March 31, 2008
March 29, 2008
* * * * Indian Uprising a one-hour radio Public & Cultural Affairs program relevant to Native Indigenous people, broadcast each Sunday at 7:00 p.m. CDT over KFAI 90.3 FM Minneapolis and 106.7 FM St. Paul. Producer and host is volunteer Chris Spotted Eagle. To receive or stop getting announcements, message Chris to email@example.com For internet listening, visit http://www.kfai.org/, click Play under ON AIR NOW or for listening later via their archives, click PROGRAMS & SCHEDULE > Indian Uprising > STREAM. Programs are archived only for two weeks.
March 27, 2008
Transcontinental Prayer Walk for Native American Rights and Environmental Protection Returns to Pueblo after 30 years
Colorado Governor Declares March 2008 "Longest Walk Month"
Community Events and "Pueblo Means 'the People'" March to Avondale scheduled
On Friday, March 28th, 2008 at 6:45 pm Pueblo community members will join the walkers for a Sunset Ceremony at the Amphitheatre at the Colorado State University at Pueblo. Afterwards the group will gather in the University Library for a Café Cultura Collective, Red/ Brown Unity Open MIC featuring Café Cultura collective organizers and performers from Denver.
On Saturday, March 30th, the Northern Route of the Longest Walk 2 will hold a rally at Elizabeth St. Parkway Park at Elizabeth St. and 29th where walkers and community members will speak about issues of sacred site protection and environmental defense. The walkers recently received a proclamation from Colorado Governor Bill Ritter stating, "The State of Colorado recognizes the participants of the Longest Walk 2, welcomes them and encourages people around the state to take heed of their message that promotes peace, justice, environmentally friendly practices, and awareness of those in the Native American community that suffer. Therefore I Bill Ritter, Governor of Colorado do proclaim March 2008 Longest Walk Month in the state of Colorado."
The walkers passed through Cañon City Wed., March 26, where they stopped to pray at three prisons in the area. Marie Littlemoon Engle (Apache), whose son is held in one of the prisons, led the group in prayer. Engle expressed great sadness at the way her son is being treated inside. "They took his feathers from him, and they cut his hair. It hurts my heart to see his right to practice his traditions disrespected in this way."
The American Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978, which secures the rights of Native prisoners to practice their traditions, was passed largely in response to the original Longest Walk thirty years ago. "Religious freedom is a right we are still being denied; it is one of the reasons we still have to walk today," states Jimbo Simmons, coordinator of the Northern Route.
A delegation from Big Mountain, Navajo Nation in Northern Arizona came to share their story of struggle against Peabody Coal company and the US Government's attempts to relocate their people. "I was on the walk 30 years ago," said Bahe Katenay, "My work since then has been routed in my experience thirty years ago. I have been working all this time supporting the elders on Big Mountain as they try to protect their land. We have done all that talking with politicians, walking is the way we express ourselves, it is the best way to carry our message. I am happy to see the youth here continuing that tradition."
The Longest Walk 2 is stopping in communities all across Turtle Island to listen to Native peoples concerns, document and deliver the concerns to US officials in D.C. They plan to bring the issues of sacred site desecration and environmental destruction facing all Native people to the US Government upon arrival in Washington D.C.
After their Pueblo visit, the Longest Walk 2 will continue to the Sand Creek Massacre Site where on November 29, 1864 the US Cavalry brutally slaughtered over 200 unarmed Cheyenne and Arapaho men women and children as they peacefully camped after surrendering to relocation to a reservation. The walkers will offer support to the descendants of the massacre and prayers for their ancestors. For a complete itinerary, specific directions and additional information please visit: http://www.longestwalk.org/.
*Media: High Resolution Photos of all events available upon request
March 24, 2008
March 23, 2008
“CORESHELL GROUP” DIGGING OUT FROM TIDAL WAVE OF MANURE OVER SHARBOT LAKE DEBACLE
By Kahentinetha Horn
Mohawk Nation News
Mar. 21, 2008. Coreshell is one of the mercenary private companies that Canada and its agencies use to settle any “domestic” problems or international issues with Indigenous nations and anyone else they may “need to deal with”. Why would a state be dealing through corporations? The bottom line is that the state has fiduciary duties. Corporations don’t! Their only duty is to their shareholders. These privately incorporated companies are the state’s way of doing an “end-run” around the governmental obligations they assumed by asserting sovereignty. This is how they are violating Indigenous sovereignty, land and resources.
In the middle of our investigation of a major crime taking place on Haudenosaunee Territory at Sharbot Lake, Coreshell almost pulled a fast one. They’re trying to cover their tracks by pulling most of their website off the internet. They didn’t want anything untoward to get out. They’re operations make it look too much liked the Canadian government is trying to “privatize Indian Affairs”. Canada wants to deal with us through private for-profit companies like Coreshell. This company is involved with all the skullduggery that’s been going on with virtual “Indians” at Sharbot Lake.
The point is to disguise colonialism, keep on doing the same old, but come out “looking clean”. Read article ...
Click on News & See Category: “ Sharbot Lake “[http://MohawkNationNews.com/news/singlenews.php?lang=en&category=58&newsnr=574]
March 22, 2008
Time for Action, not Talk
Chief Terrance Nelson is taking the position that when Anishinabe people are sitting in jail for defending the resources of their lands from thieves, it is time for First Nations to take action. Today Rachel Ariss writes in the Globe and Mail "As of this week, Chief Donny Morris and five other band council members of Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation sit in jail. They were sentenced on Monday to six months in prison by Mr. Justice Patrick Smith of the Ontario Superior Court in Thunder Bay."
Chief Nelson said "Now is not the time to talk about another National Day of Action, we must respond and respond immediately with clear intent to this act of aggression on the part of the immigrants." The Treaties signed with the immigrants were a framework of peaceful co-existence, we agreed to share our lands with the newcomers, we did not agree to impoverish ourselves by giving everything away to the immigrants. Make no mistake, jailing our people is an act of aggression, it is a clear breach of the treaty framework and we as Chiefs of all 633 First Nations in Canada must signal our willingness to go to jail in defence of our right to live in peace and to share in the wealth of our lands.
With crude oil prices at a $107 a barrel and the Alberta Tarsands holding 1.4 to 1.6 trillion barrels of oil, there is no shortage of resource wealth in Canada. We as indigenous people have encountered absolute greed on the part of the immigrants who continue to rob and pillage our people of the wealth of our lands and resources. Americans account for 72% of all foreign investment in Canada. The benefits of the 60 different metals and minerals mined in Canada flow to the immigrants without any regard to the rights of the original owners of the lands and resources. Americans are paying $1.4 billion a day for foreign oil, over half a trillion dollars a year, the fear for US National Security is that Americans paying $4 a gallon are financing future terrorist activity by paying trillions of dollars in the next decade to unstable countries. We as indigenous peoples in Canada must Wake up the Americans, we must collectively take the position that no Canadian oil will flow to the United States without some respect for the fundamental human rights of indigenous peoples north of the border and that must be made clear to the Americans.
The time for talk is over if Chiefs and council members are being jailed for defending their right to be consulted and accommodated. The Supreme Court of Canada has already decided in numerous decisions that development cannot take place without the permission of the affected First Nations. To jail our people is not only illegal, it is immoral and it is the first step to ending the peaceful co-existence that the Treaties have brought to Canada. For Canadians to idly stand by and watch a middle-east type of violence come to these lands is beyond stupidity, it is crime against our future generations to disregard the benefits of treaties.
Chief Terrance Nelson will take action by skipping the Treaty Conference in Saskatoon next week as a exercise in futility when the Minister of Indian Affairs has already stated that he has no ability to address the real issues of our people being in jail, joining American Indian Movement leader Dennis Banks in the Longest Walk II, the walk across America, where we will take the opportunity to directly tell the Americans what is happening in Canada, taking a position that no pipelines will cross Treaty One Territory until the Crown upholds the law as decided by the Supreme Court of Canada, on the need to consult and accommodate.
The annual $47 billion worth of crude meant for the American market on the Enbridge and TransCanada pipelines will not cross our territory without the Crown fulfilling its duty to consult and accommodate. -American companies doing business in Canada, exploiting our resources, will be forced to tell their share holders the truth of how much risk is involved in jailing the indigenous people. Investment stability in Canada is key to negotiations.
Burning cars on railway lines across Canada is possible. Last year in the National Day of Action, we as chiefs asked Canadians to take seriously the bitterness we felt. We don't want the white man's money, we want a rightful share of our wealth, the wealth of our lands and resources as agreed to in the treaties. We urge Canadians not to allow an end to peaceful co-existence.
Canada is in the "Trillion Dollar Club", the nine richest countries in the world that account for 68% of the world economy. We cannot and will not allow our people to continue to suffer at the 63rd level of the United Nations living index while our resource wealth flows south of the border and seems to benefit only the immigrants to our lands.
For Further Information Contact Chief Terrance Nelson
March 20, 2008
Colorado Capitol, Monday Morning: Longest Walk march, rally, press conference and then, march to Newmont Mining Corp., in solidarity with Western Shoshone opposing mining.
March 18, 2008
On Monday, a Longest Walk Proclamation will be presented in Denver. Afterwards, the Longest Walk will march to Newmont, in solidarity with Western Shoshone opposing gold mining on sacred Mount Tenabo on Western Shoshone lands.
US/MEXICO BORDER -- Over three years time, Samia Carrillo-Percastegui lived alone for long stretches of time in the wilderness of the high mountains of Sonora, Mexico. It was because of a love she has known since childhood. The jaguars were calling her.
"I always thought of myself as studying jaguars," Samia said recently. She always told herself, "I'll be studying cats."
Samia did study the cats, the big cats, in a way that few young women could imagine. She went alone into the wild to collar those cats (Panthera onca) in order to learn more. She tracked the patterns of jaguars in hopes of helping scientists protect the largest mammal in North America and one of the most shy.
Working with the Northern Jaguar Project, Samia struggled to learn more about their eating habits, including the need to ensure foraging grounds for the deer and javelinas, two of the jaguars' food sources. "They are scavengers, they eat whatever is available. And they are really smart."
Now, the cats are prey to a new enemy. It is neither a larger animal stalking them, nor the hunters looking for bounty. It is not even the encroaching mining. The big cats are now prey to Homeland Security.
When Homeland Security voided all court orders and federal environmental laws to build the border wall on the eastern border of Arizona and Sonora, Mexico, it destroyed the habitat and built a barrier in the path of the migrating endangered jaguar.
Within a few weeks of banishing all laws, the border wall was under construction and the migrating jaguar was halted at the border, according to the Northern Jaguar Project. The court actions of Defenders of Wildlife and the Sierra Club were voided by Homeland Security. With few to champion the rights of the jaguar, or the migrating Sonoran pronghorn on the western side of Arizona, the border wall construction continued while most Arizonans shopped at Wal-Mart.
Utilizing fear tactics by way of the media, and the Real ID Act to banish laws, Homeland Security found little resistance in Arizona. Combined with the television news induced hysteria, racism and xenophobia, lawlessness reigned.
The ancestors of the Tohono O'odham in the path of the border wall were dug up on the western side of the Tohono O'odham Nation by the contractor Boeing, in violation of federal law.
Read more about the Northern Jaguar Project:
U.S. Supreme Court Asked to Answer: Is Chertoff Above the Law?
Defenders of Wildlife and Sierra Club take their constitutional challenge to the next level
WASHINGTON – (March 17, 2008) Today, Defenders of Wildlife and The Sierra Club filed a petition asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear its argument that the REAL ID Act, which grants Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Michael Chertoff unprecedented and sweeping authority to waive any and all laws to expedite the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, is unconstitutional besides being harmful to the environment and border communities. The two conservation groups charge that such unbounded authority to the executive branch is a violation of the Constitution’s separation of powers provisions.
“By granting one government official the absolute power to pick and choose which laws apply to border wall construction, the REAL ID Act proves itself to be both inherently dangerous and profoundly un-American. The issue here is not security vs. wildlife, but whether wildlife, sensitive environmental values and communities along the border will be given fair consideration in the decisions the government makes,” said Rodger Schlickeisen, president of Defenders of Wildlife. “We are hopeful that the Supreme Court will take up this case in order to protect the fundamental separation of powers principles enshrined in the United States Constitution”
“Laws such as the National Environmental Policy Act and the National Historic Preservation Act are part of America's enduring legal framework, and no agency or public official should be allowed to ignore them,” said Carl Pope, executive director of Sierra Club. “Our laws have provided Americans a voice in the decision-making process that affects their lives, their human rights and the protection of wildlife; our government must not exempt itself from obeying those laws.”The groups’ petition is the latest chapter in their legal efforts dating back to October, 2007 to safeguard the borderlands in the face of aggressive border wall construction. At that time, Defenders and The Sierra Club filed a lawsuit challenging DHS and Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) approval of border wall construction within the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area in Arizona. After a federal judge in the U.S. District Court for District of Columbia found that the groups would likely prevail on their claims and issued an injunction blocking further construction of the wall, Secretary Chertoff waived 19 laws intended to protect public health, wildlife and endangered species, clean air and water, and historic and archeological sites to move forward with construction.
In their petition to the U.S. Supreme Court, Defenders and The Sierra Club contend that the REAL ID Act’s waiver provision unconstitutionally allows the DHS secretary unilaterally to repeal laws, threatening the system of checks and balances assured in the Constitution.
Since passage of the REAL ID Act in 2005, Secretary Chertoff has used this power to waive laws on three occasions:
to complete a wall near San Diego, California
to remove vehicle barriers and replace them with a wall in the Barry M. Goldwater Range in Arizona
to build a border wall within the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area.
In addition, Secretary Chertoff appears poised to again waive laws in relation to proposed border wall construction in Texas, in order to bypass extensive opposition from local residents, elected leaders, business owners, and conservationists.
“It isn’t too much to ask that DHS and other government agencies comply with our nation’s environmental laws along the border, particularly where international treasures like the San Pedro River are at stake,” said Schlickeisen. “We can not afford to let this keep happening all across the border or we will be left with nothing but a 700-mile testament to our own short-sightedness.”
Defenders and Sierra Club are represented by the Yale Law School Supreme Court Clinic, led by Professor Dan Kahan. Defenders is also represented by Andrew J. Pincus and Charles Rothfeld of Mayer Brown, LLP.
Contact(s) Joe Vickless, Defenders of Wildlife, (202)772-0237 Oliver Bernstein, The Sierra Club, (512) 289-8618
Learn more about what Defenders is doing to protect border species.
Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With more than 1 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit http://www.defenders.org/.
With more than 1.3 million members and supporters, Sierra Club, established in 1892 by John Muir, is the oldest, largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization in the United States. Visit http://www.sierraclub.org/.
Photos: Sonoran jaguar and Jaguar reserve in Sonora, Mexico/Photo credit Northern Jaguar Project. Photo Samia Carrillo-Percastegui/Photo credit Brenda Norrell
AMBULANCE CHASERS, GOVERNMENTS AND SELL-OUT “INDIANS’ MEET TO DESCONSTRUCT THE “DUTY TO CONSULT” THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLE
By Kahentinetha Horn
Mohawk Nation News
Mar. 16, 2008. If there’s one thing the Supreme Court of Canada ever got right, it’s recognizing that our Indigenous point of view has to be taken into account. They found that the old colonial habit of running over our land, stealing and destroying everything in sight as if we did not exist has to stop. They didn’t go so far as to uphold our rights under international law to our own laws and sovereignty, to uphold our right to our consent to any use of our resources.
This has not been a blessing for us. We are now overrun by lawyers and ambulance chasers. These guys are looking for ways to ensure our demise.
The bureaucrats, politicians and corporations are trying to fill their ambulances with maimed, brainless, suffering Indigenous people if they can find them. Then they hire “scumbag shysters” to chase and run them off the road. No “Indians” around to talk to. It’s a “hit and run”! Then they hold meetings on how to avoid, minimize and “deconstruct” the “duty to consult”.
On February 13 and 14, 2007 a conference on “Aboriginal Law and Consultation” was held at the fancy Sutton Place Hotel in Toronto. The cost was from $1,902.70 to $3,952.10 per person. How many economically oppressed indigenous people can afford to go there? That is the first violation of the duty to consult.Kahentinetha Horn
MNN Mohawk Nation News
Click News and See Category: “ Sharbot Lake http://MohawkNationNews.com/news/singlenews.php?lang=en&category=58&newsnr=571
March 16, 2008
Ute People Welcome the 30th Anniversary of Historic Native American Rights March, The Longest Walk 2
Longest Walk 2 Support the Ute Peoples' Right to protect their Sacred Sites and Homelands
By Longest Walk Northern Route
MONTROSE, CO- On Sunday, March 16th, after traveling almost 1,000 miles on foot from San Francisco, CA, the Northern Route of the Longest Walk 2 will be hosted by the Ute Indian Museum in Montrose, CO. On February 11, 2008 Longest Walk 2 participants embarked on a five-month journey from San Francisco to Washington, D.C. to bring attention to the environmental disharmony of Mother Earth and the effects of environmental destruction on Native American people as well as the need for the protection of Sacred Sites as a means for cultural survival.
Sunday evening at 5pm the Montrose community and Ute tribal members will join walkers arriving at DeMoret Park on Main and Townsend. Walkers and their supporters will pass through town on their way to a community potluck hosted at the Ute Indian Museum. The walkers will spend two days resting, sharing stories and learning about the local region's rich cultural legacy of rock art sites, sacred places and Ute history, as well as issues affecting the local community.
"Open space being eaten up is the biggest thing here." Says CJ Brafford, Director of Ute Indian Museum. "Our mother earth is just being developed. We are just trying to preserve our open space so we can see the mountains."
Monday at 1:00 pm, following a morning blessing and a therapeutic trip to the hot springs, producers Beth and George Gage will join the walkers to show and discuss their film, Our Land, Our Life which documents the struggle of Western Shoshone Grandmothers, Carrie and Mary Dann, to maintain their ancestral ways and protect the land from gold mining degradation on their homelands.
On Tuesday walkers will visit Shavano Valley to hear archaeological and native perspectives on the Rock Art site. Afterwards a Community gathering potluck dinner prepared by a delegation of Ute Mountain Ute supporters of stew and fry bread, will accompany an evening of sharing and welcome at 6 pm. The evening will include a prayer welcome by Roland McCook, an Uncompahgre Ute; Montrose Mayor, David White; CJ Brafford, Director of Ute Indian Museum; and an American Indian Sign Language presentation. The hosts will invite Walkers to share with them the mission for this walk and ask them to share their stories as well.
A sunrise blessing at 7 am Wednesday morning will send the walkers on their way, with donations and prayers, as they push ahead towards snow covered Monarch Pass on their long journey to Washington D.C.
The Longest Walk 2 is stopping in communities all across Turtle Island to listen to Native peoples concerns and pressing issues, to document and deliver them to U.S. officials in D.C. A contingent of Walkers will also make a special trip to the Ute Mountain Ute reservation and tribal peoples to hear the concerns of their community.
This walk consists of Indigenous peoples from North, South, and Central America, as well as people from Europe and Asia. The 2008 walk will mark the 30th anniversary of the original Longest Walk of 1978 that resulted in historic changes for Native America. In July of 1978, thousands converged on the Nations' capitol to oppose and successfully defeat 11 pieces of legislation in Congress that would have terminated many significant treaties between the federal government and tribes nation wide.
Longest Walk Northern Route Media Contacts:
March 15, 2008
Below is a message from Tony P., Mohawk, Attorney, (201) 410-8253(cell) TonyPLaw@optonline.net describing the Press Release, and the Declaration of Sovereignty, which is a Call for Unification of All Sovereign Indigenous Nations of Turtle Island (Mother Earth):
"A good wind is now blowing through our places. It comes directly from the Great Reality, Creator, Great Spirit, Wakan Tanka (or however else you call the All). You can see its effects everywhere you look. There are many awakening at this time as Prophesied in the beginning. Part of this awakening is the call to unification of all Sovereign Indigenous Nations of Turtle Island (our Mother the Earth). Approximately 200 Sovereign Indigenous Nations currently living under the colonizing power of Canada, US, Australia and New Zealand have agreed to sign the Declaration posted below on April 20, 2008 (first Full Moon of the Spring), with numbers growing daily. The Press Release, also posted below, says it all, so PLEASE READ THESE IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS and pass along this information to your Elders, who have been patiently awaiting this important news
January 30, 2008:
As of the date of this Press Release, more than 100 Indigenous Sovereign Nations who live and prosper in the traditional ways within the current borders of Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and the Caribbean have agreed to gather together on April 20, 2008, to sign a Declaration of Sovereignty, by which these Indigenous Sovereign Nations will join together to re-assert their inherent sovereignty as ONE, inviting all Indigenous Sovereign Nations from all around the world to join. This movement, foreseen in the Prophesies thousands of years ago, is named “The Sovereignty Project” (search “thesovereigntyproject.org”). The Elders (Hereditary Chiefs, Clan Mothers, Faith Keepers and others) will decide upon a name for this newly con-federated Nation at the time of the gathering for the signing. This is truly a universal Declaration. The Indigenous Sovereign Nations will gather at a signing ceremony to take place at a location (or locations) soon to be decided by the Nations involved, at which time the New Confederacy will be born.
As most of you know, on September 13, 2007, the United Nations’ General Assembly approved the much touted United Nations’ Declaration on The Rights of Indigenous Peoples (the “UN Declaration”). Although this UN Declaration recognizes the right of our Nations to seek self-determination, it is not the true Declaration. Although the UN Declaration supports this movement toward the New Confederacy, it does not, in and of itself, do anything strategic to advance the cause of Indigenous Sovereign Nations around the world. Only the Declaration can create the New Confederacy. Only the New Confederacy can lead us forward.
Again, those who know will understand that the traditional governing systems and the traditional cultures of these Indigenous Sovereign Nations were and continue to be decimated by laws enacted by their “host” countries, including Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, the Caribbean and numerous others, which laws, among other things, impose false (proxy)(foreign) governments on our peoples. This true Declaration of true Sovereignty has the blessing of the Creator and International Law.
The creation of the New Confederacy will “immediately” free the Indigenous Sovereign Nations to re-assert their sovereignty, an inherent sovereignty granted by the Creator to each human at birth, which was never surrendered and never could have been surrendered. It has taken the Indigenous Sovereign Nations over 200 years to regroup and arrive at this crucial point in history to re-commence performing their sacred duties to care for Mother Earth, all Her creatures, great and small (and, hence, all humans too). It is no accident and no coincidence that the Creator has chosen this time to arrange the reemergence of these ancient Nations. The air, the water, the land and all living things are in danger now as never before. The New Confederacy is born from all things positive, not from anger for past oppression and atrocities undeniably committed. These things are forgiven. When the colonizers arrived, as predicted in the Prophesies, our ancestors welcomed them and cared for them, as the Creator instructed, when they could not care for themselves. They were like children sitting at our feet in need of sustenance, which many of our ancestors gladly provided. The children grew up steadily over the course of several hundred years, only to rebel against their caregivers, reacting with greed and forgetfulness of all that was done for them and all that we tried to teach them, harming our Mother the Earth in the process. For this they must also be forgiven. The time has come, however, when these now young adults must realize and admit the error of their youthful and frivolous ways and turn once again to the wisdom and care of those who raised them. Unwittingly, they developed along the way the technological and linguistic means for all Indigenous Sovereign Nations to now join together with one good mind and one pure heart for the good of all humans.
In conclusion, the New Confederacy extends an open invitation to all Indigenous Sovereign Nations to join us on this historic and epic peaceful path into the future and also to convey this all-important message to all colonizing states: “The New Confederacy extends, once again, its open hand in friendship and in good faith as our gesture of our desire to continue to coexist for the benefit and respect of all living creatures and our one true Mother, the Earth herself.”
firstname.lastname@example.org (Chief, Algonquin)
email@example.com (Chief, Squamish)
firstname.lastname@example.org (Chief, Mi’gmaq)
email@example.com (Attorney, Mohawk)
DECLARATION OF SOVEREIGNTY OF THE CONFEDERATED NATIONS OF THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLES OF THE AMERICAS AND DEMAND FOR IMMEDIATE RECOGNITION OF NATION-STATE STATUS
AND NOW, THE Indigenous Peoples desiring to re-assert their Creator- given rights to live, prosper and care for their ancestral lands, said rights arising from time immemorial; the Indigenous Peoples desiring to re-assert such Creator-given rights through their ancestral Nations; IT APPEARING
that such Creator-given rights were never surrendered and could never be surrendered, voluntarily or otherwise; IT FURTHER APPEARING that such Creator-given Sovereignty may co-exist with the sovereignty asserted by other non-indigenous Nations, such mutual sovereignty able to exist in the same space and at the same time;
THEREFORE, The Indigenous Peoples hereby demand immediate recognition of such Creator-given Sovereignty and collectively and unanimously agree to take all steps deemed by all to be necessary and appropriate to obtain such recognition from all affected non-indigenous Nations, including the United States of America, Canada, Mexico, and any other Nation whose sovereignty currently infringes upon the Sovereignty of the Confederated Nations of the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas, said Sovereignty, Rights, Demand and Steps arising under the following PRINCIPLES, hereby deemed to be immutable as having derived directly from the Creator:
FIRST, each and every Indigenous Person of the Confederated Nations of the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas, regardless of which Indigenous Nation that Indigenous Person was born into, is born endowed with Sovereign status because such Sovereignty is Creator-given and may not be modified, amended, taken away or destroyed by any human or any institution created by any human or any combination of humans, whether by force or by Treaty;
SECOND, each and every Indigenous Person of the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas, by and through their respective Nations, neither ceded, nor was ever able to cede, as set forth FIRST above, their Creator-given Sovereignty, either through Treaty or any other such document or device, whether Ordered by any Court of any Nation or otherwise;
THIRD, the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas, by and through their respective Nations, are entitled to all accoutrements of Sovereignty, including the right to be recognized as nation-states by all other nation-states, whether existing or to be created, the right to enact laws for the benefit of their Peoples and to regulate commerce, from the determination of who shall constitute the Peoples, maintaining the status of the Peoples, from birth to passing, to the right to impose taxes, if any; that is, the Confederated Nations of the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas shall have all the rights and accoutrements of any internationally recognized nation-state under international law; and
FOURTH, each and every Indigenous Person of the Confederated Nations of the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas is an individually Sovereign Human Being, having arisen from and being part of Mother Earth, born with inherent Sovereignty that may co-exist in the same space and at the same time with the sovereignty of other nation-states whose sovereignty currently infringes upon the Sovereignty of the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas, such that each and every Indigenous Person has the inherent right to reside, be gainfully employed, travel, hunt, gather, or engage in any other activity enjoyed by Human Beings as such, anywhere in the Americas, without any interference or impediments from the infringing nation-states.
Nick Standing Bear and Becky Donlan
March 14, 2008
Thank You for having the blog. We're keeping our eyes on it daily. I start checking it in the evening to see what your day has been like. Keep up the faith and strength. We pray for you all each day. I catch myself day dreaming, visualizing your trek, what are they eating? and where are they sleeping?... You all have left imprints in our hearts. Take Care
Nita Bailey and Family
My name is Tracy Thomas, I am a Mohawk from the Haudenosaunee-Six Nation Iroquois Confederacy, we also welcomed the 1978 Longest Walk, when they came to our territory at Harrisburg PA., the Thunder people, our grandfathers showed their power ... when the East met their western brothers and sisters, we gave thanks to these spiritual powers, as it thundered and lightning on that day. For some people it was their first time meeting us, because they were told there were no Indians in the East.
I know what it is to endure the elements, I was a member of the Jim Thorpe Longest Run 1984 from the Onondaga Nation to Los Angeles California, we ran across 14 states in 54 days.
I am sending you this poster I designed for the Walk, to use as fundraising purposes, because this is what we do to help our people out. It is my honor for you, the Walkers, runners, cooks, security and helpers of this walk, it is my thanks to you who are doing this.
Remember to give thanks to the Creator and all of Creation, you walk for this creation and for the future generations of all our children, you will see this power in your journey across Turtle Island.
I'm considering joining the Northern route, I want to represent our people from the East. If I can't make this, my thoughts of prayer will be you.
All I ask, is when I finally meet up with you, that you all will sign my poster.
March 13, 2008
Bahe: March 12th, 2008, I wish I was out there with you again, my brothers and sisters. I try to think and pray that I am there with all of you in spirit.
March 1978: We left Green River, UT, and the red sandstone plateaus reminded me of Dineh country, northeastern Arizona. It was just decided that only a few Walkers & Runners were needed and so, I was one of those that volunteered to walk the rest of the day and into the evening. The rest of the walkers and crew would do set-up far ahead since this would be a long and lonesome stretch to Fruita, CO. It seemed like we have been hammered with wintery breeze and cold since we left Richfield. We walked into the night in relays, a Pipe Carrier and two Staff Carriers. Max Bear's Indian wagon, an old dark-brown dodge van, was behind the walkers that evening as the cold wind whipped against the cliffs next to the highway. We took turns until it was passed midnight and we found a flat spot off Highway 50. Those of us that slept out on the ground were lucky to not have it snowed overnight.
We all got up early and there was a fire with fresh coffee and some warmed up left over foods. The sun had not risen yet as we huddled around the fire. You begin to not feel the fatigue after a while of continuous walk even after having only slept four hours. It was a beautiful early morning with red buttes and cliffs all around as I remembered what I learned on my first morning with the 1978 Walk at Scipio. Chief Eagle Feather told the morning Sun Rise Circle at Scipio: "Continue to make strong prayers again today. Tunkacula will hear you. As you pray look about and you may see signs in the trees or in the clouds. Pray to those signs and symbols. It might be a buffalo, an eagle or a deer. Remember those visions all the time as you walk to Washington, D.C."
The sun was starting to rise over the beautiful red sandstone landscapes that displayed many images of Indian people of all ages. We made a little circle as water and some warmed-up food was set aside as offerings to the Walk Pipe. Once we prayed in the Circle it was time to continue on east along Highway 50, and most of us walked this time. As the sun got higher and as we crossed over a large mesa, we began to see the Rocky Mountain range in the far distance with their snowcapped peaks and dark forested slopes. My legs and feet were beginning to tell me if I'm going to give them a break, but then I try to go back to my prayers and think about why I have to walk. Just in time, some cars and vans showed up with fresh Walkers some of those who went ahead from Green River. I climbed into the back of a pickup truck and took a break among some fresh walkers. An older brother, John Thunder Shield, was sitting at the rear of the truck with a traffic caution flag and he joked and talked about things as he waved on approaching traffic.
Then, I had to jump off because I noticed a ravine with tall bushes up ahead. I climbed off as the truck was going slow and I said, "I gotta go to da John." Thunder Shield said to me, "Hey, that's my name! --Ee'eh!" He laughs as I ran toward the ravine. Sometimes, you have to run about a quarter of a mile if no one waits for you after you had your relief. This time a couple of us had to make a visit to this wash, and Thunder Shield and crew waited up ahead so we didn't have to run to catch up. By this time, I had long passed the "blister stage" where I didn't get blisters on my feet anymore, but my knees hurt like it might start to swell. A lot of times a swollen knee can hurt so much that it was hard to walk anymore. You had to give it at least a 24 hour rest.
Our last long rest was in Richfield which seemed like it was weeks ago as I looked forward to the next rest stop. There will be time then to prep for the next long stretch, wash the few clothes I had and especially check on the socks situation, and have plenty of good cooked food. At this point, I had went along with the innovation where you find a new can and wrap some twine around it then, form a handle onto it. Wala! I had a perfect coffee mug and it can even be attached to my belt loop.
Those of us who walked most of the night went ahead leaving the fresh walkers to take over. The Rockies looked very intimidating as I wondered that, only a bunch of Indians would attempt to march into its midst during the unstable climate of late winter.
By Bahe (Katenay) Keediniihii, March 2008
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Big Mountain Dineh Resistance Support for Northern Route, Longest Walk II
March 12, 2008
GREEN RIVER, Utah -- Louise Benally of Big Mountain described the Navajos' Long Walk and the atrocities that followed, including the destruction of the land for coal mining on Black Mesa, during an interview with live and uncensored Longest Walk radio on Earthcycles.
Benally said her grandfathers returned to their homeland after the Long Walk in 1870s.
The Navajo Nation government was created to sign energy leases. "We have been victimized by that." In her home community, the "land swindle" was created by the politicians and corporations. The result was the relocation of more than 10,000 Navajos and destruction of sacred Mother Earth.
Listen to Louise Benally:
Louise Benally Uncensored
Earlier, the following comments by Louise Benally of Big Mountain, comparing the Long Walk and imprisonment in Bosque Redondo to the war in Iraq, were censored by a national Indian newspaper. Pressed to publish a correction to the published article by this reporter, the newspaper refused.
Navajos at Big Mountain resisting forced relocation view the 19th Century prison camp of Bosque Redondo and the war in Iraq as a continuum of U.S. government sponsored terror.
Louise Benally of Big Mountain remembered her great-grandfather and other Navajos driven from their beloved homeland by the U.S. Army on foot for hundreds of miles while witnessing the murder, rape and starvation of their family and friends.
“I think these poor children had gone through so much, but, yet they had the will to go on and live their lives. If it weren’t for that, we wouldn’t be here today.
“It makes me feel very sad and I apply this to the situation in Iraq. I wonder how the Native Americans in the combat zone feel about killing innocent lives.”
Looking at the faces of the Navajo and Apache children in the Bosque Redondo photo, Benally said, “I think the children in the picture look concerned and maybe confused. It makes me think of what the children in Iraq must be going through right now.
“The U.S. military first murders your people and destroys your way of life while stealing your culture, then forces you to learn their evil ways of lying and cheating,” Benally said.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Longest Walk 2– A SPIRITUAL WALK FOR SURVIVAL FROM ALCATRAZ to D.C. CROSSES COLORADO STATE LINE/ ARRIVES IN FRUITA MARCH 14th
FRUITA, CO- On February 11, 2008 Longest Walk 2 participants embarked on a five month journey from San Francisco to Washington, D.C. The Longest Walk 2 is a grassroots effort on a national level to bring attention to the environmental disharmony of Mother Earth and the effects of environmental destruction on Native American people; as well as the need for the protection and preservation of Sacred Sites as a means for cultural survival. It is a spiritual and historic walk and Native Americans and their allies from across the nation and worldwide walk behind the banner, “All Life is Sacred; Save Mother Earth”. Northern route walkers carry this mission with them as well: “Renewing the Spirit by Walking in the Footsteps of our Ancestors”, as they cover the original route walked 30 years ago in the first Longest Walk. A southern route is walking simultaneously, with both routes covering over 8000 miles on foot.
On March 14th the walkers will arrive in Fruita, Colorado and reach Grand Junction March 15th to a welcoming community of local progressive groups and individuals that support the group’s mission, such as the Uncompahgre Unitarians and Grand Valley Peace and Justice. On the Western slope they will also be supported by the Ute Indian Museum in Montrose, and many Ute Mountain Ute individuals, and native and non-native supporters,
They will be visiting communities along Highway 50 across Colorado sharing their message about issues impacting our world environment, protection of Sacred Sites and the need to care for Mother Earth. The walkers invite communities to share their stories of the issues they are facing, such as the 13 plus sacred sites Native American activists are fighting to protect in lower Colorado and the case of the Leadville super fund site being watched for leakage threatening the town’s entire aquifer. These and other issues will be brought to the capital upon arrival in D.C.
A special memorial will be held April 5th for the ancestors of the Sand Creek Massacre and their descendants, whom inhabited this region until the “Indian Wars” brought the 1864 ambush on already surrendered Cheyenne and Arapahoe peoples as they camped on their journey to Oklahoma reservations.
The Longest Walk 2 is also a commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the 1978 Longest Walk, which resulted in historic changes for Native America. The original Longest Walk was conducted in response to proposed legislation in Congress abrogating Native American Treaties that protected Native American sovereignty. In July 1978 walkers arrived in D.C. with 30,000 supporters and the 11 bills were defeated, and the way was paved for the passage of the American Indian Religious Freedom Act (AIRFA) of 1978. As a result of The 1978 Longest Walk, Indigenous people were granted the federal legislative right to freedom of religion, a fundamental right guaranteed to all Americans under the U.S. Constitution.
