Tuesday, May 31, 2011

AIM in Caracas: Supporting Venezuela as US imposes economic sanctions

AIM in Caracas to support Venezuela, following US economic sanctions


By Brenda Norrell
Censored News
http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com/
Photo by Tony Gonzales
Photo published with permission at Censored News.
UPDATED: May 31, 2001, 5 pm

CARACAS, Venezuela -- American Indian Movement representatives Tony Gonzales and Richard La Fortune were in Venezuela this weekend to support the country in its struggles and expose the United States' political machinations aimed at hurting Indigenous Peoples.

Anishinabe Roseau River First Nation Chief Terrance Nelson released a statement exposing the United States' agenda which targets Venezuela President Hugo Chavez.

Gonzales spoke at a rally on Sunday, May 29, in Caracas, following the Obama administration's new economic sanctions against Venezuela. Venezuela's CITGO has been providing energy assistance to American Indians and other poor Americans.

Gonzales said, “The people were fired up waiting to hear what we Indios/AIM from North America had to say about the USA terminating energy contracts. It was a source Indian peoples in South Dakota, Montana, Alaska and New York had relied on. Their warm generosity during harsh winter, and was cut off! Venezuela se respeta!"

"It was awesome! Such strong spirited peoples," Gonzales said of the rally. Gonzales and Richard La Fortune conveyed the sentiments of north America's recipients of Venezuela's warm generosity.

"For the US to single out sanctions against Venezuela energy companies could have serious consequences all around, and should require further investigation and congressional debate, including testimony from the general public! Legislators and representatives should be contacted. Cities can write resolutions and forward them to their representatives," Gonzales said.

Gonzales said people should be aware of the implications of US sanctions against Venezuela, particularly as it affects Indian peoples in north America. "What are the 250,000 needy recipients in South Dakota, Montana, Alaska, New York and other places to do now during this energy crisis and the new cut-off? It is down-right disgusting; the cruelty and mean spirited Obama administration and for using the poor to leverage their point!" Gonzales said.

Chief Nelson questioned if the US is now focused on portraying President Chavez as the next "bogeyman."

"With Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden dead, who is the next bogeyman?"

"So, is President Hugo Chavez one of the next bogeymen for the U.S. military? Are we to be afraid of Chavez and why is that?"

According to news reports, the Obama administration imposed economic sanctions in May against CITGO's parent company, Petroleos de Venezuela SA, and six other companies who helped Iran import gasoline. Obama placed the companies on a financial blacklist which affects contract bidding and prevents access to the global banking system.

Chief Nelson said, "The United States isn’t putting a stop to the import of Venezuelan oil but wants Chavez to quit dealing with Iran. The American Indian Movement has two people in Venezuela meeting with government officials. For us the reality is that Venezuela has helped indigenous people in the United States directly."

"The poorest reservations in the United States have received foreign aid from the Venezuelans. In the dead of winter, home heating oil from Citgo, the Venezuelan Gas Station giant in the U.S.A., has given a lot to the poorest people in America, the indigenous people. It is not millions of dollars but more like billions of dollars that Hugo Chavez has given to other nations. Perhaps it doesn’t mean a lot to the average American but Chavez is not Castro, Venezuela has a choice. Oil gives Chavez the ability to chose who he sells to." (See Chief Nelson's full statement below.)
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Economic Sanctions, a double edged sword!

By Chief Terrance Nelson, Roseau River First Nation Anishinabe
May 30, 2011

Americans paying four dollars a gallon for gasoline and U.S. trade deficits with other nations in the hundreds of billions dollars every year for the last few decades is cause for real debate for every American that is affected by the economy. When it comes to oil, the action taken by the Obama administration declaring economic sanctions against Venezuela is a dangerous game. A full 25% of the world’s oil is used by the 5% of the world population in the United States. United States has a fourteen trillion dollar federal debt and an unrelenting addiction to foreign oil.

Twenty years ago when the U.S. federal debt was 3 trillion dollars, economic sanctions against other nations wasn’t dangerous for the U.S. America today is in uncharted grounds, it is no longer an invincible economic fortress. The world’s largest economy is in danger of an economic Waterloo. For their own good, average Americans must demand the right to be involved in the debate not be left on the sidelines of government policies that will affect every American.

For decades, America and its allies have used economic sanctions on other nations who do not comply with the wishes of the United Nations or World Trade policies. Canada has joined the United States in declaring economic sanctions against other nations numerous times. As indigenous peoples in North America, our experience with the colonial governments has been continuous undeclared economic sanctions enacted against our people.

Deliberate policies and laws by immigrant governments have destroyed our ability to have economic self-sufficiency. What has changed for First Nations in Canada is our leverage over the 2.5 million barrels of oil flowing daily to the United States. Roseau River Anishinabe First Nation has the Enbridge depot in Gretna Manitoba sitting on our ancestral lands, a depot that sends one million barrels of oil a day stateside. The Enbridge depot in Gretna Manitoba sends as much oil to the United States as all of Venezuela. What is important to understand is that Canada did not comply with the Treaty One conditions that gave Enbridge rights in our ancestral lands.

In Canada indigenous people are at the seventy-second level of the United Nations Living Index while Canada overall is at the second highest level just below Australia’s number one world ranking. We live under undeclared economic sanctions and have done so for decades. Canada is the largest supplier of foreign oil to the United States but the real owners, the indigenous peoples in Canada get no payment for any of the sixty different metals and minerals mined in Canada. While there are no property rights for indigenous peoples under Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the United States does enjoy security of energy exports/imports under the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada.

Since 9/11, the right of Americans to question Government has become un-American. The only aspect of the United States budget that never gets slashed is military spending. Saddam is dead, but the need for a bogey man to scare Americans into never questioning the need for military spending continues. Despite the unpopular wars in Iraq and Afghanistan which will cost the United States $1.3 trillion to the end of 2011, the need for the United States military to try to control world events and American opinion continues. The world saw President Obama sitting watching as Navy Seals killed Osama Bin Laden and Americans cheered, celebrating in great enthusiasm. The reality for America however is that Osama Bin Laden’s death does not change the economic situation faced by the United States ten years after 9/11.

In April 1998 I accepted an invitation from the Saddam Hussein government to go to Iraq and see first-hand the effects of economic sanctions upon the people of Iraq. Seven indigenous people from Canada with broadcast quality cameras went into Iraq for eleven days and video-taped 25 hours of life under United Nations economic sanctions. The effects of sanctions were already well known. In December of 1995, the United Nations released a study that found that 567,000 Iraqi children had died in the first five years of economic sanctions. Prior to the 1990 war, the Iraqi dinar was worth three and a half American dollars, by the time we got there in 1998, it took fourteen hundred Iraqi dinars to buy one American dollar.

Prior to economic sanctions, Iraq’s largest trading partners were Russia, China and France. Under United Nations economic sanctions, Iraq’s trade situation was governed by the Food for Oil program. In the 1998 America, no one cared about Iraq because for the average American, life was good, gasoline was 90 cents a gallon, 9/11 hadn’t happened yet and besides wasn’t it all Saddam’s fault? Saddam was good bogey man, a sadistic paranoid who got Iraq into a bloody eight year war with Iran. Remember what we were told, weapons of mass destruction. No one can defend Saddam after he quit being a U.S. ally and he tried to seize the neighbouring Kuwait oil fields. The reality of U.S. need for oil never dawned on Saddam.

With Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden dead, who is the next bogey man? Do you not find it strange that 15 of the 19 terrorists who hit United States in September of 2001 came from Saudi Arabia but never once have we ever heard anyone in the United States government talking of the need for regime change in Saudi Arabia. We do however hear the need for regime change in Iran. Iran is building a nuclear weapon we are told and economic sanctions are necessary. Anyone dealing with Iran is a threat, so we must put economic sanctions on Venezuela, we are told because Venezuela is continuing to defy the United States by trading with Iran. So, is President Hugo Chavez one of the next bogey men for the U.S. military? Are we to be afraid of Chavez and why is that?

