August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Democracy Now: New Video of Massacre on Gaza Aid Flotilla

EXCLUSIVE: New Video Smuggled Out From Mavi Marmara of Israel’s Deadly Assault on Gaza Aid Flotilla
In a Democracy Now! exclusive we bring you a sneak preview of previously unseen raw footage from the Mavi Marmara that will be formally released at a press conference at the United Nations later in the day. The footage shows the mood and the activities on board the Mavi Marmara in the time leading up to the attack, and the immediate reaction of the passengers during the attack. We are joined by filmmaker and activist Iara Lee, one of the few Americans on the Mavi Marmara ship. Her equipment was confiscated but she managed to smuggle out an hour’s worth of footage.

Navajo Council on Arizona's racist laws: 'Bilagaana' nation of immigrants

Council Delegate GloJean Todacheene (Shiprock) “Bilagaanas (white people) forget they created a nation of immigrants – they invaded us and yet now they do not like it because America is becoming more brown or of an ethnic mix.

Navajo Nation Council press statement

Council overrides President Shirley’s veto, passes measures opposing the state of Arizona’s immigration, ethnic studies bills

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. – The 21st Navajo Nation Council passed several pieces of legislation today during its 2010 Spring Special Session at the Navajo Nation Council Chamber.

The Navajo Nation Council narrowly passed two pieces of legislation (Legislation No. 0297-10 and Legislation No. 0302-10), which were sponsored by Council Delegate Kee Allen Begay (Many Farms/Rough Rock) opposing the state of Arizona’s immigration and ethnic studies bills (Senate Bill 1070 and House Bill 2281).

In effort to address the immigration bill, Council Delegate Begay sponsored Legislation No. 0297-10, which opposes Senate Bill 1070 for unlawfully infringing on the constitutional, civil, and human rights of indigenous peoples in the state of Arizona. The measure passed the Council floor, 30-24.

“In a way, the immigration bill is an attempt to harass Native Americans,” Begay said. “When we are pulled over or stopped we are usually pulled over and asked for our IDs. Sometimes we do not carry those things and perhaps at that time we will have difficulty proving we are Native American. This legislation is a stance for the protection of Native Americans in Arizona.”

Begay also cited a study conducted by the University of Cincinnati Policing Institute, which was prepared for the Arizona Department of Public Safety, that Native Americans were the most likely to be arrested at a
rate of 4.5 percent compared to Blacks who were arrested at a rate of 3.2 percent, Hispanics at a rate of 2.9 percent and Whites at a rate of 1.6 percent. Begay said this study strongly indicates the need to oppose the immigration bill because of infringement of constitutional, civil and human rights.

Leonard Gorman, executive director for the Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission, agreed.

“A police officer can stop and detain an individual for violating an existing law and if a law enforcement officer has reasonable suspicion that person who got pulled over will be asked for documentation,” Gorman said. “Once you are arrested you are going through the immigration process. It will not work. It will clog up the immigration system.”

Legislation No. 0302-10 opposing Arizona House Bill 2281 for restricting ethnic studies in Arizona elementary and secondary schools also passed the Council floor, 45-2.

Council Delegate GloJean Todacheene (Shiprock) commended Council Delegate Begay on his legislation action efforts and said, “Bilagaanas (white people) forget they created a nation of immigrants – they invaded us and yet now they do not like it because America is becoming more brown or of an ethnic mix. The pendulum of civil rights can swing back and forth at anytime. I commend Kee Allen for his efforts.”

Read press release from Navajo Nation Council:

VIDEO: Gulf Oil Spill Threatens Atakapa-Ishak Tribe

"In the town of Grand Bayou, Lousiana, the main thoroughfare is the water.

There are no streets, no cars. Everyone gets around by boat.
Just recovered from Hurricane Katrina, the oil from the BP Deepwater Horizon well now threatens this community.
SOUNDBITE: Rosina Philippe, Atakapa-Ishak Tribe
“Well this is the Grand Bayou Village and we are a subsistence community. We have been here for centuries. And we live here. We make our living from the harvest of the waterways and this is also where we get our food that we eat.”
Rosina Philippe is Atakapa-Ishak, a Native American tribe. Like others, it is not recognized by the federal government.
For decades, the Atakapa and other native groups here have adapted to the loss of wetlands, the encroachment of the oil and gas industry, and hurricanes.
But the latest spill could be the final straw. Fishing and shrimping is at a standstill, and the oil keeps creeping into the marshes.
SOUNDBITE: Maurice Phillips, Atakapa-Ishak Tribe
“I can’t even think about leaving it. And the way the economy is, where are you going to go and live?”
The largest oil spill in U.S. history is killing wildlife, contaminating beaches and marshes, closing fishing waters and… threatening an entire way of life."
Get the Story:

Oil Spill Threatens Native American "Water" Village (National Geographic 6/8)
Related Stories at
:Editorial: Louisiana tribes sound alarm on Gulf's oil disaster (6/4)
NRDC: Oil spill in Gulf of Mexico threatens tribes in Louisiana (6/2)
Director of MMS resigns in response to Gulf oil spill disaster (5/28)
Editorial: Obama resolves concerns about who's 'in charge' (5/28)
Interior to cancel off-shore drilling projects in Arctic Ocean (5/27)
Investigation turns up more problems at oil royalty agency (5/26)
Editorial: Withhold off-shore drilling leases in Arctic Ocean (5/26)
MMS official in charge of offshore drilling to retire on May 31 (05/18)
Alaska Native village concerned about offshore development (5/17)
Editorial: Putting off shore drilling in Alaska on hold for now (5/12)
Interior plans to create separate royalty collection agency (5/12)
Column: Bad history for oil agency at Interior Department (5/10)
Johnny Flynn: Oil development one of the most dangerous (5/6)
Obama calls oil spill in Gulf of Mexico a 'massive' disaster (5/3)
DOI delays decision on off-shore drilling in Alaska (11/20)
Offshore drilling allowed in Native whaling area (10/20)

Residential School Survivors Present Evidence in Italy

Residential school survivors present evidence on genocide in Canada to members of the cabinet of the provincial government of Genoa, Liguria, Italy, on April 2, 2010. The province of Genoa sponsored their tour and meetings. Survivors remembered the murdered and disappeared children in Indian residential schools in Canada and of Indigenous children in boarding schools around the world. Read more at: