August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Bad Bear's Photos: Protecting Thacker Pass from Lithium Mine

Photos by Western Shoshone Photojournalist Carl Bad Bear Sampson, today, March 3, defending the natural world from lithium mining. Canadian Lithium Nevada plans an enormous open pit lithium mine here.


Protect Thacker Pass from destructive lithium mining and man camps.

Listen to First Voices Radio. Tiokasin Ghosthorse, Cheyenne River Lakota,  interviews Max.

Monday, March 1, 2021


Photo credit Anna Jeffrey

By Apache Stronghold
Censored News
March 1, 2021

Contacts:  Dr. Wendsler Nosie, Sr. Apache Stronghold,

Michael V. Nixon, J.D.,



OAK FLAT, Ariz. – The Forest Service announced this morning that it will "rescind" January 15, 2021, Final Environmental Impact Statement which triggered the 60 day time clock to the Oak Flat giveaway.  But the Forest Service added that "consultations such as this generally take several months."

"They are just attempting a temporary strategic retreat," said Apache Stronghold leader and former San Carlos Apache Tribal Chairman Dr. Wendsler Nosie, Sr.  "they still intend to try and give away our sacred land."

Apache Stronghold attorney Luke Goodrich from Becket Law said, "The Government just announced it is rescinding the Final Environmental Impact Statement for Oak Flat—six hours before its deadline to reply to Apache Stronghold's emergency appeal.  This is no coincidence.  The Government knows the destruction of Oak Flat violates federal law. It knows it can't justify it in court.  So it is retreating--temporarily. But a temporary retreat doesn't solve the problem.  The Government is still planning on transfer and destruction of Oak Flat.  Oak Flat still needs legal protection.  And if the Government is acting in good faith, it should not oppose a court order protecting Oak Flat while the litigation proceeds."

The U.S. District Court did find that "[t]he spiritual importance of Oak Flat to the Western Apaches cannot be overstated" and that the impending destruction of Oak Flat "will completely devastate the Western Apaches' spiritual lifeblood."  However, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals still needs to overturn  the inappropriate District Court ruling that the Apache have no Constitutional religious rights protections and that the U.S. Government has no Trust Responsibility to the Apache even though their Treaty of 1852 guarantees the Apache "prosperity and happiness."


"Oak Flat is still on death row," said Apache Stronghold attorney Michael Nixon, "The Forest Service's announcement is welcome but doesn't have much real meaning because they are just changing the execution date so they can coerce and pressure the Apache some more.  It is unconscionable."


After destroying the Juukan Gorge sacred site in Australia on May 20, 2020, this past summer, on December 9, 2020, Rio Tinto Chairman Simon Thompson promised, "As a business, we are committed to learning from this event to ensure the destruction of heritage sites of such exceptional archaeological and cultural significance never occurs again."

Today's announcement does nothing to change the fact that Rio Tinto and the Forest Service still intend on giving away Oak Flat.  They are just trying to tap the breaks a bit as they still move to their goal of repeating their Juukan Gorge travesty at Oak Flat. 

More info at: ; Instagram: @protectoakflat ; Twitter: @SaveOakFlat .


Sunday, February 28, 2021

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Midnight backroom deal threatens to wipe out Apache sacred site. Apache Stronghold makes emergency appeal to Ninth Circuit to save Oak Flat

Apache Stronghold in Globe, Arizona today.

Midnight backroom deal threatens to wipe out Apache sacred site

Apache Stronghold makes emergency appeal to Ninth Circuit to save Oak Flat

Apache Stronghold, Becket Law Firm

Censored News

February 23, 2021

WASHINGTON – Apaches in Arizona filed an emergency appeal last night to save their spiritual lifeblood, a sacred site called Oak Flat, from being destroyed by a copper mine that would swallow their holy ground in a 2-mile wide crater deeper than Eiffel Tower. If the court doesn't intervene, the government will turn this historically protected land over to a mining company that can begin the destruction in as few as 15 days.

In Apache Stronghold v. United States, Apache Stronghold, a nonprofit community organization dedicated to the defense of Native American sacred sites, is pleading with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to stop a crooked land swap, which would completely destroy the sacred land and religious exercise of the region's first inhabitants. Becket is representing Apache Stronghold, arguing that the destruction of sacred sites is a flagrant violation of the free exercise of religion.

Water Protectors Blockade Multiple Enbridge Line 3 Work Sites


Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Water Protector released from jail after challenging Grand Jury subpoena

Standing Rock Photo by Ryan Vizzions

District Court Judge Traynor, Government Agree with Counsel for Mr. Martinez That Finding of Contempt and Sanctions Were Imposed Without Authority and Must Be Terminated.

By Water Protector Legal Collective

Censored News

Feb. 23, 2021

Contact: Moira Meltzer-Cohen, Attorney at Law 347-248-6771 Leoyla Cowboy, Executive Director, Water Protector Legal Collective 805-699-1126 Natali Segovia, Staff Attorney, Water Protector Legal Collective,

BISMARCK, North Dakota – Water Protector Steve Martinez, who was confined for his principled refusal to participate in a federal grand jury investigation, was ordered to be “released from custody forthwith” late in the day on Monday, February 22. District Court Judge Daniel M. Traynor agreed with the arguments of counsel that the finding of contempt and associated “coercive confinement” at Burleigh Morton Detention Center were imposed by a Magistrate Judge who lacked authority to impose such sanctions. He ordered Mr. Martinez’ confinement immediately terminated, and confirmed that all other litigation related to grand jury proceedings must take place before a District Court Judge.

The Government served Mr. Martinez with a new grand jury subpoena prior to his release.

“Unlike all other legal proceedings in the U.S., federal grand juries are secret, and are almost entirely controlled by the prosecutor,” said Martinez’ attorney, Moira Meltzer-Cohen. “As such, they are ripe for abuse and have a history of being used for politically-targeted harassment.” She continued, “This ruling terminates, but does not remedy, three weeks of categorically unlawful incarceration endured by Mr. Martinez. That the Government’s response was to re-subpoena him speaks to the perversity of this process.” The new subpoena demands his presence on March 3, 2021, before the same Grand Jury, which is ostensibly investigating injuries sustained by Water Protector Sophia Wilansky.