Don’t get me wrong, with the Middle East in crisis and Chavez in trouble, we don’t mind the extra leverage we now have over the United States by sitting on the pipelines from Canada that fuel the American economy, it is just that we can’t sell Americans anything if the U.S. dollar goes the way of the Iraqi dinar. Eighty-seven percent of all Canadian exports are purchased by United States. Putting sanctions on Venezuela does not make sense. As dangerous as nuclear proliferation is, pissing off the owners of millions of barrels of foreign oil purchased by the United States every day is also dangerous. Changing to the Euro from the American dollar in payment for oil would devastate the American dollar.

Six years ago, in May 2005, I wrote, “…United States can financially implode and cause a worldwide recession perhaps even a depression. …Americans in a deep recession unable to live in their accustomed lifestyle could become a military superpower with an unstable government.” Only nine countries in the world are nuclear capable with over twenty thousand nuclear warheads existing in the world, enough to kill all life in the world many times over. No one disputes the need to stop nuclear proliferation, the question however still remains, is it a good strategy to use economic sanctions on other nations when it can become a double edged sword, one that could now be used against the United States.

The United States isn’t putting a stop to the import of Venezuelan oil but wants Chavez to quit dealing with Iran. The American Indian Movement has two people in Venezuela meeting with government officials. For us the reality is that Venezuela has helped indigenous people in the United States directly. The poorest reservations in the United States have received foreign aid from the Venezuelans. In the dead of winter, home heating oil from Citgo the Venezuelan Gas Station giant in the U.S.A. has given a lot to the poorest people in America, the indigenous people. It is not millions of dollars but more like billions of dollars that Hugo Chavez has given to other nations. Perhaps it doesn’t mean a lot to the average American but Chavez is not Castro, Venezuela has a choice. Oil gives Chavez the ability to chose who he sells to.

If the Gulf of Mexico spill is any indication, allowing the multi-national corporations like BP and American oil companies free rein over oil is not a good idea. If Americans are getting tired of paying four dollars for a gallon of gas, if they are worried about where their dollars are going and asking if their money at the gas pump is financing the next nuclear weapons, maybe it is time to ask questions. Being in Iraq in 1998 was not a popular thing to do and the two AIM members being in Venezuela today maybe seen as un-American by some in the U.S. government but it is a right non the less. More than a right it is responsibility to ask questions of your government. To hold accountable the Government of the United States is not un-American, it is a patriotic duty, it is American in every sense of the word.

Chief Terrance Nelson

Lil'wat at UN: The forced removal of children and genocide

Lil'wat at the UN Permanent Forum: Colonialism, sovereignty and human rights

May 30, 2011
Lil’wat, St’at’imc Press Statement

A Lil’wat delegation to the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues addressed the lack of implementation of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Canada.
From a statement by Pau Tuc la Cimc, James Louie, in 12th Meeting of the UN PFII, May 25:
James Louie introduced himself as Pau Tuc la Cimc, a Lil’watmc of the St’át’imc Nation. Addressing the issue of human rights and implementation of the 2007 UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, he drew attention to Article 5, the right to self-determination, and Article 7 – the right not be subjected to any act of genocide, including forcible removal of children. Canada declared support for the Declaration last year.
Contrary to these provisions of the Declaration and to several of its own laws, which Louie contends made it unlawful for colonial Governments and their successors to interfere with the internal affairs of Indigenous Nations, the Canadian Government has imposed upon the St’át’imc Nation its own vision and structures for indigenous self-government (which is not the same as self-determination) by means of a Canadian-legislated Indian Act. Since at least 1925, Canada has insisted that one Chief be elected for each community – a total corruption of St’at’imc governance.
Canada has no treaty with the Lil’wat or St’át’imc that consensually recognizes and embraces the Indian Act as a duly and legitimately constituted governance structure. Therefore Pau Tuc la Cimc does not recognize any Band Councils formed under the Indian Act within Lil’wat, or the larger St’át’imc nation to which Lil’wat belongs.
Specifically, he contested at the Permanent Forum the right of the elected St’át’imc Chiefs to enter into a Settlement Agreement with British Columbia and the hydroelectric utility BC Hydro Power Corporation earlier this month. The elected Chiefs concluded a Royalty-free payout for land usage in perpetuity; gave a guarantee for the utility’s water licenses (which dominate three watersheds in the territory), and released the province, the utility and “anyone else” from any future claims for any damages deriving from the existing facilities on those lands. They purported to do this on behalf of all St’at’imc people, present and future.
In his view, as imposed governance mechanisms, they don’t have the right, according to Article 1 of both Covenants of the International Bill of Human Rights, to speak on his and his family’s behalf, or to enter into negotiations with the Canadian government on issues which impact the resources, rights and well-being of the St’át’imc nation. Elected Indian Band Chiefs are mandated by Canada to deliver Indian Act programs and funding.
“No one but the Lil’watmc can speak for Lil’wat,” Louie declared to the 500 or so PFII participants. “To quote from our Declaration of the Lillooet Tribe of 1911, "…we are the rightful owners of our tribal territory and everything pertaining thereto."” Canada continues to deny this, and the human rights that would flow therefrom.
To contest the Canadian government’s persistent violation if Lil’wat’s right to self-determination, in 2007 Louie and twelve other signatories from Lil’wat brought a petition to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States (OAS). Louie is the principal initiator on behalf of Loni Edmonds, a young Lil’wat mother whose children have been seized and removed by the Canadian Ministry of Children and Families. Loni Edmonds’ children are the fourth in successive generations of her family to be seized and removed from Lil’wat by the Canadian state.
The OAS case challenges Canada’s legal right to jurisdiction over Lil’wat children. There is no treaty giving this right to Canada, and it is inconceivable that the Lil’wat would give Canada such a right.
To date, the petition to the IACHR has not been reviewed. Recourse and actions are needed – as provided for in the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Articles 40 and 42.
Having now delivered their recommendations to the appropriate international human rights mechanism, the Petitioners will continue to raise awareness and seek aid and support. If they are unsuccessful in having the Inter-American Court review their Petition, they will pursue it through other fora of the United Nations system.
The main function of the Permanent Forum is to receive recommendations that will help it inform the UN General Assembly on Implementation of the Declaration. Pau Tuc la Cimc strongly urged the Forum to engage with UN member states, procedures and mechanisms to make the Declaration a “binding and enforceable” international convention, augmenting the Geneva Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
James Louie attended the Forum in New York, May 16 – 27, as a representative of the International Human Rights Association of American Minorities (IHRAAM), an international NGO in Consultative Status with ECOSOC, and with critical support from the Canadians for Reconciliation Society.

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, September 13, 2007:
Article 5
Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain and strengthen their distinct political, legal, economic, social and cultural institutions, while retaining their right to participate fully, if they so choose, in the political, economic, social and cultural life of the State.
Article 7
Indigenous peoples have the collective right to live in freedom, peace and security as distinct peoples and shall not be subjected to any act of genocide or any other act of violence, including forcibly removing children of the group to another group.

United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Common Article 1:
All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.

Friday, May 27, 2011

AIM appeals Peltier case to Special Rapporteur

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News
Article updated May 27, 2011, 6 pm, New York time

Photos: Photo 1: Jimbo Simmons, Rapporteur James Anaya; Clyde Bellecourt and Tony Gonzales in New York. Photo by Rickey Lee Brauman, AIM-WEST intern. Photo published with permission at Censored News

NEW YORK -- American Indian Movement delegates are meeting with Mr. James Anaya, UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, at the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, 10th Session.
AIM is appealing to the Special Rapporteur in the case of Leonard Peltier.
The delegation meeting with the Special Rapporteur is Clyde Bellecourt, head of delegation and co-founder of American Indian Movement (AIM) with Antonio Gonzales, William "Jimbo" Simmons and Lamoine La Pointe. AIM member Foster is representing the International Indian Treaty Council.
Clyde Bellecourt's address to the UN Forum
The delegation to the UN Permanent Forum in May, 2011, included Clyde Bellecourt, co-founder of American Indian Movement, Antonio Gonzales, Len Foster, William "Jimbo" Simmons and Lamoine La Pointe.
During AIM's presentation to the Permanent Forum, Bellecourt described the history of the American Indian Movement, the International Indian Treaty Council, and the efforts in Geneva which led to the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.
Bellecourt told the Forum that President Obama should issue an apology for the misuse of Geronimo's name during the assault on Osama bin Laden. Further, Bellecourt said the struggle continues in Indian country for justice, human rights and the protection of natural resources.
"We demand that President Barack Obama as the 'commander and chief' and his war council recognize and issue a public apology for the continued attack on Indian people, for comparing one of our greatest leaders, Geronimo, to one of the most notorious terrorists known to the world, Osama Bin Laden. It’s time for North America to get rid of the frontier mentality, and the myth that ‘the only good Indian is a dead Indian.’"
Bellecourt introduced himself as Nee Gon Nway Wee Dung, founder and national director of the American Indian Movement and executive director Heart of the Earth Inc. Bellecourt is also cofounder of the International Indian Treaty Council.
"My brothers and sisters, the battle to protect the land continues, when seventy five percent of the all energy resources in North America are still on Indian lands. Most importantly, water –our most precious medicine- is still being stolen by governments and greedy corporation," Bellecourt said.
"We must stand together in total solidarity to fight these monstrous acts for the survival of our children. We must continue to think like our grandfathers and grandmothers, chiefs and great leaders before us, who envisioned what it would be like for their children seven generations from now."
AIM and El Salvador
AIM West also accompanied Mayor Roberto A.A. Barrientos of Izalco, Sonsonate, El Salvado, at the UN Permanent Forum. Barrientos brought a message from his community to New York.
"We are taking advantage of this opportunity at the Permanent Forum to denounce before the peoples of the world the genocide committed by the Salvadorian State against our Indigenous brothers through the massacres of our peoples, especially the massacre of 1932, when more than 35,000 Indigenous persons died in the Western zone of the country, and that of 1944, when Indigenous leaders were selectively assassinated throughout the country," Barrientos told the UN Forum.

Read more at AIM West: http://www.aimwest.info/

Thursday, May 26, 2011

UN Indigenous Forum: South and Central America, Caribbean 2011

Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues Tenth session New York, 16-27 May 2011
Draft report Rapporteur : Ms. Paimaneh
Hasteh Chapter I
Matters calling for action by the Economic and Social Council or brought to its attention
B. Matters brought to the attention of the Economic and Social Council
Half-day discussion on South and Central America and the Caribbean
1. The Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues recommends that Member States implement precautionary measures and recommendations provided by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples and the Permanent Forum to prevent irreparable harm to indigenous peoples, their authorities and indigenous organizations.
Read, print or download the document:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/56390775/UN-Permanent-Forum-Central-South-and-the-Carribean-2011

Global Indigenous Youth at UN focus on human rights

Photo copyright Ben Powless, Mohawk
Global Indigenous Youth Statement: Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms


Intervention to the Tenth Session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues 20ll
Global Indigenous Youth Caucus Statement
May 19, 20ll
Censored News
Photos UN 2011 by Ben Powless, Mohawk, published with permission at Censored News.
Agenda Item 4b: Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of Indigenous peoples and other United Nations human rights mechanisms

Thank you Madam Chair.

The Global Indigenous Youth Caucus would like to once again remind the Permanent Forum and all present, that Indigenous youth compose the "majority" of our communities -yet we remain under represented and poorly supported in this Forum. We would also like to remind you that we have been repeating our issues and concerns for many years, with little to no implementation.
Photo copyright Ben Powless, Mohawk

We, the Indigenous youth representatives that are present here today, are not only speaking for ourselves and our issues -we are speaking on behalf of our younger brothers and sisters, nieces, nephews, and children of our own. We recognize the strong will and noble ability of the Global Indigenous Youth who have the privilege of being present and acknowledge those who are not present here, who are working, surviving and advocating for the fulfillment of our rights as Indigenous Peoples.

The Global Indigenous Youth Caucus recommends the following:

1. We urge the Special Rapporteur to investigate development aggression toward, migration of and the forced and coerced removal of Indigenous children and youth from their families and communities to fulfill their basic human rights -such as education, employment, health care and personal safety -as well as for the purposes of gaining access to Indigenous lands and resources. We ask that when calls for information are requested -information specifically pertaining to youth are submitted.

2. We request a specific report about Indigenous youth and identity, specifically, how the lack of identity including factors such as land, education, Indigenous religion and spiritual practices, gender, and social structures, is often the root cause of violence towards them. Simply because of our Indigeneity, youth experience discrimination of all forms, at varying levels. Whether it is States not recognizing our rights as peoples, or the rates of poverty -until our basic needs are met, any human rights discourse is irrelevant. We ask that this report compare the situation of youth globally to the issues affecting Indigenous youth.

3. We once again urge the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of lndigenous Peoples to look into the study on indigenous youth's participation in decision-making prepared and presented by the Indigenous Youth Caucus in its 3rd session, and to include a section especially addressing the role and the good practice of indigenous youth's participation in decision-making in its final report on Indigenous Peoples' right to participation. We further request the Expert Mechanism to include paragraphs addressing indigenous youth in its future studies.

4. We urge the permanent forum to collaborate with the UN Commission on the Rights of the Child and Member state reporting processes and other UN organizations with the mandate for children so that youth specific mandates are complied with.

5. We recommend the Expert Mechanism, the Permanent Forum, and the Special Rapporteur to encourage Indigenous peoples and their organizations in organizing for the collection of their own population data. Basic and accurate Indigenous population data within States is currently unavailable or inaccurate. This impedes the ability for Indigenous Peoples to accurately forecast their populations and make plans for education, child care, and health care needs. State measures are not adequate as they have a vested interest in reducing our numbers, both within data collection and in reality. This information is vital to advocate for the means of Indigenous Peoples to govern themselves and fully participate in negotiation and other decision making processes. Any data collection processes must be conducted in conjunction with Indigenous Peoples and their respective organizations.

6. We recommend that the Expert mechanism to request information to States on Indigenous youth engagement so that they report on these efforts and both their prevalence and efficacy. While some states may not be directly blocking the realization of rights -funding and resources are not made available, particularly for Indigenous youth. lf it is true that States, our leadership and representative organizations believe that youth are a priority, then our presence must be a priority and therefore funding our participation must also be a priority. Currently, the youth specific mandate of the Permanent Forum and the Special Rapporteur is not being met. In the future, we would like to see the Special Rapporteur fully embrace hit mandate to consider Indigenous children and youth issues.

Thank you madam chair.

Seneca to Obama at UN 2011: Adopt the UN Indigenous Rights Declaration


Seneca Nation points out that the US has not adopted the UN Indigenous Rights Declaration -- which President Obama earlier gave lip service to


Photo Susan Andrews/Salamanca Public Schools at UN
By Brenda Norrell

NEW YORK -- (May 26, 2011) The Seneca Nation encouraged the United States to move forward with full adoption and implementation of the United Nations Declaration of Indigenous Rights, during the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

"In December 2010 President Barack Obama announced his support of the Declaration but the United States, which to date has failed to formally adopt the document, has taken no meaningful action," the Seneca Nation said.

Speaking at the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, the Seneca pointed out what others at the UN Permanent Forum failed to point out. During the Permanent Forum this month, presenters praised Obama's verbal support of the Declaration. However, Obama's support was followed with stipulations from the US State Department.

In a similar manner, Canada is attempting to sidestep implementation of the Declaration, which would give the Declaration the full force of law regarding rights to ancestral territories and ensure free, prior and informed consent, along with other Indigenous rights inherent to sovereign nations stated in the Declaration.

Seneca Nation Councilor Nikki Seneca traveled to New York City to deliver a statement to the Tenth Session of the Permanent Forum. This is the first time the Seneca Nation has taken issues, including treaty rights, to the international arena, according to the Seneca's statement.

"Councilor Seneca urged the members of the Permanent Forum and the international community to examine the federal and state obligations to respect and honor Native treaty rights and guarantees. The Seneca Nation is calling for the UN Permanent Forum to provide recommendations for developing an international mechanism for resolving conflicts arising from treaty violations."

“We join with the other distinguished delegates who have requested that the Permanent Forum continue its call for the 3rd UN Seminar on Treaties, Agreements and Other Constructive Arrangements to be held in 2012.”

Seneca Nation President Robert Odawi Porter pointed out that the UN Declaration was not adopted and its goals have not been realized in the US.

“The UN Declaration on Indigenous Rights is a broad all-encompassing document that speaks to the many issues and concerns affecting Native people in the Western Hemisphere. The Seneca Nation looks forward to the day when the Declaration is not only adopted by the United States and all other major countries and nations, but when the goals of the Declaration are realized. For us of primary significance is enforcement of the treaties. Given our current struggles with New York State, the Seneca, along with other indigenous peoples could benefit from the backing of the world community to recognize basic human rights and to uphold the significant treaty rights of Native people," President Porter said.

Courtney Crouse, a Seneca student at Salamanca High delivered the statement in New York City. The focus for the student group centered on the need for informed consent in the wake of major construction projects such as dams and the impacts on indigenous peoples and communities.

Crouse stated, “We would like to bring attention to the negative effects of dams on indigenous peoples. About 50 years ago, a third of our beloved homelands were flooded due to the construction of the Kinzua Dam. The dam was built to improve flood control and water quality for various communities downstream. Many of the students here are grandchildren to the heartbroken elders that had everything taken from them. Our people fought on all levels - even submitted alternative plans, but all were rejected. We were given money and new homes as compensation to cover up the truth of what the Army Corps of Engineers had done. But no amount of money and no new homes could ever bring back what we lost. We did not just lose land. We lost our way of life.”

In 1954 the Army Corps of Engineers undertook the building of the Kinzua Dam for the purpose of flood control protections several hundred miles downstream in Pennsylvania. The Seneca lost 10,000 acres of prime agricultural homelands.

The Seneca Nation also stressed the need for the Permanent Forum to support development of a legal framework enabling implementation of Article 37 and Articles 20 and 21 of the UNDRIP which speaks to the interaction between treaty rights and Indigenous peoples’ right to economic development.


Read more of the Seneca Nation statement at Pechanga Net:
http://www.pechanga.net/content/seneca-nation-delivers-statement-un-permanent-forum-indigenous-issues

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Indigenous Environmental Network at UN: The Right to Water and Indigenous Peoples

Indigenous Environmental Network
Statement on Agenda Item 7 – The Right to Water and Indigenous Peoples
10th Session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
May 24, 2011
Tar Sands
.


Read by Benjamin Powless
Posted from the UNPFII 10 Network
http://unpfii10.blogspot.com/
Thank you Madame Chairperson,

The right to clean and abundant water is fundamental to preserving and upholding the sovereignty, self-determination, health, and cultural survival of Indigenous Peoples in North America and the rest of the world. As Indigenous Peoples, we have a sacred relationship to water, but this relationship is being undermined and our rights violated on a consistent basis, which requires immediate action.

Tar Sands

In North America, we have been witnessing the accelerated development of the Tar Sands megaproject, with devastating effects on Indigenous communities and the water sources they rely upon.

Primarily, the water used in the extraction and processing of the Tar Sands into oil requires between three and five barrels of water per barrel of oil. Much of this water must be then kept in giant toxic pools, called ‘tailings ponds’, which kill many birds and animals, and have been found to leak back into the waterways and traditional lands of Indigenous Peoples.

The contamination of the water has lead to the cumulative poisoning of many animals and fish that Indigenous communities depend upon, as well as the water bodies which have always been used for consumption. This has lead to outrageous levels of sickness and disease in remote communities.

Further to that, numerous companies are attempting to build pipelines on the lands of Indigenous communities, without their Free, Prior and Informed Consent, in highly ecologically- and culturally-sensitive areas. Just a month ago, a pipeline spill of over 4.5 million barrels in Lubicon Cree territories went unreported for days, while the government of Canada and Alberta failed to notify the community, as many people got sick and a nearby school had to be shut down.

Lastly on the issue of the Tar Sands, Indigenous communities have been clear in support to maintain a ban on tanker traffic on the coasts of British Colombia, with the oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico and the Exxon Valdeez disaster still fresh in memory.

Mining

Moving to the subject of mining, we note that for sixty years, the United States has failed to address widespread contamination of Navajo water and land from uranium mining and milling. Despite this tragic history, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has licensed a uranium project in the middle of two Navajo communities it concedes will contaminate those communities' drinking water sources. Eastern Navajo Dine Against Uranium mining has filed a petition with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to stop this project because it will violate the rights to life, health and cultural integrity guaranteed under international law.

Offshore drilling

Finally, the idea offshore drilling in the Arctic has become popular with some governments. However, drilling in cold Arctic waters comes at increased and unacceptable risks. Oil and gas production is never risk-free and the consequences in Arctic waters would be disastrous.

Arctic conditions such as freezing temperatures, reduced visibility, seasonal ice and extreme weather all increase the probability and consequences of a spill. The presence of sea ice poses significant challenges to cleaning up spilled oil, as do potential remote drilling locations.

Offshore drilling in the Arctic threatens to have devastating impacts on fragile ice edge ecosystems upon which indigenous peoples and coastal communities rely for food security, economic, social and cultural needs.

We therefore respectfully submit the following recommendations for consideration and adoption:

- The Permanent Forum should stress to states that they must start leaving identified fossil fuel deposits, including Tar Sands deposits, in the ground if we are to avoid serious violations of Indigenous rights and impacts of climate change

- The governments of Canada, the United States, and their sub-governments must obtain the Free, Prior and Informed Consent from Indigenous Peoples and communities, and stop current projects taking place without consent

- We urge the Permanent Forum to work with UN bodies whose mandate relates to water to provide full financial support for an Indigenous World Forum on Water and Peace, that is led by, planned and developed with full representation of Indigenous Peoples from all regions throughout the entire process

Nia:wenkowa, Thank you.

http://www.ienearth.org/news/statement_on_agenda_item_7_the_right_to_water_and_indigenous_peoples.html

Indigenous Environmental Network at UN: Free, prior and informed consent


Photo by Ben Powless, Mohawk

FREE, PRIOR AND INFORMED CONSENT

Indigenous Environmental Network Statement
United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
May 16th to May 27th, 2011
UN Headquarters, New York, NY


Madam Chairwoman,

The principles and rights of Free, Prior, and Informed Consent are vital to upholding the human rights and fundamental and inherent right to self-determination of Indigenous Peoples in North America and throughout the world. FPIC is a basic underpinning of Indigenous Peoples’ ability to conclude and implement valid treaties and agreements, to have sovereignty over and protection of our lands, waters, air, and natural resources, and to develop and participate in processes that redress violations of our land, water and treaty rights.

FPIC must immediately be implemented at all levels as the right of our Indigenous Nations and communities to be thoroughly informed about any development affecting our lands and resources, particularly in connection with our environment, forests, minerals, air, water – both freshwater, our oceans and our sea ice and any development affecting our intellectual knowledge, the human health of our women and families, and any development involving genetic manipulation that could have affect on our security, balance and well-being.

FPIC is more than mere consultation. Related to development, governments, financial institutions such as the World Bank, and corporations frequently achieve their version of a FPIC standard through the policy of consultation. But consultation, on its own, does not constitute FPIC. Consultation is not equivalent to consent. Indigenous Peoples have to right to say no.

Our network of Indigenous Peoples is based in the United States, with affiliates in Canada. I do not have time to list the hundreds of western forms of industrial development involving the devastation and degradation of indigenous territories from mining and mineral extraction. Our Indigenous network, as an example of a few Indigenous Nations and organizations negatively affected by unsustainable energy and mineral extraction are the Lipan Apache Women Defense; the San Carlos Apache Tribe of Arizona; the Lipan Apache Band of Texas; the Navajo Nation Dependents of Uranium Workers (Dine’ Nation); and in Canadian, the Dene, Cree and Metis peoples fighting the Canadian Tar Sands as the largest construction project ever in the history of mankind, more earth has been moved since its beginning then the Suez Canal, the Great Pyramids and the Great Wall of China. If the rights of FPIC were legislated domestically, these devastations would not be happening.

