August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Alaska: Protect Caribou Calving Grounds from Oil Drilling on Thursday

Alaska Inter-tribal Council:

Send letters to halt oil drilling, scroll down for sample letter

In Fairbanks, on Thursday May 13, 2010, at the Morris Thompson Cultural & Visitors Center, comments will be taken regarding the opening of the ANWR. If you are able to testify for protection of ANWR, you must arrive to sign up at 3:00pm.
Tribal Objectives / Talking Points
1) Recommend wilderness designation for the coastal plain to protect the calving and nursery grounds of the Porcupine caribou herd and Gwich’in subsistence way of life.
2) Call for wilderness review for the entire Coastal Plain and rest of the refuge.
3) Insist on safeguarding the wilderness qualities and integrity of the ecosystem of the Refuge as a whole through appropriate stewardship.
4) Emphasize that oil and gas leasing, exploration and development will permanently harm the wildlife and subsistence values of the coastal plain and rest of the Refuge.
5) Support AI-TC Resolution 2005-08 Titled "Oppose Development of Oil and Gas in the 1002 area of the ANWR and Offshore Water of the Arctic Ocean, Chukchi Sea, and Beaufort Sea." found here: End Tribal Objectives / Talking Points
ANWR Background Information.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced it will develop a new Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) for the 19.5 million acre Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).
The Service is seeking public comments regarding the refuge and its uses, management and its future. A public meeting on the planning process will be held in Fairbanks on Thursday May 13.
In ANWR, 92 percent of the refuge is permanently closed to development. However, 1.5 million acres of the refuge's western coastal plain, known as the "1002 area," were excluded from Wilderness designation under the 1980 Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA). In 1987, after six years of biased environmental, geologic, and economic study required by ANILCA, the Department of the Interior recommended that the 1002 area be opened to responsible oil and gas development. An act of Congress is required for the 1002 area
to be opened, and in 1995, Congress voted to open the coastal plain to exploration. Fortunately, President Clinton vetoed the measure.
End Background
Currently, AI-TC Volunteer Staff is working on developing a written comment for submission.
If you are unable to attend this meeting, you may send written comments by JUNE 7, 2010 to:
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge,
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Attention Sharon Seim, 101 12th Ave.
Room 236,
Fairbanks, AK 99701-6237
AI-TC is centralizing all information related to this comment period
Best Regards, AI-TC Newsletter Team

Greetings AI-TC Newsletter Subscribers,
AI-TC has developed the following sample letter in support of AI-TC
Resolution 2005-08. Please print this letter, sign it as an
organization or an individual, and send it back to our offices as soon
as possible.

A .doc version of the sample letter can be viewed here:

The letter can be scanned and emailed to, or faxed to

### Begin Sample Letter

Sharon Seim

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

101 12th AVE. Room 236

Fairbanks, AK 99701-6237

To Whom it may concern,

We are writing today on behalf of our unborn generations, migratory
birds, land animals, and other wildlife that migrate through the
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). Our letter is written to help
educate policy and decision makers regarding the need to protect and
preserve ANWR. Understand that continued development and exploration
of our resources within the boundaries of ANWR poses an imminent
threat to the health and welfare of multiple communities; Furthermore,
impacts from development of ANWR have the potential to cause permanent
and irreparable damages around the entire globe.

ANWR is critical to the existence of the Porcupine Caribou herd, a
subsistence resource that is essential to the Indigenous Arctic
inhabitants. The Arctic Refuge coastal plain is the biological heart
of the Arctic. The Refuge is the last intact Arctic and Subarctic
ecosystem left in North America. Each year Migratory birds from all 50
states and 6 continents nest and utilize the coastal plain. In
addition to the migratory birds, there are approximately 40,000
caribou calves birthed and nursed within the Refuge each year.

Let it be known that we are standing on the ground, together, in
opposition of oil and gas development in ANWR. We call on the
President of the United States, Barak Obama, and the U.S. Congress to
reject any attempts to compromise the preserved status of ANWR.
Please, hear the peoples voice and keep the current protections in
place for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.


### End Sample Message

As these letters of support are sent back to AI-TC they will be
posted online at:

The letters will be submitted to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service on
June 7th 2010.

Please forward this letter to any potential supporters.

Best Regards,

AI-TC Newsletter Team

Chief Arvol Looking Horse: The Oil Spill and Bleeding of Grandmother Earth

Chief Arvol Looking Horse: A Great Urgency
To All World Religious and Spiritual Leaders

My Relatives,

Time has come to speak to the hearts of our Nations and their Leaders. I
ask you this from the bottom of my heart, to come together from the Spirit
of your Nations in prayer.

We, from the heart of Turtle Island, have a great message for the World; we
are guided to speak from all the White Animals showing their sacred color,
which have been signs for us to pray for the sacred life of all things. As
I am sending this message to you, many Animal Nations are being threatened,
those that swim, those that crawl, those that fly, and the plant Nations,
eventually all will be affect from the oil disaster in the Gulf.

The dangers we are faced with at this time are not of spirit. The
catastrophe that has happened with the oil spill which looks like the
bleeding of Grandmother Earth, is made by human mistakes, mistakes that we
cannot afford to continue to make.

I asked, as Spiritual Leaders, that we join together, united in prayer with
the whole of our Global Communities. My concern is these serious issues will
continue to worsen, as a domino effect that our Ancestors have warned us of
in their Prophecies.

I know in my heart there are millions of people that feel our united prayers
for the sake of our Grandmother Earth are long overdue. I believe we as
Spiritual people must gather ourselves and focus our thoughts and prayers to
allow the healing of the many wounds that have been inflicted on the Earth.
As we honor the Cycle of Life, let us call for Prayer circles globally to
assist in healing Grandmother Earth (our Unc'I Maka).

We ask for prayers that the oil spill, this bleeding, will stop. That the
winds stay calm to assist in the work. Pray for the people to be guided in
repairing this mistake, and that we may also seek to live in harmony, as we
make the choice to change the destructive path we are on.

As we pray, we will fully understand that we are all connected. And that
what we create can have lasting effects on all life.

So let us unite spiritually, All Nations, All Faiths, One Prayer. Along
with this immediate effort, I also ask to please remember June 21st, World
Peace and Prayer Day/Honoring Sacred Sites day. Whether it is a natural
site, a temple, a church, a synagogue or just your own sacred space, let us
make a prayer for all life, for good decision making by our Nations, for our
children¹s future and well-being, and the generations to come.

Onipikte (that we shall live),

Chief Arvol Looking Horse
19th generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe

Media Plays a Role in Hate Crimes

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

In the early 1990s, I worked on staff at Farmington Daily Times in northwest New Mexico. Farmington is a city where hate crimes by whites have been documented for at least 40 years. At that time, a group of white teenagers attacked a group of Navajo youths in the back of pickup truck with baseball bats, breaking their bones, outside a convenience store.
It was unprovoked and a hate crime. I wrote an article about the attack and the Farmington Daily Times editor knowingly changed the facts, making the victims appear somehow responsible for the beatings.
When I demanded that the truth be told, I was terminated.
I reported this to the US Civil Rights Commission which was documenting the hate crimes in Farmington at the time. Eventually the Farmington Daily Times was sold, and today it has a new staff. But I wonder now how many times this has happened, that editors or reporters have knowingly changed the facts in hate crimes. At that time, one of the coverups was to protect the white teenage son of a Farmington judge who was committing hate crimes.
Now, in Farmington, a mentally challegened Navajo man has been branded with swastikas by whites.
It is a city with a long history of torture and hate crimes by white teenagers and white adults.
The brutal torture murders of three Navajos in this bordertown in the 1970s was documented in the book, "The Broken Circle," by Rodney Barker. The torture and murders by whites did not stop. The murders continued. White Farmington law enforcement officers also murdered Navajos using excessive force.
In South Dakota, north of Rapid City, a young Oglala Lakota, 22-year-old Christopher Capps, has been shot repeatedly at close range by Pennington County Sheriff Deputy David Olson.
The Native Sun has published an account of this young man's death, with an eye witness stating that Christopher was running to the officer for help.
Will the Rapid City Journal do justice to this man's life?
Will there be a real investigation of the shooting death of this Oglala youth?
The good ole boy system of law enforcement in Pennington County and South Dakota has proven to be one of white supremacy, racial profiling, police brutality and manufactured evidence.
It can not be trusted.

Hate Crime: Navajo branded with swastikas:
South Dakota Deputy murders Lakota youth reaching for cellphone