Navajo Nation Fair, hopefully they don't spread their speechless moments to our leaders."
The "bag of brew" scent came from Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer.
It was this final video from the Sonoran Desert in Arizona that revealed how the surge in hate and racism in America, with migrant xenophobia fueled by the media and pushed by private prison lobbyists, border wall builders and security contractors, is now being manifest.
It is a video of white supremacists hunting for migrants with assault rifles on the Arizona border.
Heavily armed, they wear "Border Patrol" caps and display their cache of weapons in the Arizona desert. A confused Apache, a young man wearing the camouflage of a shrub, says he is not a white supremacist and alludes to working with a police department.
Watch the video:
Also see who's funding the Tea Party: White billionaires with a hidden agenda:
Navajos are urged to attend the Navajo Nation Council special session on Sept. 29, and persuade the council delegates to vote 'No' to this giveaway of Navajo water rights, which has been negotiated in secret.
Censored News http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com
Photo by Calvin Johnson
Briefing on the Navajo Nation’s Proposed Little Colorado River Water Rights Settlement Agreement
The proposed Little Colorado River Water Rights Settlement Agreement gives away, waives, does not protect, and does not claim the Navajo People’s and Navajo Nation’s priority rights to all waters that fall on, run by or through, or are under the land surface between the Four Sacred Mountains. The proposed Settlement waives, gives away and does not claim --
· Navajo priority water rights -- “first in time, first in right”;
· Navajo water rights established by the Winter’s Supreme Court Doctrine to enough water to serve all purposes for which the Navajo homeland was established; and
· Navajo water rights provided for in Arizona v California to enough water to irrigate all practicably irrigable acreage
The proposed Little Colorado River Water Rights Settlement Agreement :
· Prohibits any more than 10,000 acres of irrigated agriculture along the Little Colorado River; including building any surface water reservoirs for irrigation;
· Claim only 40,000 acre-feet (25%) of average annual Little Colorado River surface flow;
· Gives Navajo only 32,000 acre-feet per year of 4th Priority Colorado River water –
-- this water will NOT BE AVAILABLE in times of drought ;
-- this water will require over $500 million of new federal funding to deliver the water to our communities – and may not be used for any new farming;
-- this water will be extremely vulnerable to disruption by natural or human causes;
· Gives Navajo no more than 60,000 acre-feet/year total from the C-aquifer in a 36-mile strip of “Protected Areas” along the Navajo Nation south boundary;
· Allows non-Indian users unlimited amounts of C-aquifer water 18 miles south of the Navajo Nation boundary –even though excessive pumping will reduce flows in the River and may bring more salty water to Navajo wells .
· Allow non-Indian water users to pump as much “underground flow” as they want without regard for impact on Navajo use of same aquifers.
· The proposed Settlement waives all Navajo priority and reserved water rights to the Little Colorado and Colorado Rivers for other uses forever.
Some More Detail on the Navajo Nation’s Proposed Little Colorado River Water Rights Settlement Agreement
Surface Waters of the Little Colorado River (LCR)
The proposed Agreement prohibits any future irrigated agriculture beyond some 10,000 acres of farm projects identified along the main-stem of the Little Colorado River between Birdsprings and Cameron.
The Agreement also prohibits the Navajo People from building any new reservoirs for irrigation anywhere; and prohibits any new agriculture on Navajo off-reservation lands.
-- This makes it practically impossible to use the surface flows of the Little Colorado River, which only come an average of four months a year. This also closes the door in the Leupp area to the beneficial use of LCR water on thousands of acres of Class 1 irrigable soils west of North Leupp Farms – completely eliminating Navajo Winters Doctrine rights to enough water to irrigate the major resource area of “practicably irrigable lands” in the LCR Basin.
The proposed Agreement only claims some 40,000 acre-feet per year of Little Colorado River surface flow within the Nation – even though the Navajo Nation has a clear priority right to all that flow.
-- 40,000 acre-feet are only 25% of the average annual flow of 160,000 acre-feet measured at Cameron -- why not claim 50% or 75% or more of this average ? In wet years, there is a great deal more water in the River – for example, in 1973 the highest recorded LCR annual flow at Cameron was over 800,000 acre-feet -- which could be used if there was a storage reservoir along the River.
The proposed Agreement prevents Navajo either from claiming any priority rights, or from claiming any in-stream flows to provide for and protect wildlife, trees, quality of life, cultural or environmental purposes.