The standards, policy and right of FPIC and the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (DRIP) must be immediately implemented at every level of government, within financial institutions, and in decision-making bodies within the United States and Canada and throughout the world where Indigenous Peoples live.

Madam Chair, my concluding point and recommendation is on the matter of the climate crisis. The policy and rights of FPIC are not being recognized with the danger of not being implemented in UN climate mitigation and adaptation policy. One of the key area of climate mitigation is a carbon market regime consisting of emissions-carbon trading and offset projects with no guarantees for adequate nor enforceable safeguards. Therefore, we recommend the appointment of a member of the Permanent Forum as Special Rapporteur to conduct a study on existing and potential violations of the human rights of Indigenous Peoples affected by carbon markets, the Clean Development Mechanism and REDD-type projects (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation), and to report thereon to the Forum at its eleventh session, in 2012.

El Salvador Mayor to UN Indigenous Forum 2011

10thSession of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
Agenda item 4: Human Rights a) Implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples May 16-27, 2011
Oral Statement by Roberto A.A. Barrientos,
Mayor of Izalco, Sonsonate, El Salvador
(On Behalf of the Common Town Hall and the Municipal Town Hall of Izalco, Sonsonate, El Salvador)
Photo: Mayor Roberto Barrientos/AIM West

Dr. Myrna Cunningham,
Distinguished Chairperson of the Tenth Session of the Permanent Forum, in the name of the Indigenous peoples of El Salvador, we congratulate you for your designation as the chairperson of this honorable agency; and we ask the creator to bless you in your business.
Likewise, we would like to call your attention to the following: We, the Indigenous peoples of El Salvador, have suffered the systematic denial of our human, economic, cultural and socio-political rights for the last 500 years, endured under the imposition of Frontiers and the state alien to our ancestral models of life.We are taking advantage of this opportunity at the Permanent Forum to denounce before the peoples of the world the genocide committed by the Salvadorian State against our Indigenous brothers through the massacres of our peoples, especially the massacre of 1932, when more than 35,000 Indigenous persons died in the Western zone of the country, and that of 1944, when Indigenous leaders were selectively assassinated throughout the country. More ...
Read, print or download the document:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/56259461/El-Salvador-Mayor-UN-Permanent-Forum-2011

Lil'wat, St'at'imc UN Indigenous Permanent Forum


Photo Censored News
 Líl’wat, St’át’imc, in New York at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

By Lil'wat, St'at'imc
Vancouver, BC
Censored News

NEW YORK -- A delegation from Líl’wat, St’át’imc, is attending the 10th session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York, USA, from May 16 to 27, 2011. Lil’wat is one indigenous community of eleven within St’at’imc (STAT-lee-uhm), about 150 miles north of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The St’at’imc, otherwise known as the Lillooet Tribe, are a sovereign nation.
The delegation brings news of two serious actions they are taking to protect themselves from Canada and British Columbia’s incursions on their aboriginal title, rights and freedoms, and self-determination.


Photo Censored News

The first is a petition to the Organization of American States’ Inter-American Commission for Human Rights. This petition complains of repercussions of the lack of treaty between either Líl’wat or St’át’imc with Canada; repercussions which include the imposition of the Indian Act on St’át’imc citizens. Petition 879-07, Loni Edmonds v. Canada, was accepted on July 13, 2007, and has still not been reviewed. This petition speaks principally to the lack of treaty between the sovereign nation of St’at’imc, particularly the independent community of Lil’wat, and Canada. The key issue which brings the petition forth is British Columbia’s indiscriminate and wholly destructive practice of seizing our children and removing them to non-indigenous homes. This is in direct contravention of the Geneva Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.


Photo Censored News
 The second issue they bring forward is the recent progress of the “St’át’imc Settlement Agreement with BC Hydro” and the province of British Columbia. This Final Agreement with the public utility BC Hydro Power Corp. has been rejected by a number of concerned citizens for many reasons which fall into two categories: the Agreement itself is inadequate, and the process by which the elected Chiefs manufactured its ratification is an offense to traditional St’át’imc governance and even failed to adhere to their own ratification procedures. Construction of dams and generating facilities in St’at’imc territory, to say nothing of the high voltage powerlines and substations, has caused irreparable harm to the St’at’imc way of life. We wonder if, in fact we suspect that, the elected Chiefs were under some sort of duress.

The people will be orienting themselves in the international forum to see how their complaints against Canada may be made better known internationally, and resolutions supported. They will also be encouraging the debate at the Permanent Forum to turn to matters of treaty, or the lack of which, and the culpability of colonial states who deny recognition to the indigenous nations whose lands and peoples they have co-opted.

Having exhausted the “domestic remedies” available in Canada, the petitioners seek protection from Canada’s persistent interference in their families, communities and in the larger St’át’imc nation socially, politically and economically.

They also seek recourse for the ongoing violence against themselves, homelands and their entire way of life. Since provisions in the Canada-legislated Indian Act, 1876, restricting freedom of travel, meeting to discuss the “land question,” and retention of legal counsel were lifted in 1959, Líl’wat and other St’át’imc have been pursuing justice in BC and Canadian courts – where their cases have been improperly thrown out, left unfinished, or concluded unsatisfactorily- ie., thrown out of court when St’at’imc Hereditary Chiefs demand evidence of Canada or British Columbia’s extinguishment of the St’at’imc title and right. Canada cannot provide this evidence because it does not exist. The courts seem to defer to Canada.

The Líl’wat delegation is releasing this news to the press in hopes that it will be reported as presented for the education of all residents of colonial occupations on indigenous lands.

Please read our written submission to the UN PFII 10th session. Líl’wat, also known as Mt Currie, located north of Whistler, is a St’át’imc community.
Read, download or print statement at:
http://www.scribd.com/fullscreen/56233060?access_key=key-24qznf5cewe2f3xsvmse
or the statement at:
http://censored-news.blogspot.com/2011/05/lilwat-statimc-un-permanent-forum-new.html
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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

VIDEO UN Indigenous Permanent Forum: The Right to Water





The Right to Water and Indigenous Peoples 
UNPFII 10th Session 16-27 May 2011
American Indian Law Alliance 11 Broadway, 2nd Floor New York, NY 10004 Email: aila@ailanyc.org
United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
10th Session 16-27 May 2011, United Nations Headquarters, New York
Submitted by Ms. Tonya Gonnella Frichner of the American Indian Law Alliance in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council with Ms. Tia Oros Peters, Executive Director, Seventh Generation Fund for Indian Development.

Protection of Water

1. For the last six years our organizations and co-signatories have addressed the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues on the Protection of Water as a human right, and we are honored to do so again under this agenda item. We call for the recognition of Water as essential to Life; that it is crucial for bio-cultural diversity and for sustaining all aspects of Indigenous Peoples’ survival and well-being, assuring our physical health, nurturing us spiritually and central for the continued vitality of our cultures and traditional livelihoods.

2. We recognize Water is the most vulnerable element of all forms of Life in light of climate change and its impacts, and coupled with the encroachment of invasive development – the terracide – damaging Indigenous homelands and ecosystems, and the aquacide – the killing of our waters. Time is of the essence. We must take action now as some places are flooded and others stricken with drought. We urgently reiterate the critical significance of protecting Water sources and Indigenous Peoples’ full, unencumbered access to clean Water on our territories for physical, cultural and spiritual sustenance, and advance these recommendations.

Recommendations

...22. For example, in the high desert, arid southwestern region of the United States, the Zuni River is critical to the physical and spiritual sustenance of the A:shiwi/Zuni people. During the Fourth and Fifth Permanent Forum Sessions (2005 and 2006), we shared with Forum members the unique characteristics of the river as a sacred waterway, an umbilical cord linking Zuni people with a spiritual destiny, carrying prayers and offerings to Zuni Heaven, a final everlasting place. When it flowed freely, the River fed streams and springs that nurtured thousands of acres of corn, beans, and squash fields that were cultivated and sustained the people, and supported an abundance of wildlife, which is necessary to nourish Zuni cultural sustenance and a rich ceremonial life. In the 1890’s the River was dammed and diverted by the Ramah Cattle Company empowering Mormon missionaries upstream, altering the natural flow and life of the waterway. Today, what was once a vibrant, moving waterway that sustained thousands of people, animals, plant and water-dependent species has been drained, leaving only a dry riverbed where a vital river once flowed. 1982 was the last time the Zuni River flowed through the village since the Ramah Dam was built. Now our land is always thirsty.

23. And on the same Indigenous territory, a sacred site known as Zuni Salt Lake, has been targeted for coal and methane gas development. Salt in an arid environment is critical to the Peoples’ survival. For the A:shiwi, this is also the dwelling place of a spiritual mother. It is also a place of peace for neighboring tribes to ceremoniously gather salt. The exploitation threatening Zuni Salt Lake would siphon millions of gallons of pristine water from beneath the lake for the mining, and create persistent toxins and contaminants that would forever alter the integrity and home of Salt Mother, as and the well-being of the Zuni and other tribal Nations in the region culturally and nutritionally reliant on Zuni Salt Lake.

24. This is just one region of the Indigenous world. We know that in too many places a polluted stream is our only source of Water. In too many places, our peoples are struck down by waterborne and vector borne disease, due to the lack of accessible, clean water on our territories caused by diversion and contamination, and the impacts of Climate Change. We hunger and can no longer plant our gardens, not because we have forgotten how to nurture life from a seed, but because without access to Water, our crops cannot flourish, and we cannot thrive without them. Our Water ceremonies are dying and our songs for the Water no longer fill the air.

25. Brothers and sisters of the world, are we prepared for what will happen when the world grows dry and quiet? What were once rich landscapes awake with forests and gardens, rivers and cornfields, alive with animals and birds, and a harmonious biodiversity of Indigenous cultures, are quickly becoming parched lands which only our tears can soften. Soon, even our most lush lands will be barren. Soon, even our tears will dry up and we will only have blood in our eyes as the wars for oil quickly transform into Water Wars that shroud the globe in a clash which humanity cannot survive. The Earth will burn. Too many of us are already dying of thirst. Our children, and the generations to come, will inherit this conflict and it is for them that we call upon the Permanent Forum and offer this intervention, for the Water – the essence of Life, for world peace.

Elahkwa – thank you.
Go to the web address below for a full copy of the statement:
http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unpfii/documents/session_10_crp_6.pdf

Action Alert: Arizona Snowbowl begins desecration sacred San Francisco Peaks



Photo Klee Benally/Indigenous Action Media

Ski Area Pipeline Construction Threatens Holy San Francisco Peaks

By Klee Benally
Published at Censored News
French translation:
http://www.chrisp.lautre.net/wpblog/?p=64

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz.-- Owners of Arizona Snowbowl ski area have begun moving pipeline and construction equipment to the base of the holy San Francisco Peaks, located in Northern Arizona.
The Peaks are central to the ways of life of more than 13 Indigenous Nations. Snowbowl owner Eric Borowski plans on starting the development today.
Although currently challenged by a legal appeal in the 9th Circuit Court, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has permitted the ski area to begin development. The Coconino National Forest, headed by the USDA, manages the Peaks as public lands. Snowbowl has operated under a special use permit since the 1980's, which was initially challenged by Indigenous Nations and environmentalists all the way up to the Supreme Court.

Photo Klee Benally/Indigenous Action Media

According to the Forest Service, "Construction is anticipated to begin this month along a segment of Snowbowl Road. . . Snowbowl Road will remain open; however, delays and temporary closures will occur throughout the duration of construction, approximately five months."
The Forest Service also stated that Snowbowl Road will be closed each day from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.
For more than a dozen years Indigenous Nations, environmental activists, and concerned community members have worked together to protect the holy site and surrounding area from further ecological destruction, public health threats, and spiritual desecration.
Snowbowl's development plans include clear-cutting 74 acres of rare alpine habitat that is home to threatened species, making new runs and lifts, adding more parking lots and building a 14.8 mile buried pipeline to transport up to 180 million gallons (per season) of wastewater to make artificial snow on 205 acres.
The wastewater, which would be purchased from the City of Flagstaff, has been proven by biologists to contain harmful contaminants such as pharmaceuticals and hormones. In their Environmental Impact Statement the Forest Service did not consider the impact of ingesting waste water in the form of artificial snow or from the storage pond by humans and animals.
This point is the basis of the Save the Peaks Coalition's current lawsuit which is currently appealing a District Court decision in favor of Snowbowl's proposed actions.
On April 1, 2011 the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied an emergency motion by the Save the Peaks Coalition to stop Snowbowl ski area and the U.S. Department of Agriculture from cutting down approximately 30,000 trees.
In 2002, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, with no real public process, quietly decided to allow wastewater to be used for snowmaking purposes.
Later that same year the Flagstaff Mayor and City Council signed a contract to allow the sale of sewage effluent for snowmaking on the holy mountain.
The contract has since been renewed administratively, behind closed doors without any public input.
Snowbowl would be the only ski area in the world to use 100% wastewater for snowmaking purposes.
In 2010 Flagstaff City Manager Kevin Burke revealed a plan, secretly negotiated with the USDA, for use of Flagstaff's drinking water instead of the sewage effluent. Snowbowl was offered 11 million tax payer's dollars to subsidize the increased costs of using potable water.
Stating that the US government believed drinking water snowmaking to be "less offensive" to Indigenous Nations, the plan was pushed without the consent of or any consultation with Indigenous Nations.
Facing overwhelming community and Tribal opposition, City of Flagstaff officials ultimately rejected the plan.
Following the failed attempt to use drinking water the USDA, while still aggressively battling the Save the Peaks Coalition in court, began listening sessions to hear Indigenous Peoples concerns on the protection of sacred places. Ironically, the sessions were initiated in part due to the Peaks controversy.
The USDA is expected to issue a report for policy changes sometime this year.
In response to threat of development, more than 150 people rallied outside of Flagstaff City Hall and held a march for protection of the holy San Francisco Peaks on April 16th.
TAKE ACTION NOW!
Contact Flagstaff City Officials and urge them to RESPECT the environment, Indigenous culture, and protect public health by finding a way out of their contract to sell Snowbowl wastewater!
PHONE: (928) 779-7600
EMAIL: council@flagstaffaz.gov
Contact Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and express concern that there was no meaningful public process when the agency approved wastewater for snowmaking.
File a complaint and demand full public review!
Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, 1110 West Washington Streetm Phoenix, Arizona 85007
(800) 234-5677 - Toll Free
Northern Regional Office, 1801 West Route 66, Suite 117, Flagstaff, Arizona 86001 (877) 602-3675 - Toll Free
www.azdeq.gov/function/compliance/complaint.html
Contact the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), which heads the Forest Service, and urge them to revoke the Special Use Permit for Arizona Snowbowl for greater public interest.
The USDA has been holding hearings on protection of sacred places due to the Peaks controversy. Urge the USDA to immediately place an administrative hold on all development on the San Francisco Peaks!
CALL CRAIG JOHNSON USFS TRIBAL LIASON IN FLAGSTAFF, AZ AT: 928 525 6578.
Tom Vilsack, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, DC 20250
Phone: 202-720-3631
Email: TribalSacredSites@fs.fed.us
For Additional Information:
www.fs.fed.us/spf/tribalrelations/sacredsites.shtml
Send Letters to the Editor of your local papers.
Arizona Daily Sun: rwilson@azdailysun.com
Klee Benally
indigenousaction@gmail.com
http://www.indigenousaction.org/ - Independent Indigenous Media

UN Indigenous: Doctrine of Discovery 'Racism and Genocide'

TENTH SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS PERMANENT FORUM ON INDIGENOUS ISSUES

May 16 to 27, 2011 – UN Headquarters, New York City, NY

STATEMENT REVISED:
The Caucus changed and
resubmitted the text of this statement to the UN Permanent Forum. This post, updated on May 28, 2011, reflects the change.
Debra Harry, NAIPC coordinator said, "The corrected version of the NAIPC Intervention on Agenda Item 7: Future Work to the UNPFII-10 (below) was revised and re-submitted to the UNPFII Secretariat because it contained recommendations that did not have consensus in the caucus."

STATEMENT OF THE NORTH AMERICAN INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’ CAUCUS
Future Work of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
Subject: Doctrine of Discovery as the special theme for the 11th session in 2012
Presented by: Christopher H. Peters, 7th Generation Fund, President

1. Thank you Madam Chair for the opportunity to speak today. I am honored to addressed this distinguished body of experts on this agenda item. The Indigenous Peoples of the North America region express our sincere appreciation for the decision made by members of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues to advance the critical topic of the Doctrine of Discovery as the special theme of the 11th session of the Forum.

2. Madam Chair, on March 18th and 19th, 2011 Indigenous Peoples and organizations from North America gathered at Blue Lake, California to discuss a number of urgent concerns and propose recommendations for the future work of the Permanent Forum. We were mindful of the Forum’s Final Report on UNPFII-9, (E/2010/43-E/C.19/2010/15) of May 19, 2010, and its acknowledgement of the Preliminary Study of the Impact on Indigenous Peoples of the International Legal Construct Known as the Doctrine of Discovery, E/C.19/2010/13, (4 February 2010), by Special Rapporteur, Tonya Gonnella Frichner, the North American Indigenous Peoples’ Caucus, and in that regard, offer the following recommendations:
Recommendations:

3. We reiterate a call for additional attention, study and documentation of the racist and genocidal doctrine of Christian discovery;

4. Advance our appeal for a deep exploration of the manner in which the doctrine of Christian discovery has been constructed, elaborated, applied, and extended in law, policy, socio-cultural practices, through both secular and religious practices, and to set the stage for its eradication and reversal as a fundamental element of colonialism and imperialism, with full and equal participation by Indigenous Peoples;

5. Request that the following recommendation of the Special Rapporteur be acted upon:
• This study shall be expanded to include a global review of this doctrine and call upon the other Indigenous caucuses to discuss and prepare studies documenting the impacts in their regions.
• That an international expert group meeting be convened to discuss the findings and implications of the preliminary study of the Doctrine of Discovery, and to present its findings to the next UNPFII session (2012) and to ascertain to what extent and how the Doctrine of Discovery and its attendant framework of domination are applied to Indigenous Peoples, and our lands and territories, throughout the world.

6. Call on this Forum (UNPFII-10) to take into consideration the recommendations of the Regional Hearing on the Impact of the Doctrine of Discovery on Indigenous Peoples, held on March 14, 2011 in Pueblo Grande, Phoenix and the upcoming hearings in Mexico and India, in preparation and to help shape the agenda for next year’s theme.

Wok lau

==================================================================
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The revised statement deletes the portion on 'reconciliation' and other text which the full North American Indigenous Peoples Caucus did not agree on:
Original statement:
UN Indigenous: Doctrine of Discovery 'Racism and Genocide'


TENTH SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS PERMANENT FORUM ON INDIGENOUS ISSUES
The Doctrine of Discovery is directly responsible for the disproportionate levels of incarceration, the violent assaults committed upon our children in boarding and residential schools and the devastating trauma experienced by our families, communities and Nations.
May 16 to 27, 2011 – UN Headquarters, New York City, NY
STATEMENT OF THE NORTH AMERICAN INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’ CAUCUS
Agenda Item 8: Future Work of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
Subject: Doctrine of Discovery as the special theme for the 11th session in 2012
Presented by: Christopher H. Peters, Seventh Generation Fund, President
1. Thank you Madam Chair for the opportunity to speak today. I am honored to addressed this distinguished body of experts on this agenda item. The Indigenous Peoples of the North America region express our sincere appreciation for the decision made by members of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues to advance the critical topic of the Doctrine of Discovery as the special theme of the 11th session of the Forum.
2. The historic edict of Christendom proclaimed by Pope Alexander the 6th nearly 520 years ago, known around the world as the Papal Bulls of 1493, has caused far-reaching and devastatingly negative impacts on the lives, cultures, and ecosystems of Indigenous Peoples throughout the world.
3. The Doctrine of Discovery as the theme for the 11th session of the Permanent Forum will provide an opportunity to redress the social, political and legal constructs that have resulted from the Papal Bulls and the accompanying edict of Terra Nullus. Both of which have perpetuated the ongoing genocide, colonization, and domination of Indigenous Peoples and our homelands. We recognize that it will provide the mechanism for Indigenous Peoples and governments to begin the laborious task of repudiating and deconstructing this vicious framework of colonization within our Nations and communities.
4. We commend the Expert Members of the Permanent Forum for their courage and vision in forwarding this important issues at this time when the world searches for a new ecologically centered paradigm and for a moral and socially conscious process for transforming and protecting the dignity and equality for all citizens of the world community.
5. Madam Chair, on March 18th and 19th, 2011 Indigenous Peoples and organizations from North America gathered at Blue Lake, California to discuss a number of urgent concerns and propose recommendations for the future work of the Permanent Forum. We were mindful of the Forum’s Final Report on UNPFII-9, (E/2010/43-E/C.19/2010/15) of May 19, 2010, and its acknowledgement of the Preliminary Study of the Impact on Indigenous Peoples of the International Legal Construct Known as the Doctrine of Discovery, E/C.19/2010/13, (4 February 2010), by Special Rapporteur, Tonya Gonnella Frichner, the North American Indigenous Peoples’ Caucus, and in that regard, offer the following recommendations:
Recommendations:
6. We reiterate a call for additional attention, study and documentation of the racist and genocidal doctrine of Christian discovery;
7. Advance our appeal for a deep exploration of the manner in which the doctrine of Christian discovery has been constructed, elaborated, applied, and extended in law, policy, socio-cultural practices, through both secular and religious practices, and to set the stage for its eradication and reversal as a fundamental element of colonialism and imperialism, with full and equal participation by Indigenous Peoples;
8. Request that the following recommendation of the Special Rapporteur be acted upon:
· This study shall be expanded to include a global review of this doctrine and call upon the other Indigenous caucuses to discuss and prepare studies documenting the impacts in their regions.
· That an international expert group meeting be convened to discuss the findings and implications of the preliminary study of the Doctrine of Discovery, and to present its findings to the next UNPFII session (2012) and to ascertain to what extent and how the Doctrine of Discovery and its attendant framework of domination are applied to Indigenous Peoples, and our lands and territories, throughout the world.
9. Call on this Forum (UNPFII-10) to take into consideration the recommendations of the Regional Hearing on the Impact of the Doctrine of Discovery on Indigenous Peoples, held on March 14, 2011 in Pueblo Grande, Phoenix and the upcoming hearings in Mexico and India, in preparation and to help shape the agenda for next year’s theme.
10. Finally Madam Chair, we implore that the future work of this distinguished body examines the legacy the Doctrine of Discovery, and that it remains mindful of the current and continued impacts on the sovereign and human rights of Indigenous Peoples of the world.
11. The pernicious edicts of the Doctrine of Discovery of 520 years ago are directly responsible for and connected to current polices that perpetrate treaty violations, destructions of sacred places, loss of lands, cultures and languages. It is also directly responsible for the disproportionate levels of incarceration, the violent assaults committed upon our children in boarding and residential schools and the devastating trauma experienced by our families, communities and Nations.
12. Without prejudice to the work and recommendations on Doctrine of Discovery, we support the call for a proposal for the creation of a Doctrine of Reconciliation. We further support the call for an Expert Group Seminar on Truth and Reconciliation Commissions as proposed by the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in its 3rd Report to be hosted by the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Madame Pillay.
Wok lau



Monday, May 23, 2011

Wikileaks: US cables on Mohawks


WIKILEAKS: Border Guards feared Mohawks

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News
http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com/

The US diplomats in Montreal and Quebec monitored Mohawks and Indigenous activists. In a series of cables released by Wikileaks in May, the US Ambassadors in Canada made it clear that no one wants to fight the Mohawks.

In fact, the US diplomat in Ottawa points out that the Canadian Border Guards feared the Mohawks.
In a cable dated July 30, 2009, from Ottawa, Terry Breese, deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy, wrote about the Canadian Border Services Agency.

