August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Remembering our Heroes: Reporter Cate Gilles and Dine' Leroy Jackson


Photo by Cate Gilles. Big Mountain and Black Mesa protest at Navajo Nation Council chambers.

By Brenda Norrell

Censored News

Censored News would not be what it is today without the lives, and deaths of two people, news reporter Cate Gilles and Dine' Leroy Jackson. Cate was a reporter covering relocation and Black Mesa, and exposed radiation dangers from uranium mining in the Grand Canyon.

Cate was working in public relations for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe when she was found dead hanged by her dog chain. Her death was ruled a suicide. However, just before her death, she told news reporters that she had documents on corruption, involving a casino, that she was taking to the authorities.

Leroy Jackson is a Dine' icon. Leroy halted the clear-cutting of the old-growth Ponderosa Pine forests in the Tsaile and Chuska Mountains on the Navajo Nation. Leroy and his family lived in the Tsaile Mountains, and I lived in the Chuska Mountains. Leroy is the cofounder of Dine' Citizens Against Ruining the Environment, Dine' CARE.

Before his death a threat on his life was made from within the tribal government. Leroy's protection of the mountain forests resulted in the sawmill shutting down, and tribal officials did not want the exposure of spending, such as trips to Las Vegas. I covered his story for Associated Press.

Leroy was found dead in the mountains near Taos. Cate and Leroy were friends, and they were my friends. May they always fly high. -- Brenda Norrell, Censored News. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Defenders of the Sacred on the Frontlines: With Thanks from Censored News



Defenders of the Sacred: Through the years, defenders of the sacred, on the frontline, have shared their stories with us. Here are a few of them. James Main, Chief Johnny Jackson, and Thomas Banyacya gathered on the Navajo Nation in Dilkon and gave birth to a new movement upholding inherent rights and defending the sacred. Robert Free, shown on horseback on left at Wounded Knee, brought heating oil to Indian country from Venezuela. It was Robert's tipi on Alcatraz. Red Warrior Debra White Plume, Lakota, gave the Lewis and Clark Expedition a symbolic blanket of smallpox in South Dakota, as the American Indian Movement told the pretenders to leave. Carter Camp, Ponca, at Wounded Knee. Kahentinetha, publisher of Mohawk Nation News, and Thomas Square, Mohawk Warriors on the southern border.

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Defending the Sacred: Celebrating Warriors on the Frontline. Ofelia Rivas, Tohono O'odham rights defender on the border, founder of O'odham Voice Against the Wall. Madonna Thunder Hawk, Lakota, American Indian Movement, whose life of action includes going to Palestine. Louise Benally, Big Mountain, Strength of the Matriarchs, Dine' resisting relocation on Black Mesa. Klee Benally, Dine', leading the fight to protect the San Francisco Peaks. Our friend Tomas Rojo, Yaqui in Vicam, Sonora, Mexico, spokesman defending the water, was kidnapped and brutally murdered. Casey Camp Horinek, Ponca, making sure the world knows: From Standing Rock to Jamaica and Egypt.

With thanks for sharing your stories, songs, and photos with us. Western Shoshones Ian Zabarte and Carrie Dann, fighting mining and nuclear devastation. Keith Secola and Floyd Westerman singing for the people. Buffy Sainte Marie, censored and blacklisted and never giving up. Yaqui Ceremonial Leader Jose Matus, shown in a Zapatista village in the mountains of Chiapas. Marcos in Sonora listening to the people in the north, south of the Arizona border, Joye Braun, fearless with a heart full of love, was the first to set up her tipi at Standing Rock in defense of the water from the Dakota Access Pipeline. Western Shoshone Bad Bear, thank you for sharing your Longest Walk photos and running from coast to coast so many times.

In Memory of Thomas Banyacya, Hopi spiritual leader; Chief Johnny Jackson, Yakama Nation in Washington, fishing rights champion; James Main, defender, Gros Ventre in Montana; Debra White Plume, Lakota from Pine Ridge, South Dakota, Red Warrior fighting for the people; Carter Camp, Ponca, American Indian Movement, Wounded Knee; Yaqui Ceremonial Leader Jose Matus, who joined delegations to Chiapas and Bolivia; Tomas Rojo, Yoeme Water Protector (Yaqui spokesman for Vicam Traditional Authority in Sonora, Mexico) brutally assassinated; Carrie Dann, Western Shoshone fighting for the land, fighting for the people; Lakota Floyd Westerman, singer, American Indian Movement, and Native rights champion; and Joye Braun, Cheyenne River Lakota in South Dakota, Water Protector, pipeline fighter and defender of the land and people.

Monday, November 28, 2022

Border Nation featured in Environmental Film Festival


Border Nation featured in the Environmental Film Festival

 Brenda Norrell

Censored News

'Border Nation' is featured in the powerful Environmental Film Festival in Washington. The film follows Ofelia Rivas from her home on the Tohono Oodham Nation to the United Nations, as she describes the abuse by the U.S. Border Patrol and the construction of spy towers in her community, built by Israel's Elbit Systems.
Ofelia is the longtime founder of O'odham Voice Against the Wall, and spokesperson for traditional O'odham elders protecting the culture and sacred places.
Watch 'Border Nation' by Jason Jaacks, and other great Indigenous environmental films, free and online at

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Buffy Sainte-Marie -- Backroom Deals, Energy Companies and Hoover's Blacklist in Indian Country


Courtesy Buffy Sainte Marie



Good words from Buffy Sainte-Marie

By Brenda Norrell

Censored News


It is good to read more about how Buffy Sainte-Marie was blacklisted during the Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon years, by J. Edgar Hoover, in LA Times. It's a  reminder of all those years ago, when backstage at Dine' College in Tsaile, Buffy told a handful of reporters about being blacklisted out of the music business.

My story, as a staff reporter for Indian Country Today, was censored by the newspaper for seven years. A portion was published just before the newspaper fired me in 2006, but not the part about uranium mining on Pine Ridge and the tribal administration of Dickie Wilson. (The censorship was after Lakota Tim Giago sold Indian Country Today to the owners in New York state.)


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All content at Censored News is copyrighted by the creator of the work, and may not be used for any reason without written permission. This includes news, books, films, dissertations, grants, reports, pamphlets, and any other purpose.