The proposed Agreement encourages the Navajo Nation to give up its priority water rights to other interests with less priority.
-- Whatever happened to “first in time first in right…” ? Why should the Navajo Nation give up its priority water right?
Some More Detail on Proposed Little Colorado River Water Rights Settlement
The proposed Agreement provides the Navajo Nation with some 31,000 acre-feet per year of 4th Priority * Colorado River main-stem water -- which has to be pumped from Lake Powell at enormous energy and operating and maintenance costs; and which will NOT BE AVAILABLE in times of shortage on the Colorado River.
-- We are in a drought cycle which may well be long-term – like the drought which affected the Anasazi for a century or more. Why is the Navajo Nation making many of our communities totally dependent on water which will not be there in severe drought years?
The proposed Agreement does not clearly quantify how much LCR surface water Navajo has a right to.
-- If the Navajo Nation has a right to unappropriated surface waters, how much LCR surface flow is actually unappropriated – and who has appropriated the rest, and when?
The proposed Agreement prohibits the Navajo Nation from challenging non-Indian use of sub-flow waters -- including waters in the alluvial aquifer -- even though such use takes surface waters to which the Navajo Nation is given a right.
-- For example, folks in Winslow or Holbrook could set up a well field beside the LCR to capture large amounts of the waters of the LCR alluvium without regard for impacts on Navajo water rights
Peabody Coal is allowed to retain its surface water impoundment structures on Black Mesa permanently – why?
* For more information on Priorities to Colorado River Surface Water, see --
Priority 1 - Present Perfected Rights (PPRs) as provided for in the Arizona v. California Decree.
Priority 2 - Federal Reservations and Perfected Rights established prior to September 30, 1968
Priority 3 - Contracts between the United States and water users in Arizona executed on or before September 30, 1968
Priority 4 - Entitlements pursuant to contracts and other arrangements between the United States and water users in the State of Arizona entered into subsequent to September 30, 1968, not to exceed 164,652 acre-feet annually;
Priority 5 - Unused Arizona Entitlement
Priority 6 - Surplus Water
Some More Detail on Proposed Little Colorado River Water Rights Settlement
Ground Water in LCR Basin C-Aquifer
According to the Bureau of Reclamation, there are about 140,000 acre feet average annual re-charge to the entire C aquifer . This is the maximum sustainable yield for all users – if more water than that is taken out in a given year, the aquifer is being mined and will (eventually) be exhausted. See http://www.usbr.gov/lc/phoenix/reports/ncawss/NCAWSSP1NOAPP.pdf
The proposed Agreement allows non-Indian users to pump unlimited amounts of C-aquifer water from wells beyond 18 miles south of the Navajo Nation boundary;
-- Even though excessive pumping will reduce flows in the River and may bring salty water to wells on the Navajo Nation (eg, Leupp). Note for example --
“Local heavy withdrawals from the C-aquifer may also cause upward shifting of the salt water interface from the evaporites in the Supai Formation near Joseph City” …
“ Long-term pumping could lead to long-term increases in salinity of pumped water” …
-- Mann, L.J., and Nemecek, E.A., 1983, Geohydrology and water use in southern Apache County, Arizona: Arizona Department of Water Resources, Bulletin 1, 86 p.
The proposed Agreement allows non-Indian users to pump no more than 50,000 acre-feet per year from an 18-mile strip south of the south boundary of the Navajo Nation; and allows no new large capacity wells within 2 miles of the Navajo Nation boundary;
The proposed Agreement allows the Navajo Nation to use no more than 60,000 acre-feet/year total from the C-aquifer in an 18-mile strip of the Navajo Nation, north of the Navajo Nation’s south boundary.
The proposed Agreement prohibits the diversion of any surface waters out of the LCR Basin …
-- But no mention is made of pumping ground water out of the LCR Basin –
as has already been done by Phelps Dodge – who initiated the LCR Adjudication in 1978. This opens the door to down-state folks who are running out of their local water (Verde Valley, Payson, Phoenix, etc) setting up well-fields along the Mogollon Rim to pump as much as they want of the C-aquifer … without regard to possible long-term impacts to the quantity and quality of Navajo Nation C Aquifer water.
There are many other serious concerns with the proposed Little Colorado River Water Rights Settlement Agreement. The Navajo People must be allowed to study, understand, and decide openly for themselves every aspect of this proposed Agreement which will determine the quality and even the possibility of life for the Dine for all time to come.
Download or print this document: