Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

December 31, 2007

Most censored in 2007: Silencing of traditional Indigenous People

By Brenda Norrell

The most censored issue of Indigenous Peoples by the media in 2007 was the “Silencing of traditional and grassroots’ voices by those in power,” according to readers voting on a poll at the Censored Blog. The elected councils in the United States and band councils in Canada attempted to silence Indian spiritual leaders and traditional people by way of silencing and distorting the news in 2007. Elected leaders also threatened and oppressed Indians speaking out in their own communities. Tailgating by tribal police, threats of harm and threats of membership removal increased for Indian activists, according to reports from across North America. “Nuclear, uranium and coal genocide on Indigenous lands,” was the second most censored issue. Read article:

December 30, 2007

Global news: Republic of Lakota

By Brenda Norrell

The Lakota Freedom Delegation's website has had a half million hits in one week, visitors have been from 100 countries.
News of the Lakota Freedom Delegation's action has appeared around the world, from Taiwan and China to Russia, Italy and Argentina. It has been translated into the majority of the world's global languages. Here's a list collected from Google breaking news:
After the Mohawk warriors supported the Lakota delegation, Kahentinetha Horn, publisher of Mohawk Nation News, received e-mails stating that she should tell both sides of the story.
Kahentinetha said, “I am not neutral. I am on the side of the traditional Indigenous people, not tribal council sell-outs and those who get a government ‘handout’ and do the bidding of their ‘masters.’ I am not objective.
“I am for Indigenous law, international law and human rights. For me, there is only one side to this -- the side of right which is being exercised by those who have no fear of doing so. The rest have been scared into fear of changing a life deforming colonial system. Yes, I am very subjective on the issue of Indigenous sovereignty. I will never support illegal and genocidal federal Indian law. I will never be on the side of promoting colonial lies. I will not give them the time of day!"

December 29, 2007

Looking back at women, photos from 2007

(Top) Ofelia Rivas, Tohono O'odham, on the US/Mexico border looks in the direction of her own community, whose ceremonial route has been dissected by this border wall, including a new barbed wire fence detrimental to migrating jaguar and Sonoran pronghorn.
Rose Main with her mother Vernie White Cow Main on Big Warm Creek, Gros Ventre land in northern Montana, search for ways to help Rose's brother Jim Main, Jr., jailed for over a year for a murder he said he did not commit. The trial has been delayed as new evidence surfaces on other people at the scene. Indian rights activists question if a fair trial is possible in a Montana border town. In the photo, Rose and her mom are enjoying fresh salmon brought by the Sohappy family.
Tohono O'odham Angie Ramon at the site where her son, Bennett Patricio, Jr., was ran over and killed by the US Border Patrol near the border in 2002. The Ninth Circuit upheld the lower court's decision and did not find fault with the Border Patrol. Angie, still seeking answers and justice, now has the option of filing murder charges and searches for an attorney.
A Raging Granny protests the war in Iraq in Tucson and asks George Bush how many kids has he killed today.
Photos by Brenda Norrell

December 27, 2007

Chief Big Foot Riders Return to Wounded Knee

LAKOTA A Free People, A Free Nation!
27 December 2007
Lakota Freedom: Naomi Archer:


13 Day Ride Began Under Bonds of U.S. Treaty, Ends On December 29th With Free Nation
21ST Annual Ride Returns To New Life for Free Lakota People

By Lakota Freedom Delegation

WOUNDED KNEE, Lakota (formerly South Dakota) – Thirteen days and 287 miles ago, 44 people mounted horses and began the Memorial Chief Big Foot Ride in honor of Si Tanka (Chief Big Foot) and his unarmed band of Mniconjou and Hunkpapa refuges who were slaughtered by U.S. Calvary in 1890 at Wounded Knee.
But while these 44 riders began their journey under the shadow of U.S. Treaty, their numbers will swell to over 100 and end under the protection of a free and sovereign Lakota Nation.
The ride began on December 15th in Standing Rock, the anniversary of Sitting Bull's death, and has traveled through fierce snowstorm and cold, the same conditions faced by the 357 mostly women, children and elder men at Wounded Knee Creek 127 years ago.
"The purpose of the ride is to ride the spirit trail of Chief Big Foot," said Tegihya Kte also known as Garry Rowland, leader of the riders and recent delegate of the Lakota Freedom effort in Washington D.C.. "The Tree of Life died in Wounded Knee in 1890, and the ride was begun to mend the Sacred Hoop."
Riders ranging in age from 10 to 65 travel the footsteps of their Ancestors, along the way offering prayer for the women, children, the Elders, and the conditions the Lakota people are forced to live under today. For the children, the ride is also a powerful introduction to the sacred relationship between the Lakota and the horse and the courage their Ancestors took during their 13 day walk from the site of Sitting Bull's assassination to Wounded Knee.
"My sons and now my grandsons have participated in the ride," shared Tegihya Kte. "They ride for our future and the self-determination of our people." The self-determination of the Lakota now takes on powerful meeting as the Lakota Freedom Delegation traveled to Washington D.C. and withdrew the Lakota from their treaties with the United States Government. The ride becomes an outward expression of sovereign Lakota rights and spirituality.
Tegihya Kte said, "We don't want the government telling us what to do, we want to be free."
Lakota Freedom delegate and Cante Tenza leader Canupa Gluha Mani (Duane Martin Sr.) agreed, "The Lakota withdrawal in Washington D.C. brings real protection for our people today, exactly the real protection Big Foot sought for his people then."

We are the freedom loving Lakota from the Sioux Indian reservations of Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana who have withdrawn from the constitutionally mandated treaties to become a free and independent country. We are alerting the Family of Nations we have now reassumed our freedom and independence with the backing of Natural, International, and United States law. For more information, please visit our new website at

12/23/07: Lakota Freedom: Treaty Withdrawal For Elders and Children
12/19/07: Sovereignty Declared, 33 Year Treaty Council Agreement Satisfied, Liens Threatened

Desert Rock: Sleepwalking toward disaster

Sleepwalking toward disaster
By Edward Mazria
Recent scientific studies about global warming could not be more disturbing. A report in the journal Science, projects that coral reefs, home to 25 percent of all marine species, will be gone by 2050. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change projects that 20 percent to 30 percent of all plant and animal species on earth will be gone by 2050...
Yet, here in New Mexico, we seem to be sleepwalking toward disaster. A 1500 MW conventional coal-fired power plant called "Desert Rock" is about to be built, which will release about 12.7 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), a greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere each year.
Read article:
Read more at the Dooda (NO) Desert Rock blog by grassroots Navajos:

December 26, 2007

Turks express support for Lakota delegation

Turks Express Support For Declaration Of Independence

Censored News

MILLIYET, Turkey -- Following the recent news about Native American Sioux-Lakota tribe's declaration of independence from the U.S., a message of support from Turks was sent to the tribe’s representative Russell Means.
Turkish Consumers Union President Bulent Deniz wrote in his message to Means, “This independence that you have declared against the U.S. - the main actor of imperialism - has pleased and excited everyone in the world that stands up against imperialism. In the present situation of the continuing tragedy in Iraq, this initiative of the real owners of American lands is fully supported by the Turkish Consumers Union”.
Source: Milliyet, Turkey, December 26, 2007 Posted at: 2007-12-26

More press coverage at Radio Netherlands
The Lakota Freedom Delegation announced more than 100 Nations have visited their website:

December 25, 2007

Mohawk Warriors support Lakotas' withdrawl from US

FAR BEHIND? [Story of the year]

By Kahentinetha Horn
Mohawk Nation News
Dec. 25, 2007. The times, they are a changin’. Go to the website. There you’ll see Canupa Gluha Mani of the Strong Heart Warrior Society of the Lakota Nation cutting up his colonial driver’s license. He’s doing this because on December 17th 2007 the Lakota delivered their “Declaration of Continuing Independence," just in time for the Winter Solstice ...
Should all Indigenous nations of Onowaregeh, Turtle Island, assert our freedom and independence, what would happen? The action of the“Lakota” is going to have repercussions far and wide.The colonists would go out of business, especially the oligarchs. They would have to work out agreements with all the Indigenous people on whose land they are squatting. Indigenous “liens” on buildings,development, resource extraction and all activities on our land will have to be governed and executed by us. Each Indigenous nation will assert our power over our lands, assets and resources. The colonies of U.S.and Canada will just have to become law abiding. They will have to learn to respect indigenous and international law.
Read article:

Listen online to Canupa Gluha Mani describe the three and one-half year process leading up to the Lakota Freedom Delegation's withdrawl from treaties:
"I encourage other nations to rise and up and do the same."
"Rise up and take back what is yours, that is what is called freedom."
Canupa Gluha Mani interview - 5.6M Canupa Gluha Mani answers questions about the delegation, timing of the event, present hopes and fears of the Lakota people, encouragements to other nations to rise up. Some parts spoken in Lakota language.
Recorded 12-25-07 in Asheville, North Carolina
lovestopsfear (at) gmail (dot) com

Google Breaking News:
Turkish Warplanes Continue Raids on Northern Iraq (Lakotas declare sovereignty)
Democracy Now, NY - 42 minutes ago Longtime Indian rights activist Russell Means said: “We are no longer citizens of the United States of America and all those who live in the five-state area ...
Sioux Indians of Lakota Tribe Tell State Dept. of Succession
The Moderate Voice - Dec 24, 2007 The leader of the group, writer, actor and activist Russell Means, submitted a letter to State Department officials announcing their decision to sever ...
Russell Means Goes to Washington CounterPunch, CA - Dec 24, 2007 When Columbus waded ashore and said that he, "was taking possession of this island for the King and Queen," why is it not right for Dr. Russell Means to go ...
Blast from the Past
Free Liberal, VA - Dec 23, 2007 The article, which was published in 1987, was about Russell Means, who was Ron Paul's contender for the Libertarian Party nomination at the time. ...
Lakota Sioux Declare Sovereign Nation Status
OpEdNews, PA - Dec 23, 2007 “This is an historic day for our Lakota people,” declared Russell Means, Itacan of Lakota. “United States colonial rule is at its end! ...

Reader comment from Nakima:
We have been a sovereign nation since 1868. I am Lakota. I am also the head editor of Medicine Winds News, a Native American newspaper. My people did not go quietly into the night, as the U.S. government wishes we would. We did not assimilate like the borgs of Star Trek. We have stood firmly and resolutely. For 33 years we have waited patiently. Thirty-three, the number given to us at the International Indian Treaty Council drew together more than 5000 delegates representing 98 Indian tribes and Nations from North and South America. This manifesto, representing the wisdom of thousands of people, their Ancestors, and the Great Mystery explicitly supports the rights of Indigenous Nations to live free and to take whatever actions necessary for sovereignty. In thirty-three years not one step was taken to enforce the treaties signed back in 1851 and 1868, let's put this into perspective.
If some nation, say imagineland signed a treaty with us for peace, then failed to live up to that agreement what do you think the United States would do? What did we do when China failed after Tiananmen Square? They placed sanctions on the trade of China. Well, members of the United Nations are supporting our efforts to force the U.S. into fulfilling its agreements with us. We are SOVEREIGN NATIONS. In other words we are only under U.S. rule by us voluntarily fulfilling our agreements ie. treaties. Like The Philippines, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Northern Marianas are all sovereign nations under U.S. rule, in the same way as 539 Native American nations. Do you think any of these would remain territories of the U.S. if the U.S. failed to fulfill those treaties? Of course not! As separate entities bound by treaty we are not committing treason, we are demanding a fulfillment of a contract that is 150 years old and still not completed.

Photo: Lakota Freedom Delegation.

Uncensored: Mining is genocide for Indigenous Peoples

Navajos gathered with Indigenous Peoples from throughout the Americas to plan strategies to oppose mining in September in Tucson. Censored blog readers say that the genocide resulting from mining is the second most censored issue in Indian country. It follows the number one most censored issue of the silencing of traditional and grassroots Indian voices. The following article appeared in the Navajo Times print edition and is republished online with permission.
It is the fourth in the series from the conference:
Cry from the top of the world, Arctic sea ice is melting
Peru's Indigenous Peoples arise in defense of Earth from mining
Mayans in Guatemala: 'No Compromise,' halt gold mining

Navajos join global effort to halt mining in Indigenous territories

By Brenda Norrell
Special to Navajo Times

TUCSON, Ariz. – Navajos joined Indigenous Peoples from the Americas to organize opposition to mining that is poisoning the air, water and land of Indian people, at the Western Mining Action Network Conference.
With the Bush administration accelerating the expansion of uranium mines, coalmines, power plants and oil and gas drilling, American Indians in the United States joined in solidarity to halt mining, during the conference held Sept. 28 -29, at the Hotel Arizona.
Louise Benally, Navajo from Big Mountain, said, “Mother Earth is going to be butchered if all these mining operations are admitted. The Indigenous Peoples must act because they are connected to Mother Nature and Mother Earth.
“Desert Rock is not a good plan. We already have four power plants in the area, we don’t need a fifth one. We need to establish a moratorium on coal mining and power plants, the same way we did with the moratorium on uranium mining.
“We need to stop the uranium mining on Mount Taylor. We need to stop all the uranium mining before we are left with nothing.
“All the beasts need to be removed,” Benally said in an interview. She said those “beasts” endangering the land and people include Navajo President Joe Shirley, Jr., Navajo Speaker Lawrence Morgan and the federal elected leaders in Washington D.C.
“We need tribal leaders that will honor the people over tribal profit,” Benally said, adding that tribal leaders often receive kickbacks to support corporations seeking leases.
“The Navajo Nation tribal government is not a ‘Navajo Tribal Government,’ it is a corporate-controlled business.”
Benally said Navajo politicians, in their campaigns, make promises that are thrown by the wayside once they are in office. There, they become corporate-controlled.
“They need to come off of their high horse. We need to preserve our resources for the future generations.”
Western Shoshone Carrie Dann, leading the fight against nuclear testing and gold mining in Shoshone territories that are guaranteed by the Treaty of Ruby Valley, agreed with Benally. Dann said the root of the problem for Indian Nations is the fact that the United States pressured Indian Nations to establish IRA governments in order for the federal government to control tribes. Dann said since the tribes are held in trust, then ultimately it is the Department of Interior who is in control and making the decisions.
“Whose interest is the BIA really protecting? It is the Department of Interior that provides the BIA’s bread and butter,” Dann said in an interview. Dann added that the U.S. Congress is just as much to blame as President Bush for the attacks on the sovereignty and natural resources of Indian Nations.
In Canada, Dene were victims of Cold War uranium mining, just as their relatives, the Dine’ in the south. Now, Flora Natomagan, Dene, of the Hatchet Lake Band, First Nation in Saskatchewan, said there are new threats of uranium mining in the region, traditionally used for fishing and trapping.
Natomagan, who previously served as chief, said the Dene people survive on the fish and caribou and never stop to ask if their food has been contaminated by uranium exploration and mining. Earlier, there was a spill at McLean Lake.
Now, with new uranium mining exploration, she said, “They always say it is safe, but we know it is not safe.” Dene now have high rates of cancer, asthma and other diseases, she said.
Traditionally, people have always moved seasonally for fishing, trapping and hunting caribou, living seasonally on the lakes. Now, with the climate changing, their lives are affected because the migration patterns of their food sources are changing.
Natomagan’s grandfather first noticed the change in the trees in 1972, when tree branches began pointing upward, rather than downward. “The trees changed their form and the environment began to change.
“The whole world sees it, but pretends not to see it,” she said of global climate change.
Twa-le Abrahamson, Spokane Nation youth with the grassroots SHAWL Society, said she came to the conference to learn from Navajos about how Navajos deal with the aftermath of Cold War uranium mining.
Although many of the Spokane uranium miners have died from cancer and other mining-related diseases, there are still those who remember the radioactive yellow dust brought home to the families. In one family, where six out of seven family members developed cancer, she said, “They remembered flipping the mattress over and the yellow cloud of smoke that came up.”
On the Spokane Nation, radioactive rocks from uranium mining remain in driveways and elsewhere, she said.
Indigenous Peoples came from as far away as Peru and Guatemala to organize opposition to mining and learn from one another’s struggles. Closer to home, Manny Pino, Acoma Pueblo and member of Laguna Acoma Coalition for a Safe Environment, said recently the All Indian Pueblo Council in Albuquerque joined Navajos in opposing uranium mining and milling adjacent to Mount Taylor, sacred to tribes in the region.
Dailan Long, Navajo from Burnham Chapter, N.M., and member of Dine’ Citizens Against Ruining our Environment, said the expansion of the BHP Navajo Mine, by 17,000 acres, is among the concerns, as it violates protocol of the National Environmental Protection Act.
“They intend to expand the coal mines without letting the local people know,” he said. “When you burn coal, you produce ash, which is highly toxic. What they want to do is refill the mining pits with coal ash.”
Long said the Four Corners Power Plant has 40 tons of coal ash and San Juan Generating Station has another 50 to 60 tons of coal ash. “There is about 120 tons of unregulated coal ash sitting out there. It has been categorized as the largest mine fill site in the United States and it is sitting out there unregulated.”
Long said contamination is leaking from the site and draining into the communities, including Fruitland, Shiprock and Hogback in New Mexico. Now, he said, plans for the Desert Rock Power Plant are exposing the long-term effects of coal mining and power plants for Navajos. Mining effects include water issues, relocation, mine expansion, air quality and health, he said in an interview.
“This project is genocide,” Long said, referring to Desert Rock and the cumulative effects of coal mining and power plants on Navajo health and the environment in the Four Corners area.
Tom Goldtooth, Navajo/Dakota and director of the Indigenous Environmental Network, said Indian people in the United States live in a society that has abrogated Treaty rights and disrespected sacred places.
While some struggle to find common ground on sustainable mining, Goldtooth questions if there are any methods to extract mercury, uranium, gold, copper or zinc from the earth in a way that respects the traditions of Indigenous Peoples.
"I haven't found any mining technology that is sustainable. Some aspect always contaminates our water, our earth, our air,” Goldtooth said in an interview.
Wahleah Johns, Navajo from Forest Lake and member of the Black Mesa Water Coalition, said the conference brought together Indian people from throughout Turtle Island affected by hard rock mining. Listening to personal stories offered strength and networking to halt mining.
“It is a great space to be in,” Johns said.

