Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

December 2, 2007

Indigenous Peoples speak out on racism and oppression

By Brenda Norrell
Print edition, Navajo Times

TUCSON, Ariz. – Indigenous Peoples remembered the teachings of Indian spiritual leaders, as they spoke out on the right of passage in their ancestral territories, demanding respect for human rights for Native people in their borderzones, during the International Day of Indigenous Peoples celebration in August.

Jose Matus, Yaqui and director of the Indigenous Alliance without Borders, said Indigenous Peoples have a right to travel their ancestral lands without harassment and abuse by border agents.

“We have the right to cross the border without inspection. We have been here from time immemorial – Tohono O’odham, Akimel O’odham, Kickapoo, Kumeyaay and Yavapai. We all have that historic background,” Matus told dozens of Indigenous Peoples and news reporters.

Michelle Cook, Navajo, spoke of the struggle of Indigenous Peoples and an Anishinabe prophecy known as the teachings of the seven prophets, and the seven fires.
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This article appeared in the print edition of Navajo Times, following the Indigenous Peoples Day event in August. It is published here with permission. Photo 1: Jose Matus, Shannon Rivers and Julian Hernandez. Photo 2: Michelle Cook, Shannon Rivers, Julian Hernandez, Kat Rodriguez and Tupac Enrique. Photos Brenda Norrell

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