Today many places sacred to Native Americans are threatened with development and desecration. Native Americans across the country continue to resist environmental devastation in their communities.
"As Indigenous Peoples in the United States our environment and our cultural survival are directly correlated and are still imperiled today. This is why we must walk once again,” states Jimbo Simmons of the International Indian Treaty Council and coordinator for The Longest Walk 2’s Northern Route.
For more information about the walk including itinerary visit www.longestwalk.org.
March 11, 2008
Native American Rights Walk Across America Comes to Northern Arizona
Longest Walk 2 Prayer Gatherings, Panel Discussion, & Benefit Concert Planned
By Klee Benally
FLAGSTAFF, AZ -- During March 21st - 29th, more than 120 participants of the Longest Walk 2 will be walking through and resting in Flagstaff, Arizona. The Longest Walk 2 is a five-month journey on foot from San Francisco, CA to Washington, D.C. for the protection of Mother Earth & Native American rights. Flagstaff area groups have planned prayer gatherings, a panel discussion, and a benefit concert to support the Longest Walk 2. These events will help bring awareness and support to local issues.
"The Longest Walk 2 and its participants are calling attention to Sacred Sites - that is what has brought us to Arizona.” Said Dennis Banks, co-founder American Indian Movement and Longest Walk 2 organizer. “Native Peoples' cultural identity lies rooted in the Sacred Sites of our communities. We stand in solidarity with the caretakers of this land, the Dine’, the Hopi, the Havasupai, the Hualapai and other Indigenous nations, who fight to protect the Sacred Sites: The San Francisco Peaks, Big Mountain, Red Butte, Woodruff Butte, and Mt. Taylor."
The Longest Walk 2 will stop for a sunrise prayer on Friday, March 21st at the Holy San Francisco Peaks before proceeding to Flagstaff for a news conference and rally.
"The San Francisco Peaks are internationally recognized as a very significant sacred site." said Jeneda Benally, a Dine' (Navajo) volunteer with the Save the Peaks Coalition, "The Longest Walk 2 brings awareness to the threats of desecration of the Holy Peaks and other threatened sacred sites in America and to the fact that we have no guarantee for protection of our religious freedom in this country.”
Arizona's San Francisco Peaks are a unique ecological island and are held holy by more than 13 Native American Nations. The Arizona Snowbowl Ski Resort, located on the holy Peaks, is attempting to expand its development, clear-cut acres of old growth trees, and make fake snow from treated sewage effluent, which has been proven to contain harmful contaminants.
A coalition of tribes and environmental groups have filed multiple lawsuits against the U.S. Forest Service, which leases the public land to the Snowbowl, to stop this proposed development. The legal battle has been viewed as a precedent setting case that will impact the future of Native American religious freedom.
"The Longest Walk 2 is our generations' opportunity to unite efforts in the movement to protect our Indigenous cultures.” Said Tashina Banks Moore, National Coordinator for the Longest Walk 2. “Our parents and grandparents raised us with traditional beliefs and spiritual ways of life - it is our duty and our privilege to defend our cultural homelands, which are our connection to spirituality.”
The Longest Walk 2 comprises two routes that will cover more than 8,000 miles in total through communities all across Turtle Island. The walkers rely on local communities' support for accommodations, supplies and monetary donations along the way. The walk will arrive in Washington, D.C. on July 11, 2008.
“Decision makers in Washington D.C. are planning ways to get onto our tribal lands to extract mineral resources, these unsustainable practices are contributing to climate change.” Said Enei Begaye, Director of the Black Mesa Water Coalition. “The coal mining on Black Mesa that has been going on for over 30 years, and is still going on, has had detrimental impacts not only environmentally but culturally, socially, and economically. There are solutions; we can stop our need to depend on the mining of fossil fuels with clean sources of renewable energy. We are thankful that the walkers are carrying that message as well.” Begaye said.
The Longest Walk 2 also marks the 30th anniversary of the original Longest Walk of 1978 that resulted in historic changes for Native Americans. During the 1978 Longest Walk, thousands converged on Washington, D.C. in an effort that defeated 11 pieces of legislation in Congress that would have abrogated Native American Treaties. As a result of the 1978 Walk, the American Indian Religious Freedom Act (1978) was passed.
“We are renewing the sacred circle of life for all humanity,” said Robert Tohe, a participant of the original 1978 Longest Walk and representative of the Sierra Club Environmental Justice Program. “The challenge to make a personal commitment may be offered for you to walk, if the opportunity arises to join the walk, seize it and participate. It's a life changing event, so bring extra pairs of shoes.”
The Longest Walk 2 is an Indigenous Peoples walk and is open to people of all nations and cultures. Everyone is invited to join in and participate in the walk at any point in time on either route, for any length of the route. For complete route itinerary and additional information, please visit: www.longestwalk.org.
Local groups supporting the Longest Walk 2 are: The Save the Peaks Coalition, Native Movement, Black Mesa Water Coalition, Indigenous Environmental Network, ECHOES, Sierra Club, Black Mesa Indigenous Support, Indigenous Action Media, 4th World Entertainment, Lovelution Industries & Youth of the Peaks.
Longest Walk 2 Flagstaff Area Schedule:
Friday, March 21st
5:30 a.m Sunrise Prayer in Honor & Protection of the Holy San Francisco Peaks
Join us in prayer and then join the Longest Walk 2 as it proceeds into Flagstaff.
Meet at Snowbowl lower parking lot. Dress warm! Limited parking, please carpool.
WHERE: Holy San Francisco Peaks, Southwestern Slopes at the end of Snowbowl Road off
9:00 a.m. Longest Walk 2 will proceed to Flagstaff. Highway 180/Ft. Valley Rd.
3:00 p.m. Rally & Press Conference
Longest Walk 2 will be entering Flagstaff. Join us in welcoming them!
WHERE: Flagstaff City Hall, Route 66 side.
WHO: Longest Walk 2 representatives, Save the Peaks Coalition, Black Mesa Water Coalition, Native Movement
7:00 p.m. Dinner Reception/Welcoming for the Longest Walk 2
WHERE: W. F. Killip Elementary School - 2300 E. 6th Avenue Flagstaff, AZ
Wednesday, March 26th
7:00 p.m. "All Life is Sacred" Panel Discussion
Come learn more about environmental protection, the 1978 and current Longest Walk,
and sacred sites issues. Event is *FREE* but donations for the Longest Walk 2
WHERE: Cline Auditorium, Northern Arizona University Flagstaff, AZ
WHO: Dennis Banks, Coordinator for the Longest Walk 2, Representatives of the Save the Peaks Coalition, Black Mesa Water Coalition, Native Movement, and more.
Thursday, March 27th
5:00 p.m. Longest Walk 2 & Save the Peaks Benefit Concert
Tickets: $12 in advance, $15 at the door, $7 for 14 years & under, 5 years & under free
WHERE: Orpheum Theatre, 15 W. Aspen St. Flagstaff, Arizona
WHO: Keith Secola, Blackfire, Radmilla Cody, Yaiva, Mokshya, Summit Dub Squad, Burning the Bridge, Synergy & Guest Speakers.
Friday, March 28th
11:00 a.m. Longest Walk 2 Prayer Gathering
Prayers for environmental protection and human rights will be offered and opportunity will be available for individuals to speak to issues impacting their communities.
Longest Walk II representatives will listen to community concerns to prepare a document to be presented to U.S. officials in Washington D.C.
WHERE: Star School, 145 Leupp Rd, Flagstaff, AZ 86004
Please contact Longest Walk 2 Flagstaff Support at (928) 527-1431 or LW2FLG@gmail.com to register to present at the gathering. On site registration will be available as well.
Organizations are encouraged to send delegates to present.
Lunch & dinner will be provided. Kitchen volunteers and food donations are needed. Please contact LW2FLG@gmail.com.
Saturday, March 29th
7:00 a.m. Depart from Star School
March 8, 2008
GENEVA -- The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination voiced strong concerns regarding environmental racism and the environmental degradation of Indigenous areas of spiritual and cultural significance, without regard to whether they are on recognized reservation lands. CERD noted the negative impact of development activities such as nuclear testing, toxic and dangerous waste storage, mining and logging, according to the International Indian Treaty Council.
CERD recommended to the US that it consult with Indigenous representatives, "chosen in accordance with their own procedures – to ensure that activities carried out in areas of spiritual and cultural significance do not have a negative impact on the enjoyment of their rights under the Convention."
The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples calls for the free, prior and informed consent of Indigenous Peoples to any development activity as well as legislative and administrative measures that may affect them, without regard to any "federal recognition."
"It is important that all Native Peoples within the US know that they have rights that are recognized by international law even if the United States refuses to recognize them or act upon them," said Alberto Saldamando, IITC General Counsel and delegation member.
"Now it is not just us, but the international community that has recognized that Indigenous Peoples within the United States are subject to racism on many levels and has called for effective steps by the US to remedy this situation. The IITC looks forward to working with other Indigenous Peoples and organizations to make sure that the US fully implements these recommendations, as it is required to under its legally-binding international human rights obligations. We will be watching closely to see if the US finally decides to become a country which operates under the rule of law.”
The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) publicly released its recommendations in response to the United States' Periodic Report which was submitted to the Committee last year. A number of Indigenous organizations, tribes and communities, including the International Indian Treaty Council, filed alternative or "Shadow" reports for the CERD's consideration in reviewing the US' compliance with the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination. The ICERD is a legally-binding international instrument to which all State (Country) Parties, including the US, are accountable. Periodic reports are required to be filed by all State Parties to the ICERD. The CERD's recommendations to the US reinforce the position of Indigenous Peoples and a range of international legal experts that the provisions in the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, adopted by the UN General Assembly on September 13th 2007, apply to all UN Member states, even the four States including the US which voted against it.
The CERD recommended that the Declaration be used by the US as a "guide to interpret the State Party's obligations under the Convention relating to Indigenous Peoples". Under international law, the Rights recognized for Indigenous Peoples apply to all Indigenous Peoples, whether or not they are "federally recognized" by the State.
The Committee expressed concerns about the adverse effects of exploitation of natural resources in countries outside the United States by US transnational corporations, "on rights to land, health, living environment and the way of life of indigenous peoples living in these regions." It "encouraged" the United States to take appropriate legislative and administrative measures to prevent transnationals registered in the United States, "from negatively impacting on the enjoyment of rights of indigenous peoples in territories outside the United States." The CERD Committee also recommended that hold these corporations accountable, and, "to inform the Committee on the effects of transnational activities on Indigenous peoples abroad and on any measure taken in this regard." This echoes the CERD's finding in 2007 regarding the obligations of Canada to monitor human rights abuses carried out by Canadian mining companies.
In addition to the IITC delegation, Indigenous delegations representing the Western Shoshone Defense Project (including the Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program from the University of Arizona), the Boarding School Healing Project, the Navajo Nation, the Cherokee Nation, the Teton Sioux Nation Treaty Council and Indigenous Peoples of Hawai'i, among others, also filed Shadow reports and were present for the examination in Geneva Switzerland. Representatives of the US government were questioned regarding the contents of its own report as well as the "Shadow reports" filed by Indigenous Peoples and a number of other groups on February 19th and 20th.
The CERD voiced strong concerns in response to information in received regarding rape and sexual violence against Indigenous women, particularly American Indian and Alaska Native women, noting the "insufficient will of Federal and state authorities to take action with regard to such violence and abuse."
It recommended to the United States, among other things, that reports of rape and sexual violence are independently, promptly and thoroughly investigated and that the perpetrators are prosecuted and appropriately punished." The Committee further asked the United States report to the Committee on the numbers of victims, perpetrators, convictions and the types of sanctions imposed in its next periodic report.
The Committee requested the US to provide detailed information on the measures adopted to preserve and promote the culture and traditions of American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander Peoples. The Committee requested information on textbooks and curricula for primary and secondary schools that should provide sufficient information on the history and culture of different racial, ethnic and national groups living in its territories. The Consolidated Indigenous Shadow Report filed by the IITC on January 6th 2008 raised all of these and a range of other issues. It included data of the great disparities between rates of poverty and illness of Native Americans compared to the US population as a whole. The report highlighted that Indigenous men have life expectancies 10 years less than the general population, are incarcerated at much higher rates that the general population, and receive longer sentences than the general population.
The CERD raised serious concerns about the US interpretation of the ICERD, specifically its definition of racial disparities such as these as resulting from "socio-economic factors" as opposed to the systematic and institutionalized racism that the data reflects. For example, the US argued that Indigenous persons are incarcerated at a much higher rates than the general population and receive longer sentences because they commit more crimes, and not as a result of institutional racism within the judicial and prison systems.
The CERD called upon the United States to review its definition of racial discrimination to include practices and legislation that may not be discriminatory in purpose but are discriminatory in effect. Indigenous representatives attending the CERD's examination of the US provided powerful and eloquent testimony about a range of human rights violations affecting them, which the US has not taken action to correct or prevent, as it is obligated to under the terms of the Convention. And in some cases, such as Treaty violations, land and natural resource appropriations, the US is directly involved in carrying out the violations.
IITC Board Member Lenny Foster, Diné (Navajo) and representative of the Native America Prisoners Rights Coalition, was a member of IITC's delegation to the CERD. He observed during the examination that the United States was "in denial." Mr. Foster presented testimony to the CERD Committee on desecration of Sacred Lands and the denial of access to spiritual practice of Indigenous prisoners in the US: "Spiritual wellness and spiritual healing is paramount to the very survival of the Indigenous Nations of North America.
There are efforts to prohibit and impede the spiritual access to the Lands considered Sacred. These Lands are being utilized by Indigenous Peoples for prayer offerings, vision quests, pilgrimage and ceremonies. Corporations cannot be allowed to prohibit access and to destroy and pollute and desecrate the Sacred Lands". He provided examples to the CERD which included San Francisco Peaks (Arizona), the Black Hills and Bear Butte (South Dakota) and Medicine Lake (Northern California) and Mt. Graham (Arizona).
The Navajo Nation Delegation, led by First Lady Vickie Shirley of the Navajo Nation testified eloquently on violence against Indigenous women. First Lady Shirley and Virginia Davis of the National Congress of American Indians made a strong case that Indigenous women on reservations have little or no protection against abuse and under US law, as most tribal governments are denied the jurisdiction to arrest and prosecute abusers.
Larsen Bill of the Western Shoshone Defense Project Delegation and Charmaine White Face of the Teton Sioux Treaty Council Delegation testified to the Committee, making a strong case concerning environmental racism and the deadly pollution caused by mining on their ancestral and Sacred Lands.
In March of 2006, the Western Shoshone approached the CERD and received a favorable response to its complaint that the US was not respecting their human rights, with reference to the denial of their ancestral lands. The had Committee called on the US to "take immediate action to initiate a dialogue" with the Western Shoshone and to freeze, desist and stop further harmful activities on Western Shoshone ancestral land until a final decision or settlement with the Western Shoshone is reached.
The CERD, in their Conclusion and Recommendations issued today, reiterated this previous decision "in its entirety," expressed "regret" about the US' lack of compliance with its previous recommendations, and urged the United States, "to implement all the recommendations contained therein" with regard to the Western Shoshone and the denial of their ancestral lands. The United States was called upon to again report to the Committee "within one year" on its follow up to their decision.
The CERD US Conclusions and Recommendations can be found online, at: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/cerd/docs/co/CERD-C-USA-CO-6.pdf. The Consolidated Indigenous Shadow Report is found at: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/cerd/docs/ngos/usa/USHRN8.doc.
INTERNATIONAL INDIAN TREATY COUNCIL PRESS RELEASEContact: Alberto Saldamando IITC General Counsel Email: http://us.f520.mail.yahoo.com/ym/Compose?Tofirstname.lastname@example.orgPhone: 415-641-4482
SEC. 301. RESOLUTION OF APOLOGY TO NATIVE PEOPLES OF UNITED STATES.
(A) Findings- Congress finds that–
(1) the ancestors of today’s Native Peoples inhabited the land of the present-day United States since time immemorial and for thousands of years before the arrival of people of European descent;(2) for millennia, Native Peoples have honored, protected, and stewarded this land we cherish;(3) Native Peoples are spiritual people with a deep and abiding belief in the Creator, and for millennia Native Peoples have maintained a powerful spiritual connection to this land, as evidenced by their customs and legends;(4) the arrival of Europeans in North America opened a new chapter in the history of Native Peoples;(5) while establishment of permanent European settlements in North America did stir conflict with nearby Indian tribes, peaceful and mutually beneficial interactions also took place;(6) the foundational English settlements in Jamestown, Virginia, and Plymouth, Massachusetts, owed their survival in large measure to the compassion and aid of Native Peoples in the vicinities of the settlements;(7) in the infancy of the United States, the founders of the Republic expressed their desire for a just relationship with the Indian tribes, as evidenced by the Northwest Ordinance enacted by Congress in 1787, which begins with the phrase, `The utmost good faith shall always be observed toward the Indians’;(8) Indian tribes provided great assistance to the fledgling Republic as it strengthened and grew, including invaluable help to Meriwether Lewis and William Clark on their epic journey from St. Louis, Missouri, to the Pacific Coast;(9) Native Peoples and non-Native settlers engaged in numerous armed conflicts in which unfortunately, both took innocent lives, including those of women and children;(10) the Federal Government violated many of the treaties ratified by Congress and other diplomatic agreements with Indian tribes;(11) the United States forced Indian tribes and their citizens to move away from their traditional homelands and onto federally established and controlled reservations, in accordance with such Acts as the Act of May 28, 1830 (4 Stat. 411, chapter 148) (commonly known as the `Indian Removal Act’);(12) many Native Peoples suffered and perished–(a) during the execution of the official Federal Government policy of forced removal, including the infamous Trail of Tears and Long Walk;(b) during bloody armed confrontations and massacres, such as the Sand Creek Massacre in 1864 and the Wounded Knee Massacre in 1890; and(c) on numerous Indian reservations;(13) the Federal Government condemned the traditions, beliefs, and customs of Native Peoples and endeavored to assimilate them by such policies as the redistribution of land under the Act of February 8, 1887 (25 U.S.C. 331; 24 Stat. 388, chapter 119) (commonly known as the `General Allotment Act’), and the forcible removal of Native children from their families to faraway boarding schools where their Native practices and languages were degraded and forbidden;(14) officials of the Federal Government and private United States citizens harmed Native Peoples by the unlawful acquisition of recognized tribal land and the theft of tribal resources and assets from recognized tribal land;(15) the policies of the Federal Government toward Indian tribes and the breaking of covenants with Indian tribes have contributed to the severe social ills and economic troubles in many Native communities today;(16) despite the wrongs committed against Native Peoples by the United States, Native Peoples have remained committed to the protection of this great land, as evidenced by the fact that, on a per capita basis, more Native Peoples have served in the United States Armed Forces and placed themselves in harm’s way in defense of the United States in every major military conflict than any other ethnic group;(17) Indian tribes have actively influenced the public life of the United States by continued cooperation with Congress and the Department of the Interior, through the involvement of Native individuals in official Federal Government positions, and by leadership of their own sovereign Indian tribes;(18) Indian tribes are resilient and determined to preserve, develop, and transmit to future generations their unique cultural identities;(19) the National Museum of the American Indian was established within the Smithsonian Institution as a living memorial to Native Peoples and their traditions; and(20) Native Peoples are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, and among those are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
(B) Acknowledgment and Apology- The United States, acting through Congress–
(1) recognizes the special legal and political relationship Indian tribes have with the United States and the solemn covenant with the land we share;(2) commends and honors Native Peoples for the thousands of years that they have stewarded and protected this land;(3) recognizes that there have been years of official depredations, ill-conceived policies, and the breaking of covenants by the Federal Government regarding Indian tribes;(4) apologizes on behalf of the people of the United States to all Native Peoples for the many instances of violence, maltreatment, and neglect inflicted on Native Peoples by citizens of the United States;(5) expresses its regret for the ramifications of former wrongs and its commitment to build on the positive relationships of the past and present to move toward a brighter future where all the people of this land live reconciled as brothers and sisters, and harmoniously steward and protect this land together;(6) urges the President to acknowledge the wrongs of the United States against Indian tribes in the history of the United States in order to bring healing to this land; and(7) commends the State governments that have begun reconciliation efforts with recognized Indian tribes located in their boundaries and encourages all State governments similarly to work toward reconciling relationships with Indian tribes within their boundaries.
(C) Disclaimer- Nothing in this section–
(1) authorizes or supports any claim against the United States; or(2) serves as a settlement of any claim against the United States.
Passed the Senate 26 February 2008.
SALT LAKE -- The Longest Walk 2 received a warm welcome and turkey dinner at the Salt Lake In Walk In Center Friday night. Please come join the Longest Walk Powwow at 6:30. Listen live beginning at 10 am Pacific time and continuing through the evening with live powwow coverage:
Directions to Walk In Center: When approaching from I-15, follow 1300 South and exit. Go east on 1300 South, passed the Wal-Mart. The center is a few blocks down, just passed the tracks, on the left. You'll see the Longest Walk and earthcycles buses.
March 6, 2008
Please join us Saturday night for the Longest Walk Powwow at the Salt Lake Indian Walk In Center. Next week, the walkers continue through Utah before beginning the great climb into the Colorado Rockies reaching 14,000 feet!
Listen live each day, 10 a.m to 2 p.m. Pacific time, to the Longest Walk Northern Route. We have a telephone connection now for interviews. We are inviting guests on the show to talk about the walk and local and national issues:
Longest Walk Powwow Salt Lake CityIndian Walk In Center
120 West 1300 South
Salt Lake City
(Double click to enlarge map)
March 4, 2008
Thank you to the designer, who asked to remain anonymous in the spirit of service!
(Double click to enlarge)