Photos by Brenda Norrell

Happy holidays from a Dine' poet


by Chuck Hedin

Peacefully, a homeless man sleeps
His crumbling cardboard shelter leaks
Scent of oil from old train tracks
Red brick factories blemished in black
Smokestacks tower to the sky
Stretching his arms, he breathes out a sigh…
Factory whistles create various sounds
Company inspectors make their rounds
With engineer hats and aching backs
Heavy iron engines roll down the tracks.
Pigeons flutter in window shutters
Steam escapes from many gutters
Holding a cigarette with trembling fingers
He strikes a match, the sulfur lingers.
Gazing about, with nothing to hide,
Casting several bottles aside.
Wild cats frightened of every sound
Wind blown papers whirl around.
Shaking tattered clothes about
Toes inflamed with painful gout.
Tugging on thread bare socks,
He saunters on to warehouse docks.
Someone beckons him to step forward.
Now, he doesn’t feel so morbid.A chance to work an honest day,
Finally luck, is on his plate today.


December 24, 2007

The best seven minutes of 2007

By Brenda Norrell

The best seven minutes of 2007 came just after this photo was taken. I was driving a delegation of Mohawks, part of the Indigenous Border Summit of the Americas, back from the border wall under construction on Tohono O'odham land. In a flash, the delegation saw a group of Indigenous Peoples, who appeared to be Mayans from Mexico or Central America, under arrest by the US Border Patrol. The Mohawks rushed over, but before they could reach them, the US Border Patrol sped away with the people in the back. The Mohawks stood with their fists clenched and held high in solidarity.

Strongheart Warrior Society: Withdrawl from the treaty is protection

A Free People, A Free Nation!
lakotafree or
Dec. 24, 2007
Lakota Freedom: Treaty Withdrawal For Elders and Children Sovereignty Action Sparks World Discussion, Disagreement, Inspiration
By Lakota Freedom Delegation

Lakota – What began as sparsely attended press conference announcing Lakota sovereignty has grown into an international roar of freedom inspiring people on every continent and sparking excitement and discussion in homes, tribal councils, schools, and on Internet blogs and message boards.
Across Indian Country in particular, the impact of the sovereign action is creating both inspiration and concern as the reality of freedom sinks in. But mixed with the excitement and joy are concerns the Lakota people's needs will not be fully met, especially needs and concerns of the youth.
Lakota Freedom delegate and Oglala Lakota Cante Tenza - Strongheart Warrior Society leader Canupa Gluha Mani (Duane Martin Sr.) issued the following statement after discussion with the Strongheart Grandmothers: "The whole Lakota declaration of withdrawal from the treaty is vested on the power of the Lakota people and our children. When we undertook the process of announcing the withdrawal, the capacity was far greater than most people anticipated about an individual. But throughout our history, the people have never excluded anyone within our own lifeway and when it becomes a listener's view that its about one individual, one individual does not represent the Nation itself, the Nation represents the individual, and that is Lakota. The withdrawal is for the people, the Elders, mothers, fathers, and the children. Throughout our history and through the enforcement of the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934, Congress said they would oversee the provisions of 1868 (Fort Laramie Treaty), but they failed to do so. Some minor provisions were kept, but overall the treaty was not honored. Because if the treaty was honored, we would not have this colonial catastrophe of alcoholism, drug abuse and poverty and we wouldn't have the overall high incarceration rate of the male and female in the prison populations. This leads to our children being taking away by Social Services which puts our children out of balance from learning the traditional lifeway. When the children can reconnect with who they are, they come back to the process of knowing what is Lakota in the true point of view. In this true point of view, Lakota is about being free and left alone, so we can govern and save our own with the teachings of the Animal Nations. If we can conclude with this statement in the positive venue, its not about Russell Means, and certainly not about Canupa Gluha Mani or any individual, this about the Lakota Nation and the Animal People who are no longer alone."
The Lakota Freedom Delegation is the powerful realization of an ongoing process lasting no less than 33 years. Despite criticism the Delegation does not speak for the Lakota people, Delegation representatives have been in ongoing communication with the traditional chiefs and treaty councils all across Lakota for the last three and a half years. Canupa Gluha Mani (Duane Martin Sr.) , leader of the Cante Tenza (Strongheart Warrior Society) of the Ogalala Lakota and Oyate Wacinyapin (Russell Means) have been in discussion with the traditional treaty councils across Lakota. The traditional treaty councils in the following communities were consulted:
Pine Ridge
Lower Brule
Cheyenne River
Standing Rock
Additional consultation with the treaty council occurred during Defenders of Black Hills meeting in Rapid City. Mni yuha Najin Win (Phyllis Young) also consulted with the people in Standing Rock regarding this action. With this in mind, the Delegation does not act for IRA Indians, "stay by the fort indians", or other Lakota people unwilling to be free. Looking further back, emerging from the Wounded Knee Occupation in 1973, the International Indian Treaty Council drew together more than 5000 delegates representing 98 Indian tribes and Nations from North and South America. This manifesto, representing the wisdom of thousands of people, their Ancestors, and the Great Mystery explicity supports the rights of Indigenous Nations to live free and to take whatever actions necessary for sovereignty.
We are the freedom loving Lakota from the Sioux Indian reservations of Nebraska , North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana who have withdrawn from the constitutionally mandated treaties to become a free and independent country. We are alerting the Family of Nations we have now reassumed our freedom and independence with the backing of Natural, International, and United States law. For more information, please visit our new website at
Photo: Canupa Gluha Mani discards drivers license and declares sovereignty! December 19, 2007 Press Conference. Photo by AP: Stephen J. Boitano

Censorship, struggling against the new McCarthyism

Updated: Censorship, struggling against the new McCarthyism
By Brenda Norrell
The Censored blog has been an education this year, changing the way I approach news, thanks to all of you who read and contribute to the Censored blog.
For most journalists, the news that is published comes by way of compromises with the editor and publisher. While reporters are carrying out interviews for controversial stores, they have to ask themselves: “Will they publish this?”
This all depends on the editor and publisher’s personal views and politics, along with fears of advertisers and other controlling powers that are quietly hidden behind every newspaper.
Yesterday, I drove by the building in Scottsdale, Arizona, where Tim Giago, Lakota, and the staff of Indian Country Today gave birth to a new newspaper in the summer of 1994. Giago was recently honored at the South Dakota Newspaper Hall of Fame, where his photo now joins all the white men who have been honored. During all the years that I worked for Giago, at Lakota Times and Indian Country Today, he never censored my articles. After he sold the newspaper, the situation changed.
But driving past that building, I remembered the incredible people and stories. I remembered Hopi photographer Larry Gus who went out on stories with me, and our managing editor who came down from South Dakota during those early months, Avis Little Eagle from Standing Rock. There are two stories that stand out in my mind. One was about Fred Walking Badger, environmental activist who was then missing and later found buried in the desert. The other story was Larry Gus’ photo shoot with Keith Secola in the desert. Keith, known for his “Indian Kars,” was always generous with his time. Avis Little Eagle was, and is, a light in American Indian journalism.
It was an honor to have been there with all of them.
Now, the U.S. Congress is creating new legislation to criminalize radical thought and we are all thrown back into the McCarthy Era. As the media is compromised more and more each day, the United States government, both the Bush administration and the US Congress, continues to represent the tyranny, censorship and terrorism of the Nazi regime that it claims to oppose.
But with this oppression comes the hope delivered here each day in e-mails from readers like you. Thanks to all of you who rise up in the fight against censorship and oppression.
May your holiday season bring you great joy and a celebration of the struggle for life and humanity.
Now, this just in, an example of those great e-mails. When Juan Reza, heard that Texas border columnist Jay Johnson-Castro had been terminated, here's what he wrote. His comments are published with permission:
Hi Jay! I just finished reading about your firing at the Rio Grande Guardian through Brenda Norrell’s site. With sincere and humble respect I render to you my Congratulations! I read several of your articles within the last few months, and I commend you for your steadfast, courageous reporting of critical information that the sell-out media owners and their accomplices are refusing to disseminate. I will be sending my prayers your way, that you may be strengthened even further in your resolve to provide truthful, highly ethical services to the people you really serve: God’s Children, your relatives, the poorest and most vulnerable ones. Where one is intelligently courageous for a noble purpose, others will be too. Wishing you the greatest of blessings possible, that according to the great Lakota Holy Man, Frank Fools Crow, are inner peace and Love. Juan Reza
We asked Juan Reza if he would like to share something about himself with readers. Here goes, "I’m a pitiful two-legged being seeking to daily grow my love for our Creator and our Creator’s creation and do something good for them while I’m here."
UPDATE from Juan Reza:
I sent this letter of encouragement to a courageous reporter who was just recently fired for his valiant work. He shared it with Brenda Norrell, who then asked if it would be okay to put it up on her site. At first, I was hesitant to give permission, because I know that it can lead toward something unpleasant and painful. But, I thought, as I (and so many of us) stay quiet in the fear of losing my comfort or perhaps ultimately even my earth-robe, the repression of truth and good people is growing among vicious politicians and their so-called “religious” co-horts, corporate controllers, media owners with their robotic accomplices and mercenary armed forces who think they can get away with it because not enough people are speaking out and taking action to stop them in a well-orchestrated manner. As a result, people of all sacred colors are being fired and fired upon, deported, tortured, killed by the millions through various means and children are being arrested in prisons, sexually assaulted and denied access to toys and even their parents. Horrors untold are being committed all over, and many of us are staying far too quiet and complacent, hoping perhaps that we won’t have to suffer any serious hits to our comforts, peace of mind or our bodies, not realizing clearly that what is most important to protect, our family, the children, the elderly, the women, our indigenous cultures and sacred rites and sites, Mother Earth and her life-sustaining elements (in essence our spiritual sustenance), are the ones really taking the hits because of our fearful, quiet complacency. With my own brother, Salvador Reza, and others who are walking with him putting their lives on the line in front of gun-toting KKK minute-men backed backed by a Sherriff Arpaio who is doing the dirty work for ruthless, mean-spirited, genocidal politicians that don’t have the guts to pull the triggers themselves, but only send others to do the killing, I figured it’s time for me to break down the fear that keeps the oppressors in positions to dominate. Far too many of us are falling prey to the false and cowardly belief, “there’s nothing we can do about it.” There is always something that can be done. I believe there is nothing impossible for our Creator, who is pure Love and Compassion and never gets angry – sad, but never angry. So if everything is possible for our Creator, who the heck am I to think or say “there’s nothing we can do about it.” Every human action begins as a thought. Prayer-thoughts produce energy, energy that can change things. Where one is intelligently courageous, others will also made so.You are all in my prayers.For all of my relatives, especially my Chiricahua Apache and Tarahumara Grandpas and Grandmas. I know they are still alive and that their loving prayers for us are still in effect.
Juan Reza

Finally, for a few of my favorite all time censored articles, please see my earlier Censored blog. The articles include an interview with Buffy Sainte-Marie, an article censored for seven years, about her being blacklisted:
Another censored issue was the Lakota warriors' defense of the Badlands against museum excavations for prehistoric bones, during the summer of 2002. The struggle was censored by most newspapers except the Lakota Journal. Stronghold Table is where the Ghost Dancers were massacred after they fled the Massacre of Wounded Knee:
Before passing to the Spirit World, Tony Black Feather delivered a powerful statement on the American flag and the nation it represents, from the Stronghold:
In his own words, Tony Black Feather, Lakota:
"I tell them that the aboriginal Lakota people of this country look at this flag as a piece of red, white and blue cloth that stands for the foreign racist system that has oppressed Indigenous peoples for centuries.
"For traditional Lakota people, that piece of red, white and blue cloth stands for a system and a country that does not honor it's own word."
Black Feather, in his statement to the Working Group on Indigenous Populations, said the flag represents a nation of dishonor.
"If it stood for honor and truth, it would remember our treaties and give them the appropriate place under international law. But it doesn't. It dishonors its own word and violates its treaties, that piece of red, white and blue cloth."

December 23, 2007

Dirty power plant deal keeps getting dirtier

By Elouise Brown
LITTLEWATER, N. M. -- Stephen C. Begay, the general manager of the Dine Power Authority, keeps banging the drum about the benefits of the Desert Rock mine-mouth power plant to Navajos. He says that “The Desert Rock energy project will bring economic, social and environmental benefits for the Navajo people.” I think that it is time to call him and his corporate partners to task for making statements they have not proved.
Read article ...
Photo: Coal ash at the Four Corners Power Plant, one of the current polluters on the Navajo Nation. Black carbons from power plants are one of the reasons the ice is melting at the fastest rate ever in the Arctic, causing walrus, polar bears and seals to lose homelands and die.

Mohawk Nation News: 'Red Ops' spies ousted in Algonquin meeting


Mohawk Nation News
By Kahentinetha Horn
Dec. 23, 2007. Three intrepid MNN reporters were invited to Pembroke to cover a meeting of Algonquins. It was held in the Knights of Columbus Hall, which doesn’t sound good. It was
ostensibly to discuss their main current problems of illegal uranium mining and the fake “Algonquin” negotiators of their land claims. They were also battling the racist Ontario Federation of Hunters and Anglers for their hunting rights. They won a court case which
was appealed successfully by another government department. All this turned out to be a front for “Operation Red Death”, known
as “Red Ops." Read article:

Censored: Texas border columnist Jay Johnson-Castro

By Brenda Norrell

DEL RIO, Texas -- Jay Johnson-Castro, who recently wrote "Gang Rape of the Borderlands," and has been a leader in exposing the imprisoned infants and children at Hutto prison in Texas, has been terminated as a columnist by the Rio Grande Guardian in Texas.

The termination Jay received today, by way of e-mail, is the clearest indication that Jay has not only been reporting the truth, but has done such incredible work that the newspaper publisher feels she must terminate and attempt to censor him.

What they don't know is that this effort to silence him will only increase his opportunity for truth-telling. Around the world now, more people will know that migrant and refugee infants and children are imprisoned at the T. Don Hutto prison in Taylor, Texas. It is the same prison that denied entrance to the United Nations Rapporteur on migrants, Jorge Bustamante, in May 2007.

Because of this termination, more people will now know that migrant women were sexually assaulted at the prison and chained to their beds during medical examinations.

This attempt at censorship will now lead to more people around the world knowing that the Bush administration has engaged in a media campaign of racism and xenophobia at the border, resulting in huge contracts for private prisons. Private prisons in Texas are receiving a huge chunk of those migrant prison dollars. Now every migrant has a price on his head.

Just this week, Johnson-Castro was celebrated as one of the Censored blog's outstanding uncensored media voices of 2007.

Today is Jay Johnson-Castro Day at the Censored Blog! Let's celebrate one more attempt at censorship giving us all a reason to shout the truth: "Free the children of Hutto Prison!"

Good luck to Jay on his border walks as a Border Ambassador. Thank you for joining the Indigenous Peoples' Border Summit of the Americas 2007 on Tohono O'odham land.

We look forward to more of Jay's coverage from the Texas border, as Homeland Security prepares to seize private lands using the law of eminent domain, including lands of the Lipan Apache, whose women and elderly are calling for support from around the world.

Now, without the constraints of newspaper censorship, Jay can tell more of the truth at the Texas border.

Cheer Jay on at:
Juan Reza's comment published with permission:
Hi Jay! I just finished reading about your firing at the Rio Grande Guardian through Brenda Norrell’s site. With sincere and humble respect I render to you my Congratulations! I read several of your articles within the last few months, and I commend you for your steadfast, courageous reporting of critical information that the sell-out media owners and their accomplices are refusing to disseminate. I will be sending my prayers your way, that you may be strengthened even further in your resolve to provide truthful, highly ethical services to the people you really serve: God’s Children, your relatives, the poorest and most vulnerable ones. Where one is intelligently courageous for a noble purpose, others will be too. Wishing you the greatest of blessings possible, that according to the great Lakota Holy Man, Frank Fools Crow, are inner peace and Love. Juan Reza
Photo: Jay Johnson-Castro at the Indigenous Border Summit of the Americas, center, with Lakota, Oneida and delegation of Mohawks. The delegation was expressing the distress of watching fellow Indigenous Peoples being arrested on Tohono O'odham land, Mayans walking to a better life, near the border wall now under construction. Border wall on Tohono O'odham is in projected photo behind those seated. Photo Brenda Norrell

American Indian Genocide Museum: Russell goes to Washington

Steve Melendez, Pyramind Lake Paiute
President, American Indian Genocide Museum

HOUSTON -- In 1980 the United States government printed 500 hardcover books called, The Final Report of the Indian Claims Commission. It is on our Museum’s wish list.
In it on page 4 under the heading “Historical Survey," it makes the grand revelation on how this government is dealing with First Nations America.
Giving a history of its very own formation, it candidly reveals, “… to create a United States Court of Indian Claims. This court was to consist of three judges, have a 5-year filing period for all claims founded upon the Constitution, laws of Congress, treaties and contracts, and render a final decision within a 10 year life span. Thus, by 1930, the resolution of Indian claims was proposed under two forms of tribunal. In 1934 and early 1935, the proponents of an Indian court submitted two more bills to establish an Indian claims court. Both bills were ignored, largely because they were not, by this time, considered practical answers to the claims situation. In a report to the Senate committee on Indian Affairs, Secretary of Indian Affairs Harold Ickes argued against them and directed the Senators’ attention to a bill recently introduced in the House to create an Indian claims commission instead of a court which he considered preferable. With the introduction, in March 1935, of H.R. 6655, an act to create an Indian claims commission, the legislative movement to expedite Indian claims shifted irreversibly from the consideration of a judicial to a commission format. Both Congress and the Secretary of the Interior now felt that a commission rather than an adversary proceeding could better 'cut through” the red tape of Government agencies charged with the preparation of Indian cases. An investigatory commission appeared to be a better vehicle for “claims involving history and anthropology as much as law.' This bill, and three similar ones, aroused a good deal of debate throughout the 1930’s but no legislation resulted.”

In other words, this was and is the government’s boldface attempt to nullify all treaties made with First Nations America by circumventing the courts and the rule of law. The movement shifted from a “judicial to a commission format???" What hogwash!!!

Sure the Indian Claims Commission went out of business in 1980 but its rulings are still hanging over the heads of Carrie Dann and the Western Shoshone Nation and Dr.Russell Means and the Lakota Nation to the tune of $34 million and $800 million, respectively.

Everyone who knows the story of Carrie Dann knows the story of how the indigenous people have been criminalized for standing up for Native civil rights. And yes, treaty rights are guaranteed and protected by the U.S. Constitution under article 6--supposedly.

And laws supposedly should be enforced but they are not. This is just the latest example of the racial discrimination that our people have had to endure for the last 500 years.

When Columbus waded ashore and said that he, “…was taking possession of this island for the King and Queen," why is it not right for Dr. Russell Means to go to Washington and do the same thing.

Black’s Law Dictionary tells me on Pg.1502 that a treaty is “An agreement, league, or contract between two or more nations or sovereigns.”

Did the United States honor their end of the international agreement called the Treaty of Fort Laramie of 1868? In the summer of 1874 Gen. Philip Sheridan sent George Armstrong Custer into the Black Hills to verify the rumor that gold had been found. Miners had been showing up with gold. He had an entourage of about 1,000 soldiers, over 100 covered wagons, two or three gatling guns, a cannon, a sixteen piece brass band mounted on white horses and two miners who were the experts on gold. He was there in violation of the Supreme Law of the Land, the treaty of 1868. When he found gold, he sent a dispatch back to Ft. Laramie: “Gold has been found in paying quantities. I have on my table 40 or 50 small particles of pure gold. In size, averaging in size that of a small pinhead, and most of it taken today from one panful of earth.”

The following year, President Ulysses S. Grant stood before Congress and said,“…The Discovery of gold in the Black Hills, a portion of the Sioux Reservation, has had the effect to induce a large immigration of miners to that point. Thus far the effort to protect the treaty rights of the Indians to that section has been successful, but the next year will certainly witness a large increase of such immigration. The negotiations for the relinquishment of the gold fields having failed, it will be necessary for Congress to adopt some measures to relieve the embarrassment growing out of the causes named. The Secretary of the Interior suggests that the supplies now appropriated for the sustenance of that people, Being no longer obligatory under the treaty of 1868, but simply a gratuity, may be issued or withheld at his discretion.”

Volume 9 Messages and Papers of the Presidents Page 4306 President Ulysses S. Grant’s 7th Annual Message To the Senate and House of Representatives, December 7, 1875.

“Sustenance” is food and withholding food from people is a government policy of starvation. Previously, the U.S. Army supported the extermination of the buffalo in order to control the native people. Why wait for the hammer to drop again? Why not support Dr. Means before the hammer drops on this economy and $800 won’t buy bread let alone buffalo. Ask not what the U.S. Government can do for one of the lowest life expectancies in the world, ask what is the price for reparations for genocide. If ever you find that you are a part of a deceptive system called Mystery Babylon you are instructed to, “Come out or her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues; for her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes."

Sometimes, to be right is worth more than all the gold they stole out of the Homestake Gold Mine, "a portion of the Sioux Reservation."

To read more on the Homestake Gold Mine

Photos: Lakota Freedom Delegation.

December 21, 2007

Alex and Debra White Plume's home burns to the ground

Alex and Debra White Plume's home burned to the ground on Pine Ridge. They lost everything. Our Lakota friends have given their all, always championing justice for the people and protection of the land and sacred ways. Hopefully now we can return something to them. Brenda Norrell

From Kent Lebsock:
Yesterday, the home of my good friends, Alex and Debra White Plume, burnt to the ground. Gratefully, no one was injured. Nonetheless, they had built the home themselves and raised their children and grandchildren there. Because they had the chance to build their own home, they did not have to live in the government housing designed to keep our people from the land. The home was their shelter on the territory of the Lakota Nation on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

I don’t suppose there is anyway to understand this kind of loss. On TV, in these kinds of disasters, they always say, ‘well, it was only things that were lost and thank god everyone got out ok.’ True enough about the people. But I don’t believe that in a real home it’s only things: there is a spirit there, like anywhere, and that spirit nurtures us. When it is wounded we are wounded.

All of the excellent work that Alex and Debra have done for our people all of these years came out of this home. All of Debra and Alex’s records, books, reports, studies, art, and irreplaceable records of the Native and Indigenous movement over the past 40 years were, of course, lost along with their home. Consequently, their loss is a loss to all of us interested in the preservation of our culture and history.

I love Alex and Debra like the family they are and admire them more than I can express. I have had no idea of how to respond to this tragedy. Everyone is offering to do what they can, but what can we really do besides pray and invoke the spirit of the ancestors who share in the tragedies of all our people and help us, in their wisdom, to heal. Well, I thought, I can at least donate some money and ask our network of family, allies and friends to do the same. None of us are wealthy people but I’ve seen, through my work with Debra and Alex, what allies united can achieve. Even if it’s only $5, they can buy a 12 pack of socks or $20 will get a pair of coveralls at Walmart. Banding together, I think we really can be of help in the short term.

This is not tax deductible. This isn’t a contribution for any advocacy or any of our work. It’s just to help friends. I admit that this is somewhat selfish on my part because I feel so helpless and felt the need to do something. But if any of you feel the same way, let’s come together and help out.

Checks or money orders or I suppose even cash can be sent to Alex and Debra White Plume, PO Box 535 , Manderson , SD 57756 . If you have any questions, give me a call in New York at 917-751-4239.

Pila maya yelo.
Kent Lebsock
Owe Aku (Bring Back the Way)
International Justice & Human Rights Project

Santa Monica Mirror: Martial law and migrant detention camps

Rule by Fear or Rule by Law?
Lewis Seiler and Dan Hamburg, Santa Monica Mirror Online Contributing Writers

"Since 9/11, and seemingly without the notice of most Americans, the U.S government has assumed the authority to institute martial law, arrest a wide swath of dissidents (citizen and non-citizen alike), and detain people without legal or constitutional recourse in the event of 'an emergency influx of immigrants in the U.S., or to support the rapid development of new programs.' Beginning in 1999, the government has entered into a series of contracts with Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR) to build hundreds of detention camps at undisclosed locations within the United States. The government has also contracted with several companies to build thousands of railcars, some reportedly equipped with shackles, ostensibly to transport detainees." Read article:

December 20, 2007

Uncensored Media Honors for 2007

The Censored blog celebrates courage and boldness in the uncensored media

By Brenda Norrell

TUCSON – Celebrating the publishers of uncensored news for 2007, the Censored blog names Kahentinetha Horn, publisher of Mohawk Nation News, as publisher of the year. Kahentinetha Horn not only publishes the Mohawk Nation News and books, but acts on the words she writes. Kahentinetha was the guest of Venezuela President Hugo Chavez and Indigenous leaders in Venezuela in 2007.
While attending the Indigenous Border Summit of the Americas 2007, in San Xavier on Tohono O’odham land, Kahentinetha challenged the arrest of Indigenous Peoples walking to a better life, spoke out against the US Apartheid border wall and exposed the apathy for Indigenous Peoples dying in the desert. She urged sovereign Indian nations to produce their own passports and rise to the status of true sovereigns.
The top honor for uncensored online media for Indigenous Peoples goes to Victor Rocha at Pechanga Net's Native News, who shared articles that other publishers would not go near in 2007. Articles included those of grassroots people, support for Leonard Peltier, Navajos’ opposition to the Desert Rock power plant and issues of national interest, like the large number of National Guardsmen smuggling cocaine at the Arizona border.
Duane Beyal of Navajo Times is honored as managing editor of the year for 2007. Beyal chose to publish articles from grassroots people seeking justice, from the Indigenous Alliance without Borders and the Alcatraz Sunrise Gathering. Beyal also published a three-part series on justice for a Gros-Ventre man in Montana accused of murder who maintains his innocence. Beyal published an article on Indigenous Peoples’ opposition to gold mining, uranium mining and nuclear dumping in Indigenous Peoples’ territories, ranging from the Navajo, Acoma Pueblo and Western Shoshone Nations to Indian lands in Guatemala and Peru.
In international news, the Censored blog honors Paul Rafferty, publisher of the UN OBSERVER & International Report at The Hague for his commitment to the international rights of Indigenous Peoples. The publication also reports the truth from Iraq, including US corporate profiteering, the lust for oil, rape and murder by private security guards and the facts of depleted uranium. It publishes the truth of the Bush administration as it targets youths of color -- American Indians, Latinos and blacks – and poor whites, all considered expendables by the Bush administration, to fight and die in Iraq.
Narco News receives the top honor for publishing news on the Zapatistas’ struggle for dignity, liberty and autonomy, including the Other Campaign in northern Mexico. The coverage included the Cucapa (Cocopah) fishing rights struggle in Baja, Mexico, opposition to the hazardous waste dump that Mexico planned for the O’odham ceremonial community of Quitovac, Mexico and Indigenous Peoples struggling to survive after NAFTA.
Enlace Zapatista receives top honors for its Spanish language website, which includes audio downloads and extensive photos of Zapatista events.
CounterPunch is the winner of Censored blog’s Human Rights Award for 2007, publishing news that others would not go near. These articles included two priests sentenced to prison for protesting US torture while kneeling in prayer at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. CounterPunch also covered Apartheid in New Orleans and the Bush administration’s disposal of all US laws to build the border wall, including all environmental laws and those protecting the remains of American Indians. Further, it covered the fact that the Israeli defense contractor Elbit Systems was subcontracted to create spy technology at the US border, now being protested as an invasion of privacy by residents of the border. CounterPunch covered the border wall’s impact on endangered Sonoran pronghorns in Arizona and the fact that the Wackenhut buses, waiting to be filled with migrants at the Arizona border, are owned by G4S in Europe.
IRC Americas continued to publish the truth from the US/Mexico border, including the voices of Indigenous Peoples opposing the US border wall at the Indigenous Peoples’ Border Summit of the Americas, organized by Tohono O’odham Mike Flores, and the US corporate profiteering at the border under the guise of national security.
Tim Gaynor of Reuters is recognized as the only national news reporter to cover the digging up of the graves of Tohono O’odhams' ancestors for construction of the US border wall in Ali Jegk on the Tohono O’odham Nation. Gaynor’s article, from an interview with O’odham Ofelia Rivas, was among the most censored of 2007.
The Atlantic Free Press had a dramatic impact on the aftermath of the Indigenous Peoples’ Border Summit of the Americas 2007, with its extensive coverage of the Apartheid US Border Wall. The Atlantic Free Press has distinguished itself with coverage of secret US torture flights and documentation for Bush-Cheney impeachment.
Aljazeera Americas increased coverage of Indigenous Peoples issues in the United States, ranging from the Western Shoshone to the US borders, including a recent news broadcast from the Arizona border.
For caring about the children, the Censored blog honors Jay Johnson-Castro at the Texas border for his news column, "Inside the Checkpoints," exposing the imprisonment of migrant and refugee infants and children at T. Don Hutto prison in Taylor, Texas. Johnson-Castro is also honored for his walks along the border as a "Border Ambassador."
For audacity and tenacity, the Censored blog honors Michael Lacey, creator of Phoenix New Times, who spent the night in jail after exposing Maricopa Country (Ariz.) Sheriff Joe Arpaio's sinister and sticky political web, including the use of the courts to find out who reads New Times online and even their shopping habits.
On air, American Indian voices celebrate truth-telling. Chris Spotted Eagle, Lakota, is honored for his "Indian Uprising" program on KFAI Radio in Minneapolis. Larry Smith, Lumbee Nation, at American Indian Airwaves, is honored for his uncensored reporting and interviews on KPFK in Los Angeles. Tiokasin Ghosthorse’s "First Voices Indigenous Radio" at WBAI New York Radio is celebrated for coverage of the arts and news. Their broadcasts include issues of grassroots people, ranging from opposition to nuclear dumping at Skull Valley to news from the American Indian Movement, International Indian Treaty Council, Leonard Peltier and O’odham at the US/Mexico border.
Jaggi Singh receives the Badge of Courage Award for his online show, “No One is Illegal Montreal,” which includes interviews from the northern and southern borders. KPFA Berkeley, Pacifica Radio and the BBC World Service are also honored for their uncensored broadcasts of news, ranging from Alcatraz to the US/Mexico border. KXCI Tucson’s Amanda Shauger is honored for attending and reporting on the Indigenous Border Summit of the Americas and following with a program for BBC. receives the top honor for its self-publishing option and uncensored features of Indigenous Peoples issues. These include coverage of the Zapatistas, attack by the US Border Patrol of the No Borders Camp in Calexico, Calif., and the opposition of Dooda (No) Desert Rock, Navajos opposing the Desert Rock power plant. Indymedia also featured the Indigenous Peoples’ protests at the UN climate negotiations in Bali.
With timely and powerful circulation, provided a valuable service by publishing news that was written by grassroots people, and otherwise censored, which appeared quickly on Google’s breaking news.
The Censored blog’s Humanitarian Service Award for 2007 goes to Govinda Dalton at Earthcycles who once again this year attended the Indigenous Peoples’ Border Summit of the Americas and provided live online listening, along with archives of audio downloads.
In the Indigenous youths category, Jihan Gearon, Navajo, and Ben Powless, Mohawk, of the Indigenous Environmental Network are honored with the Indigenous Youths Media Award 2007 for their coverage of the UN climate negotiations in Bali and treatment of Indigenous Peoples at the summit.
For their boldness and action, the Indigenous Action and Save the Peaks Coalition, based in Flagstaff, Ariz., are honored for their struggle to protect San Francisco Peaks and all sacred lands from development, destruction and pollution.
The Medal of Honor for Courage goes out to the journalists in Mexico who risk their lives to report the truth. The Censored blog recognizes and remembers the news reporters who were tortured and murdered in their pursuit of excellence in journalism in 2007.
The International Hall of Shame Award for Rotten Media goes to the US mainstream media for manipulation of facts and production of false media reports in 2007. This includes censorship of the neutered Congress, US torture, US secret prisons, rape and murder in Iraq, the ruptured US voting process and corporate profiteering from medicines. The mainstream media failed to investigate the US drug plane that crashed in Mexico in 2007 or the Israeli and European corporations profiteering from US Defense contracts at the US/Mexico border and in Iraq. While failing its duty, the US mainstream media produced false news reports about the fires in California and distracted people with news of no value.
The Regional Hall of Shame for Biased Media goes to the mainstream media in Australia and New Zealand for biased reporting on Indigenous Peoples issues, including human rights issues of the Maoris and Australian Aborigines.
The Gold Medal for International Rotten Media goes to CNN for continuing to broadcast programs that advocate hate, racism, oppression, genocide, apartheid and xenophobia, while promoting the US agenda of puppet governments worldwide.
The Award for Extraordinary Citizens goes out to all of you, who read and listen to uncensored news and take action.

Photo 1: Kahentinetha Horn/Photo Brenda Norrell Photo 2: Hunter Day, Dakota, and Manny Pino, Acoma Pueblo, oppose mining on Indian lands in 2007 3. Subcomandante Marcos during Other Campaign in Sonora, Mexico/Photo Brenda Norrell 4. Ofelia Rivas and Angie Ramon, O'odham women with KXCI's Amanda Shauger at the Gate border on Tohono O'odham land for BBC radio/Photo Brenda Norrell 5. A Mohawk warrior interviewed by Amanda Shauger and Govinda Dalton of at the Indigenous Peoples' Border Summit of the Americas 2007/Photo Brenda Norrell

Lakota delegation declares Lakota control of Dakota territory

Lakota Freedom Delegation in Washington D.C.
19 December 2007
lakotafree or

Freedom! Lakota Sioux Indians Declare Sovereign Nation Status Threaten Land Liens, Contested Real Estate Over Five State Area in U.S.West Dakota Territory Reverts back to Lakota Control According to U.S., International Law

By Lakota Freedom Delegation

Washington D.C. – Lakota Sioux Indian representatives declared sovereign nation status today in Washington D.C. following Monday's withdrawal from all previously signed treaties with the United States Government. The withdrawal, hand delivered to Daniel Turner, Deputy Director of Public Liaison at the State Department, immediately and irrevocably ends all agreements between the Lakota Sioux Nation of Indians and the United States Government outlined in the 1851 and 1868 Treaties at Fort Laramie Wyoming. "This is an historic day for our Lakota people," declared Russell Means, Itacan of Lakota. "United States colonial rule is at its end!" "Today is a historic day and our forefathers speak through us. Our Forefathers made the treaties in good faith with the sacred Canupa and with the knowledge of the Great Spirit," shared Garry Rowland from Wounded Knee. "They never honored the treaties, that's the reason we are here today." The four member Lakota delegation traveled to Washington D.C. culminating years of internal discussion among treaty representatives of the various Lakota communities. Delegation members included well known activist and actor Russell Means, Women of All Red Nations (WARN) founder Phyllis Young, Oglala Lakota Strong Heart Society leader Duane Martin Sr., and Garry Rowland, Leader Chief Big Foot Riders. Means, Rowland, Martin Sr. were all members of the 1973 Wounded Knee takeover. "In order to stop the continuous taking of our resources – people, land, water and children- we have no choice but to claim our own destiny," said Phyllis Young, a former Indigenous representative to the United Nations and representative from Standing Rock. Property ownership in the five state area of Lakota now takes center stage. Parts of North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming and Montana have been illegally homesteaded for years despite knowledge of Lakota as predecessor sovereign [historic owner]. Lakota representatives say if the United States does not enter into immediate diplomatic negotiations, liens will be filed on real estate transactions in the five state region, clouding title over literally thousands of square miles of land and property. Young added, "The actions of Lakota are not intended to embarrass the United States but to simply save the lives of our people".
Following Monday's withdrawal at the State Department, the four Lakota Itacan representatives have been meeting with foreign embassy officials in order to hasten their official return to the Family of Nations. Lakota's efforts are gaining traction as Bolivia, home to Indigenous President Evo Morales, shared they are "very, very interested in the Lakota case" while Venezuela received the Lakota delegation with "respect and solidarity." "Our meetings have been fruitful and we hope to work with these countries for better relations," explained Garry Rowland. "As a nation, we have equal status within the national community."Education, energy and justice now take top priority in emerging Lakota. "Cultural immersion education is crucial as a next step to protect our language, culture and sovereignty," said Means. "Energy independence using solar, wind, geothermal, and sugar beets enables Lakota to protect our freedom and provide electricity and heating to our people."The Lakota reservations are among the most impoverished areas in North America, a shameful legacy of broken treaties and apartheid policies. Lakota has the highest death rate in the United States and Lakota men have the lowest life expectancy of any nation on earth, excluding AIDS, at approximately 44 years. Lakota infant mortality rate is five times the United States average and teen suicide rates 150% more than national average. 97% of Lakota people live below the poverty line and unemployment hovers near 85%. "After 150 years of colonial enforcement, when you back people into a corner there is only one alternative," emphasized Duane Martin Sr. "The only alternative is to bring freedom into its existence by taking it back to the love of freedom, to our lifeway."
We are the freedom loving Lakota from the Sioux Indian reservations of Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana who have traveled to Washington DC to withdraw from the constitutionally mandated treaties to become a free and independent country. We are alerting the Family of Nations we have now reassumed our freedom and independence with the backing of Natural, International, and United States law. For more information, please visit our new website at Lakota 444 Crazy Horse Drive, P.O. Box 99; Porcupine, SD 57772

Reader Comment:
From Louise Benally, Big Mountain, Navajo Nation:
That is The Best News I've ever Heard withdrawing from it all! It is about time the natives took America back. I wish the Navajo Nation would do that too! Give them our Best and let them know that we are with them all the way!!
Bolivian Ambassador supports Lakota delegation:
Descendants of Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, break away from the United States

Google breaking news articles on delegation:

December 19, 2007

Spy towers, fear mongering and profiteering at the border

By Brenda Norrell

The National Radio Project's current program, "Investing in Insecurity along US Borders," includes interviews with residents of Arivaca, Arizona. It is now available online.
The Arivaca spy tower, erected by Boeing with its subcontractor Elbit Systems, the Israeli defense contractor, has no view of the US/Mexico border. But it does have a view of the homes of Arivaca residents.
Arivaca residents, protesting the invasion of their privacy by the spy tower, have had picnics around the spy tower and flown kites around the tower, which is equipped with cameras, radar and sensors.
At least one US spy tower is already erected on Tohono O'odham land, with more slated, according to the Secure Border Initiative. Border Patrol agents will have laptops for easy viewing and tracking of residents. O'odham living along the border interviewed by the Censored Blog said they were never told of the federal spy towers on their lands.
Listen to the National Radio Project's program:
"Investing in Insecurity Along U.S. Borders," December 19, 2007: "In 2006, the Bush Administration’s Secure Border Initiative outsourced the surveillance of all U.S. land borders to Boeing Integrated Defense Systems. We will visit the Boeing security site in Arizona and we’ll talk to 'No One is Illegal' organizer, Harjap Grewal."
Along with the Congressmen, the show features Arivacans: C. Hues, 73 year old artist, Alex Hues, 50 year old pilot and Andrea Morondos and John Warren, grocers.

High tech border spy tower fiasco accepted, Boeing gets $64 million more:
"Amid a strong warning from Congress, the Homeland Security Department last week conditionally accepted delivery of the first phase of a controversial electronic border fence from contractor Boeing Co., and awarded the company a $64 million contract to build the next phase."

Photos by Brenda Norrell/1. Arivaca spy tower 2. US spy tower on Tohono O'odham land at San Miguel, next to the "cage," migrant jail.

December 18, 2007

Remembering Floyd Westerman, Los Angeles, 1985

Navajo filmmaker Arlene Bowman, now living in Vancouver BC, shares her photo of Floyd Westerman with Charlie Hill, left, in Griffith Park, Los Angeles in 1985. The woman in the right middle in back of Floyd is Carol Marie, a Cherokee actor.

Dooda Desert Rock, caravan from Bay Area

Caravan from Bay Area to Burnham, NM, Dec. 23 -- Jan. 1, 2007
(double click on poster to enlarge and print)

Mohawk Nation News: Uranium on the Cranium

Mohawk Nation News, Dec. 17, 2007. Break into two teams: “Blue Wolf” and “Bold Eagle”. Answer the questions for (1) one point for each right answer. Test your knowledge of Mohawk and Indigenous issues.
"What was the biggest 2007 Indigenous story? (a) Canada & U.S. not signing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People. (b) Canada trashing environmental protection initiatives in Bali. (c)Residential school “shut up” money. (d) Serial killer Pickton found guilty of helping who-knows-who to murder women. (e) Finding MREL’s bomb making, testing and international selling site at Sharbot Lakeon Algonquin territory. (f) Shawn Brant of Tyendinaga arrested for not closing down the Trans Canada Highway and not blocking CN rail."
Read article:

Floyd Westerman and Buffy Sainte-Marie

Floyd Westerman and Buffy Sainte-Marie, breaking silence

Photos by Hopi photographer Larry Gus

By Brenda Norrell

Special thanks to Hopi photographer Larry Gus for sharing his photo of Floyd Westerman and Buffy Sainte-Marie for a limited time.

Westerman spoke on the genocide of American Indians during the Indigenous Border Summit of the Americas 2006, in San Xavier on Tohono O'odham land.
Westerman spoke out against the media censorship of the voices of grassroots people and the issue of genocide of American Indians. Westerman also showed his film of the genocide of American Indians, focused on the genocide by missions and gold miners in the state of California. It also describes the militia who collected bounties paid by the state and federal governments for Indian scalps and Indian heads. It further documents how small pox blankets were given to Indians in California during the ongoing era of genocide.
Buffy Sainte-Marie was blackballed and forced out of the United States music industry by President Lyndon Johnson. Read the article that was censored for seven years, an interview with the Cree icon during a peformance on the Navajo Nation:

Contact for Larry Gus:

Floyd Westerman, 'Goodnight Sweet Prince,' more photos from Larry Gus

Special thanks to Hopi photographer for allowing us to share the photos of Floyd Westerman after his passing. The photos were available for a limited time. To contact Larry Gus:
Thanks again to Larry and Floyd for lifetimes of making a difference.

Lakota Freedom Delegation announces it will withdraw from US treaties

Lakota Freedom Delegation in Washington D.C.
Media advisory, contacts: Naomi Archer, Communications Liaison (828) 230-1404 lakotafree or

Lakota Sioux Delegation Confronts State Department Officials With Withdrawal
Wednesday Press Conference Welcomes Foreign Embassy Officials, Returns to Church that Hosted American Indian Movement (AIM)
Excellent Audio and Visuals: Press Conference to Feature Lakota Flag/Eagle Staff, Traditional Language and Music, Traditional Lakota Food and Other Refreshments
Washington D.C. – Lakota Sioux Indian representatives confronted State Department officials on Tuesday with a Lakota withdrawal from all treaties with the United States government. According to U.S. and International Law, the former Dakota Territory, which is home to the Lakota, reverts back to sovereign Lakota control. The Lakota Freedom Delegation now prepares to host an international press conference on Wednesday. The delegation has been meeting with various foreign embassies to initiate diplomatic talks and support.
WHAT: Historic Press Conference Announcing Unilateral Withdrawal of Lakota Nation from All U.S. Treaties and Return to Independence.
WHERE: Plymouth Congregational Church 5301 N. Capital Street, NE, Washington DC, host to American Indian Movement (AIM) activism in 1970s.
WHEN: 11:30am, Wednesday December 19, 2007
WHO: Lakota Freedom Delegation, representatives of Lakota Sioux Indians- an Indigenous First Nation of North America. Foreign embassy officials. Delegation includes Lakota activist and actor Russell Means; Oglala Lakota Strong Heart Society leader Duane Martin Sr.; Gary Rowland, Leader Chief Big Foot Riders, Women of All Red Nations founder Phyllis Young, and others.
We are the freedom loving Lakota from the Sioux Indian reservations of Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana who have traveled to Washington DC to withdraw from the constitutionally mandated treaties to become a free and independent country. We are alerting the Family of Nations we have now reassumed our freedom and independence with the backing of Natural, International, and United States law.
For more information, please visit our new website at

December 17, 2007

Floyd Westerman, memories of Indian pride, dignity and humanity

Remembering Floyd Westerman
by Lenny Foster, Dine'
Photos by Larry Smith, Lumbee Nation, American Indian Airwaves
Floyd Westerman performing at the Mint in Los Angeles, Oct. 10, 2007. Floyd sang Krist Kristofferson's songs that night. Charlie Hill was the master of ceremonies and in the middle (below) is Coyote Radio's Corey Dubin. The former keyboardist for Jefferson Airplane is on keyboards.

By Lenny Foster, Dine'
I am sadden and grief stricken to hear of the passing of our brother and comrade Floyd "Red Crow" Westerman into the spirit world. He was a good friend, a good will ambassador and diplomat and a magnificent musician who inspired the Movement and the natural world with prophetic songs such as "Custer Died for Your Sins, Wounded Knee, The Land is Your Mother and Here Come the Anthros" and many, many other songs. I met Floyd in Denver, Colorado in the fall of 1969 when my friend Harold Iron Shield introduced us while he was playing in the Diamond Inn lounge in the capitol hill area of Denver and we became friends. He introduced me to his brother Chris who later was in Wounded Knee with us. Floyd was the Minister of Culture for the International Indian Treaty Council and a veteran of the American Indian Movement and he represented the Indigenous Peoples throughout the world with his strong words and music. It was always good to see him portray the American Indian in movies and television with pride, dignity and humanity. We will all truly miss him and remember him in our daily lives. My deepest condolences to his family and relatives and we grieve for him. Rest in peace my friend, my brother and my comrade. Lenny Foster (Dine')

Wednesday, 12-19-07, American Indian Airwaves, "In Memory and Honor of Floyd 'Red Crow' Westerman" Today's entire show is dedicated to indigenous musician, actor, and activist Floyd 'Red Crow' Westerman. Wednesday from 3 pm to 4 pm (PCT) on KPFK FM 90.7 in Los Angles, FM 98.7 in Santa Barbara, and by Internet: or on the KPFK web site "audio archives" for American Indian Airwaves.