August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Thursday, June 17, 2010

US Social Forum Events Detroit: Invitation to Indigenous Peoples

US Social Forum Indigenous Events
Invitation to all Indigenous Peoples
June 22nd-26th
Detroit, MI
Indigenous Environmental Network Newsletter

The US Social Forum is happening from June 22nd - 26th in Downtown Detroit. Main activities span from Cobo Hall to Wayne State University and many other venues. We are expecting 20 000 participants for the US Social Forum.
USSF Indigenous Peoples Program
Native/Indigenous Peoples Protocols on Ceremony and Culture
The US Social Forum is an "open space," which means everyone is invited to share, network, build, debate and create solutions to build another US. What does that mean? You're invited to participate and bring your issues facing your community, your solutions and work to build a US movement that reflects our vision for how we want the world to be.
Why should Indigenous Peoples participate? We are the original Peoples, the US is our homelands. Any "movement" should be lead by Indigenous Peoples. Our people represent the vast oppression, genocide and other attrocities that happened to create the US as we know today. We also represent the survival and vitality of a people that cannot be defeated. Our strength in surviving 500 years of oppression is our gift to the movement through healing, diversity and the deep spiritual ties our people have to our sacred homelands.
Whats happening? 1000 workshops, 50 Peoples Movement Assemblies, cultural performance, work brigades, murals, debates, plenaries, parties, and so much more.
How can I get involved? For more information we have a web-site at that has the newly printed program, info on logistics, events, workshops and other related activities. There are registration fees to attend. They are based on a sliding scale, so if you can't afford a large contribution we can work it out!
The First US Social Forum happened in Atlanta, Geogia in 2007. Many different Indigenous groups attended. We create an Indigenous Declaration that gave the movement a clear message on what is happening in Indian country, how to support Indigenous struggles in their work and why working with Indigenous Peoples is important. We had many different events and were hosted by the Eastern Band of Cherokees from North Carolina.
This year, again we are asking all Indigenous Peoples to attend! Bring your issues, your polictical asks, your solutions to share with other Indigenous Peoples and the movement at large.
Whats happening for Indigenous Peoples specifically? A whole lot of activities, meetings, events including a water ceremony and a pow-wow!
Tuesday June 22nd
Opening March- On Tuesday June 22nd there will be an Opening March. We are inviting Indigenous Peoples to lead the march. A local drum and local people from the Detroit region will host us during the USSF and leading us during the March. We will be meeting up at 1pm at Hanock and Woodward. From there we will make our way down Woodward to the Cobo Arena. Once we arrive we will be welcomed by Indigenous Singers and dancers, as well as Africian dancers and singers.
Opening Ceremonies- After the March at around 5pm (depending on the length of the march) there will be an elder from the Detroit area giving an offical welcome to the overall US Social Forum. The Opening Ceremonies will begin with speakers and performers for a great show after a long march.
Announcing the 2010 Detroit Healing Walk
Wednesday June 23rd
First thing the morning at the Social Forum Village you are invited to attend a Water Ceremony. All peoples have been invited to celebrate and pray for the water. We've asked everyone to bring water from their homelands. It doesn't matter if you bring tap water, lake water, contaminated water! Local women from the Detroit region will be leading the water ceremony. The Social Forum vilage is located about a mile from Cobo hall along the water front. We will have an Indigenous Tent set-up at the village. We will be meeting at the Social Forum Village at 8:30 am before the workshops start for the day! Early morning for some but will be a great way to start off the US Social Forum activities.
Workshops start at 10am and run until 5pm Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The workshops are located at several venues! There are Indigenous workshops, women's workshops, youth workshops! Almost everything you can think of! For more information please visit
During the Social Forum there will a be a Children's Social Forum for children 5-12 ages. We had a Childrens Social Forum in Atlanta and it was well received by parents and children. There is also child-care provided for children under five. Both the Children's Social Forum and Child-care require folks to register on the web-site!
If workshops aren't your thing, there is an art space in cobo hall to help create visuals for the march and other amazing things during the social forum. There are also work brigades happening daily to build Detroit and leave something good behind when we all go home. THere is a film festival going on too. Daily performances at Hart Plaza located beside Cobo Hall!
In the afternoons from 1pm to 5pm there will be Peoples Movement Assemblies. The idea is to bring together people working on specific issues like poverty, or climate change; to strategize, build together and develop a resolution that anyone at the US Social Forum could sign on too. Our hope is that the PMA's create actions for the year and help folks build new alliances. There will be a PMA on Wednesday for the Tar Sands- largest human industrial project on earth! There will be Indigenous peoples from Northern Alberta, Alaska, Oklahoma, Minnesota participating in this event. More information is available on the web-site.
Wednesday Evening we are inviting Indigenous peoples to come out to the American Indian Health Services. We wanted to provide a social event for visitors to the local Detroit Native community. We will be meeting at the front of Cobo Hall the main entrance by the bus loop for 5:30pm. We will head down to American Indian Health Services at 4480 Lawndale Street for a 6pm arrival. We will have a meal together and enjoy meeting each other. Tom Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environmental Network will be our MC for the evening. We wanted to provide space for folks to meet and have an open mic to introduce themselves! We will head back to Cobo Hall for 9pm so folks can enjoy evening activities or go home and rest for the night.
Thursday June 24th
We wanted to provide space before the activities of the day for Indigenous Peoples to meet and brief together. We will be providing a space daily at Cobo Hall for an Indigenous People Caucus for 1 hour. The room has not been assigned yet! We would be meeting from 9am to 10am roughly before the workshops start. The idea is to welcome each other daily, if folks have opportunities to share them, as well as events, and if there are problems for us to figure them out!
Again from 10am- 5pm daily we are hosting 1000 workshops over three days. So look for the printed program on the web-site to check out what workshops you want to attend.
There will be a PMA for Indigenous Peoples from 1pm to 5pm. We are asking folks to attend bringing their issues, solutions and resolutions from their communities. This space is provided to build a resolution from Indigenous Peoples to the larger movement. We are hoping to include your issues and to give folks concrete ways to support Indigenous Peoples in their work and day to day lives.
Thursday we will be showcasing the Haudausaunee Singers and Dancers from 3-5pm in Hart Plaza beside Cobo Hall. They are travelling from Syracruse to perform.
At Hart Plaza daily there will be performances daily! We are showcasing: John Trudell, Daygots Leeyos, Joe Riley, Annie Humphrey, 20/20, Philip Meshekey and many more! For more information on performances there will be a flyer in the program books given out when you register!
John Trudell will be performing at Hart Plaza in the evening and showing his film at the film festival on Thursday.
Thursday evening, the Indigenous Environmental Networking is throwing a fund-raiser party at the Majic Stick 4120 Woodward Ave until 2am. Tickets are ten dollars at the door! Please come out and show your support. John Trudell will be performing and many of our Indigenous Talent attending the USSF.
Friday June 25th
Morning Indigenous Peoples Causcus at Cobo Hall from 9am to 10am before the workshops start. Again, we don't have the room figured out yet but will soon! Be on the look out for updates!
Workshops, PMA's, and all kinds of activities today.
ECOLOGICAL JUSTICE PMA: From the disinvestment in Detroit to criminalization of immigrants in Arizona to the Gulf oil spill, we seek to unite our communities to take on the same root causes of ecological, economic, and social injustice and to win community control. At this Ecological Justice PMA, we hope to advance proposals from frontline grassroots community organizations for shared work on climate and ecological justice rooted in an understanding of the need to transform global systems and build community resistance and resilience. We will also share stories of local, frontline community struggles and explore ways people can stand in solidarity with Detroit communities in Saturday’s 9am protest at the world’s largest waste incinerator:
Prepare to fully participate in the PMA by reading the goals, agenda, and draft resolution - READ/Download (PDF)
Sponsoring Organizations: Movement Generation, Zero Waste Detroit, Ruckus Society, Asian Pacific Environmental Network, Indigenous Environmental Network, Global Alliance for
Incinerator Alternatives, Alliance for Democracy, ShaleShock Action Alliance, Mountain Justice, Southern Tier Advocacy & Mitigation Project (STAMP), Southwest Workers Union, Mothers on the Move, Women of Color United, Just Transition Alliance, Environmental Justice Climate Change Initiative, Global Justice Ecology Project, and more.
We hope that from the Indigenous Peoples PMA the day before that we will have a synthesis team working to put together and finalize our resolution and statement for Saturdays All Peoples Movement Assembly! Where we will hear back from all 50 PMA's so we can support each other's work!
Those folks coming from oil and gas impacted communities are invited to attend a community tour out the Marathon refinery. We are working on providing transportation to the community for the tour. We haven't finalized a time or space yet but will let you know. The local community group that lives with the Marathon Refinery called 48217 have extended an invitation to Indigenous Peoples to tour their community and meet with them at one of the local community centers. We will send out more information as we have it for folks.
Friday evening, there is a huge party happening called the Leftist Lounge. One of our Indigenous DJ's from Oklahoma- Marty Aranaydo will be DJing this event. There will be different rooms playing different music. We are expecting 8000 people to come through this party!
Saturday June 26th
Indigenous Caucus meeting from 9am to 10am in Cobo Hall for updates and information.
The Detroit Healing Walk is happening this day. Folks will meet at 9:30am at Cobo Hall to get transported to Fort Wayne. Located at Fort Wayne is a burial site of the local Indigenous Peoples. We will be going out to the site to do ceremony. We will then commence a five mile walk to heal ourselves and share with each other. On the route of the walk we will stop for refreshments meeting back at Fort Wayne for a closing ceremony at around 4pm. We will then provide transportation for people to come back to Cobo Hall.
9am on Saturday, folks are organizing an action and march at the local Detroit Incinerator (one of the largest in the country)! We are inviting Indigenous Peoples impacted by dirty energy to come and participate!
From 12 noon to 5pm the All Peoples Assembly will happen to provide space to bring together all the PMA's that happened and to report back the resolutions, actions and endorsements that folks developed.
From 5pm we will have a closing ceremony!
For more information:
For logistical info and other event specific information please contact Heather Milton-Lightening (313) 247-7915 or at (780) 838-6210
For Info on the Incinerator Action- Sharon Lungo (562) 659-1183
For local events (welcome dinner, pow wow, opening march, healing walk ect.) contact Sharon George at (313) 846-3718 ext 1125 or
For the Indigenous Peoples Movement Assembly contact Jihan Gearon at (928) 214-8301 or

On the Border: News Reporters Now Enemies of Truth

By Brenda Norrell
People who live along the US/Mexico border have a new online patrol. We are all now scouts on the lookout for the news reporters, television crews and filmmakers who come to the border to promote themselves and tell the same old worn out story about drug running along the border.

The underlying theme of their stories is always the same: White people are good and brown people are bad.

If the news reporter is really pumped up by border hysteria, they like to include Native Americans, including Tohono O'odham and Mohawks, into their US flag-waving articles, like this one:

These news reporters always leave out this vital fact: The narcotics pipeline exists because of the demand for illegal drugs in the US.

News reporters certainly don't want to investigate the fact that the most notorious killers, now running the drug war in Mexico, the Zetas, were trained by US Special Forces.

These same news reporters don't like to report that US soldiers have been heavily involved in running drugs. The FBI had to shut down the sting operation, Operation Lively Green, because so many US soldiers wanted to run cocaine from Nogales to Phoenix. After arresting Army recruiters in high schools, Airforce soldiers, a prison guard and a Nogales police officer, the FBI halted the sting operation. No doubt the soldiers are still running drugs, without being arrested.

There have been no probes made public as to whether the unmanned US drones, in the US and Afghanistan, are now being used to transport US drugs, in the same manner that body bags were used by the US during the Vietnam war.

In their reports, news reporters don't like to expose the fact that US Border Patrol agents murder children throwing rocks and beat and rape people of color along the border. These facts throw off the tidy news formula of news reporters.

Most news reporters had rather tip-toe around the fact that lawmaking in the state of Arizona has now been taken over by a racist governor and a band of Nazi-type legislators. News reporters had rather sensationalize Sheriff Joe Arpaio and describe him as "colorful," rather than report on the human rights and civil rights violations and lawsuits filed against him.

For the Arizona governor and racist crew at the state capitol, imprisoning people of color means more profits for their friends in the private prison industry and more jobs for Arizona. Pinal County boasts that its CCA private prisons are the number one employer in the county.

So, the online patrol continues for those news reporters coming to town with their fixed agenda and fixed formulas. They'll stay in the city for a few days at a hotel, file their story and come away with a good pat on the back for themselves, as if they now really know and understand the people of the border.

Even worse, and more inaccurate, are those news reporters who try to fake it. They sit in their easy chairs in distant cities, plagiarize other news reporters, make a few phone calls, add a free photo, and pretend that they are here covering the story.

For border residents, news reporters are now considered among the enemies of the people and truth.