"The CBSA customs post on Cornwall Island (Kawehnoke) located on the Mohawk reserve territory of Akwesasne on the Canada-U.S. border closed on May 31. Canadian border guards had left the post citing fears of a violent confrontation with Mohawk residents, who opposed a CBSA directive requiring border guards to carry firearms at the Canadian port-of-entry, effective June 1."

The Canadian Border Guards Union said Mohawks were intimidating them.

"The MCA (Mohawk Council of Akwesasne) has accused CBSA agents at the Cornwall island border post of harassment, intimidation, and racial profiling of Mohawk residents, while the border guards' union has reported that Mohawks on the reserve had harassed and intimidated its members," Wikileaks said in the July 30, 2009 cable.

A US Embassy cable about Kanesatake in May of 2004 reveals the Quebec Government's reluctance to engage Mohawks in confrontation. It was written by the U.S. Consul General in Quebec, Susan Keogh-Fisher.

"The Quebec Government wants to avoid a 1996 Oka-type situation where a mechanized brigade had to intervene and there were costly social and political reactions. 'Anything we do to squash a fly will give rise to huge problems.' The strategy is to avoid counterreaction and 'psychodrama' by keeping a low profile," US Consul Keogh-Fisher states in the May 17, 2004, cable.

Keogh-Fisher describes the disaster of sending in what is called government-funded "warriors/police."

"The Charest Government has refused a $1.5 million request by Police Chief Ed Thompson to increase the native police force to 38 people. Thompson and his peacekeepers have never been able to patrol and had to retire after being pelted with rocks and sticks, with minor injuries. Having funded the first group of warriors/police that Gabriel hired earlier this year, who were virtually taken hostage inside Kanesatake, we understand Ottawa is also hesitating to provide more police forces."

In a second cable about Kanesatake in June 23, 2004, US Consul Bernadette Allen in Montreal writes a long cable describing the failure of bringing in "aboriginal police."

So far, Mohawks are unimpressed with the cables and have little to say about either the content or the arrogant tone of the US Embassy.

John Kane, Mohawk host of the radio show Let's Talk Native Pride, said, "I think one of the reasons you haven't got much response from this is just as you have suggested; it's no surprise. While some would be outraged to be treated this way or spoken of in such terms, we know what we are up against. We also know that 9-11 was an opportunity for both the US and Canada to put Native resistance on par with terrorism. No Department of Homeland Security or PATRIOT Act or Canadian Border Service or joint task force of US and Canadian alphabet soup will change the disposition of Mohawk Warriors."

APTN news in Canada reported on the cables, pointing out that Canada called on the FBI for help.

“Mohawks from other reserves continue to arrive in Kanesatake, including some from Colorado, to join in the resistance. Some ‘gun slingers’ have already arrived from the U.S., and more could come,” said APTN, quoting the May 17, 2004 cable and sent by the U.S. consulate in Quebec City.

So far, there has only been only one benign mention of the Zapatistas in the diplomatic cables. However, there are more than a dozen detailed cables about the Mohawks and aboriginal Canadians. Border crossing, land rights and treaties are among the issues.

Earlier in 2010, before Wikileaks dominated the headlines, Wikileaks revealed Canada's illegal wiretaps of Mohawks.

WIKILEAKS CABLES MOHAWKS:
WIKILEAKS: Border guards feared Akwesasne Mohawks
http://censored-news.blogspot.com/2011/05/wikileaks-border-guards-feared.html
Wikileaks Cable: Mohawks Borders, Land Claims, Treaties
http://censored-news.blogspot.com/2011/05/wikileaks-cable-mohawks-borders-land.html
Wikileaks Montreal Cable: Mohawks June 23, 2004
http://censored-news.blogspot.com/2011/05/wikileaks-montreal-cable-mohawks-2004.html
Wikileaks Cable: Mohawks, Kanesatake, May 17, 2004
http://censored-news.blogspot.com/2011/05/wikileaks-cable-mohawks-kanesatake-may.html
Wikileaks: US and Canadian militaries like a marriage
http://censored-news.blogspot.com/2011/05/wikileaks-us-and-canadian-militaries.html
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Also see:
Wikileaks: Canada says UN Indigenous Rights Declaration headed for 'train wreck'
http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2011/05/wikileaks-canada-says-un-declaration-on.html
(Aug. 6, 2010) Wikileaks: Canada's unauthorized wiretap of Mohawks:
http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2010/08/wikileaks-canadas-unauthorized-wiretaps.html

Media:
Listen to Let's Talk Native Pride online:
http://letstalknativepride.blogspot.com/
APTN news article: http://aptn.ca/pages/news/2011/05/03/quebec-asked-for-fbi-help-during-2004-kanesatake-crisis-u-s-diplomatic-cables/


From UN Permanenet Forum on Indigenous Issues, 9th session report 2010:

The Permanent Forum recommends that the Governments of Canada and the United States address the border issues, such as those related to the Mohawk Nation and the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, by taking effective measures to implement article 36 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which states that indigenous peoples divided by international borders have the right to maintain and develop contacts, relations and cooperation with their own members as well as other peoples across borders.
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Photo: Indigenous Peoples Border Summit of the Americas, San Xavier 2006, Tohono O'odham. Photo by Brenda Norrell.

Indigenous Women at UN: Priority for migrants and protection of Mother Earth

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UN FORUM by BEN POWLESS
http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com/
Photos by Ben Powless, Mohawk

NEW YORK-- At the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, the Global Indigenous Women's Caucus established priorities for the advancement of Indigenous women. The Caucus supported the climate summit agreement in Cochabamba, Bolivia, for the protection of Mother Earth, and prioritized the need to safeguard migrant women. 

The Caucus also points out the global crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women, and the violence caused by the militarization of Indigenous communities.

Further, the Caucus pointed out the alarming level of toxins in the environments of Indigenous women.
The International Organization on Migration (IOM) was urged to address the problems faced by Indigenous migrant women, including the alarming trend of forced trafficking of Indigenous women within and across national and international borders.

Excerpts from the Caucus statement:
Given that the Indigenous women’s migration is greatly increasing, we recommend the Permanent Forum requests the IOM to report on its progress achieved in addressing these issues. Furthermore, due to ongoing development projects, environmental degradation and economic crises, we request that special attention is given to Indigenous women’s rights. These rights include the right to move and migrate freely throughout their lands and territories (in the face of involuntary displacement and state relocation of Indigenous communities) and the right to live free from violence experienced by migrant Indigenous women and girls and, indeed, all cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women.

UN FORUM by BEN POWLESS
The key concerns that we will be highlighting throughout this session include: promotion of the leadership capacity of Indigenous women and girls (including within Indigenous governance systems and development programs and policies), the rights of Mother Earth (including the protection of sacred rights and the sacred right to water), violence caused by the militarization of Indigenous communities, the need for support of Indigenous women’s role in addressing environmental impacts and Climate Change (including reproductive health rights), food sovereignty, impact of extractive industries on Indigenous communities, unrepresented and unrecognized Indigenous peoples, migration and border issues. We would also like to support the examination of the following issues: using CEDAW to advance Indigenous women’s rights, the need for a standardized interpretation of free, prior and informed consent consistent with the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Doctrine of Discovery and the proposed World Conference on Indigenous Peoples.

The Global Indigenous Women’s Caucus endorses and recommends the UN Permanent Forum to consider the following:
1) the “Position on Women and REDD+” by the Indigenous Environmental Network
2) the statement on the right to water and Indigenous peoples submitted by the American Indian Law Alliance and Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Development
3) the “People’s Agreement of Cochabamba,” the final document of the World’s People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth (April 22, 2010)
 4) the proposal by the Global Indigenous Caucus and the North American Indigenous Peoples Caucus for an Expert Group meeting to address the impacts on environmental toxins on the health of Indigenous women, including their reproductive health, in 2012 before the UN Permanent Forum’s 11th Session.

READ FULL INDIGENOUS WOMEN'S CAUCUS STATEMENT:
http://censored-news.blogspot.com/2011/05/un-global-indigenous-womens-caucus.html
PEOPLES AGREEMENT, COCHABAMBA, BOLIVIA: WORLD PEOPLES CONFERENCE ON CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE RIGHTS OF MOTHER EARTH:
http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2010/04/bolivia-peoples-agreement.html

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