August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Chippewa Bruce LaFountain wins True West best sculptor award

Bruce LaFountain
True West magazine
The fact that Bruce LaFountain placed second in the Cast Metal category at the prestigious Santa Fe Indian Market in 2009 didn’t surprise anyone. Yet this Chippewa Indian—he grew up on the Turtle Mountain Reservation in North Dakota but now creates out of Salt Lake City—doesn’t create art for awards, though he has many. His abstract sculptures seem to be always moving, which might come from his childhood memories of dancing in powwows. LaFountain is brash and forthright: “The motivation for my work does not stem from wanting to win a show or from money,” LaFountain says. “It evolves from the spirit of my ancestors and my own deep spiritual feelings.” Well said, sir.

True West selects Charmaine White Face for Best Living Indian Rights Crusader

True West magazine
Charmaine White Face
She is a voice for the Black Hills—and it’s a task Charmaine White Face has gladly undertaken for more than two decades, as a columnist for several newspapers and an activist. She formed Defenders of the Black Hills in 2002, working to end logging, mining and exploitative tourism of this area, which is sacred to her Ogala Sioux tribe. Her work has received international recognition, and she hopes that will help return the Black Hills to its rightful owners—the American Indians.

True West names Russell Means Best Living Indian Rights Crusader

Lakota Russell Means wins Readers Choice Award
for Best Living Indian Rights Crusader

Censored News

In its 2010 Readers Choice awards, True West magazine announced that readers selected Russell Means as the "Best Living Indian Rights Crusader."
Double click on image to read award letter.
Read more about Russell Means, as an actor and activist:

Cree filmmaker: Neil Diamond 'Real Injun' film

Reel Injun cuts through clich├ęs
By Craig Takeuchi

From 2010 Winter Olympics medals and mascots to the opening ceremony, Native iconography has never been as prevalent in modern Vancouver as it is now. Although on the one hand the presence of Native cultures is being broadcast globally, on the other, international viewers may remain uninformed about the complicated history and contemporary realities of First Nations existence. Watch the trailer for Reel Injun.It’s fitting, then, that a Canadian documentary that examines a more pervasive—and problematic—form of visual politics is being released during the Olympics.
Reel Injun, codirected and cowritten by Cree filmmaker Neil Diamond (which opens on Friday [February 19] ), is a historical survey of how Native people have been portrayed in one of the most influential shapers of popular culture: Hollywood. From the earliest cinematic images of Native Americans and westerns to the inspirational rise of Native independent cinema, Diamond takes a look at the sluggish shift from stereotypical portrayals to better depictions and indigenous films like Canada’s Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner. Read more:

Kansas: Eagle Staff Run

Eagle Staff Run
The Eagle Staff Run starts at Mayetta, Kansas on June 10, 2010. There is also an early part of this June 6 -- 9. For more information, contact and transportation costs that are provided contact Ben Yahola-( 918)752-6140 or email We will be at the finish on Saturday for The Indigenous Games in Oklahoma. Please come out and support the run. There are also open slots for poetic performances. There will be Indigenous Rappers and we will show our INDIGENOUS HOLOCAUST, executive produced by First Nations United. My email is for questions or comments.

American Indian Genocide Museum: Obama Honor Treaties

American Indian Genocide Museum Petitions Obama: Honor Promise, Honor Treaties
Censored News

Steve Melendez, Pyramid Lake Paiute, director of the American Indian Genocide Museum in Houston, requests people to sign this petition to "remind and hold President Obama accountable for his campaign promise to honor American Indian treaties. We are hoping to get enough signatures to deliver to the White House by November 5, one year after the historical meeting with Pres. Obama and Indian Nations."
Make history " Honor the Treaties "
The President of the United States
When President Obama met with Native American Indian tribes in Washington D.C., it was indeed a historic event. On November 5, 2009 , the President took questions from the audience. Of the seven Tribal leaders fortunate enough to address the President, three of them mentioned the treaties. The significance of the treaties is that within the treaties is the hidden history of the United States. A history of genocide and land grabbing that ended with the treaties.
Article 6 of the U.S Constitution refers to a treaty as the Supreme law of the land. A treaty must be ratified by the Senate and signed by the President. In the minds of the American Indians, treaties are a big deal and it should be a big deal across this land, supposedly governed by the rule of law.
Treaties are the law. The legal definition of a treaty is this: Under International law, an agreement, league, or contract between two or more independent nations or sovereigns.
When Theresa Two Bulls, President of the Oglala Sioux Tribe spoke to the President, she said in part, “… honor the Treaties. Too, long they have not been honored by the federal government. And, you talk about change - now is the change. Allow us and work with us to exercise our sovereignty, our self determination."
On the campaign trail President Obama promised that if he was elected, he would honor the treaties.
This Petition echoes the words of Theresa Two Bulls to President Obama to honor the treaties.
Sign this petition to hold in account the promise made by President Obama to honor our Treaties.
Please sign the petition:

Running Strong Youths Deliver Emergency Aid

Running Strong for American Indian Youth provides firewood to Pine Ridge and utility assistance to Cheyenne River Sioux
Cheyenne River Youth Project delivers supplies
Running Strong would like to extend grateful thanks to the Onondaga Nation for a $10,000 donation to Running Strong’s emergency heat program on Pine Ridge to be used for firewood distribution. With this generous donation keeping firewood plentiful, Running Strong can concentrate funds on keeping electricity running and propane tanks filled.On the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation, Running Strong and the Cheyenne River Youth Project are going to provide $30,000 in utilities assistance to help families heat their homes this winter.
In the days immediately following the storm, the Cheyenne River Youth Project provided
:• blankets to residents and the Indian Health Service hospital • hygiene packets and pampers to residents • diabetic supplies and bandaids for the command center to distribute to shelters
Running Strong distributed 600 free boxes of fresh food to Cheyenne River residents.
Read more:
Photo: Fort Robinson Outbreak Spiritual Run/Photo by Running Strong for American Indian Youth

Rodriguez: The Huehuetlahtolli of Maria Molina

The Huehuetlahtolli of Maria Molina
By Roberto Dr. Cintli Rodriguez
Maria has a cargo. A sacred cargo. How do you translate that? It’s not something physical, but it is akin to a bundle.I cannot tell you what’s inside of it, but it is something greater than its contents. Some of the things are unknowable. Others have no name. Yet, what she carries inside it are ancient instructions. More than that, she carries a responsibility and a sacred obligation to her family, community and to humanity. You might think that inside this sacred bundle there are precious stones, seeds, sage or copal. There might be that, but more than that, there are gifts. Gifts that she has received and gifts that she freely gives.One gift that she possesses is the gift of Tlahtolli – the gift of the word and the gift of In Xochitl – In Cuicatl – Flor y Canto. Flower and song. Poetry. Read column: