August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Friday, September 17, 2010

Navajo Ivan Gamble: Attorneys aid US to Steal Navajo Water Rights

By Ivan Gamble, Navajo
LeChee Chapter
Photo: Calvin Johnson, Navajo

The water rights settlement being proffered by bureaucrats, certain politicians, and longtime water attorney Stanley Pollack has been recently discussed at chapters of Western Navajo asking for their consent to the agreement.
The settlement, a fraction of the aboriginal claim of the Dine’, has been represented as the “best offer we could get." The question becomes who is it best for?
Once the Dine’ had great leaders like Manuelito and Barboncito, who defined Dine’ bi Keyah by 4 rivers and 4 mountains; these leaders understood negotiations; they had fought off the most powerful empire in history by skillfully playing faction against faction.
These leaders understood they must fight for the protection of the homeland and still leave a great legacy for the coming generations. Skillful leaders afterwards grew the Nation to its’ present size. Almost 100 years later a brave chairman asserted the same claim, calling out the empire for its’ illegal overthrowing of our Nation, and demanded that our compensation equal what is our birthright.
Read Ivan Gamble's editorial:
ALERT: Facebook suspended my account after I posted this comment beneath the editorial. I can no longer access my Facebook account:
After the removal of former Navajo Chairman Peter MacDonald, it was interesting to see where the attorneys went, who were involved in his removal. One of those attorneys were to DC and worked in water rights, and the others went to southern Arizona to "negotiate" Indian Nations water rights settlements with the federal government.
Earlier, during the federal trial of MacDonald, a Navajo businessman told me the bottom line of the imprisonment of Peter MacDonald. He said, "This about water rights."
Later, Peter MacDonald issued this statement on the Winters Doctrine, urging Navajos to hold fast to their ancestral Dine' water rights:
Former Navajo Chairman Peter MacDonald urged the Navajo
Nation Council to reject a San Juan River water rights settlement with the
state of New Mexico and instead take the battle for Navajo water rights to
court, under the Winters Doctrine, which gives precedence to Indian water claims.
”Once a tribe makes a settlement with the state, the tribe waives its
claims under the Winters Doctrine. That is the reason behind this settlement
initiated on the part of Congress,” said MacDonald.
MacDonald said Congress began urging Indian tribes in 1989 to agree to water
settlements with states in order to bypass the Winters Doctrine.
"It was done to quiet all the water rights questions in the West,”
MacDonald said.
"The carrot” being held out to Indian tribes, he said, is the promise of
federal money to develop water on Indian lands.

Coal Ash more Radioactive than Nuclear Waste

Scientific American: Coal Ash is More Radioactive than Nuclear Waste

At issue is coal's content of uranium and thorium, both radioactive elements. They occur in such trace amounts in natural, or "whole," coal that they aren't a problem. But when coal is burned into fly ash, uranium and thorium are concentrated at up to 10 times their original levels.
Fly ash uranium sometimes leaches into the soil and water surrounding a coal plant, affecting cropland and, in turn, food. People living within a "stack shadow"—the area within a half- to one-mile (0.8- to 1.6-kilometer) radius of a coal plant's smokestacks—might then ingest small amounts of radiation. Fly ash is also disposed of in landfills and abandoned mines and quarries, posing a potential risk to people living around those areas.

Southern Nevada Health District
On the Lateral Expansion for Reid Gardner Solid Waste Landfill
October 4, 2010
5:00 – 7:00 pm
Moapa Recreation Center 1340 E. HWY 168, Moapa, NV
--From Ian Zabarte, Western Shoshone

Photo: In this Dec. 22, 2008 file photo, an aerial view shows homes that were destroyed when a retention pond wall collapsed at the Tennessee Valley Authorities Kingston Fossil Plant in Harriman, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

Mohawk Activist: First a Heart Attack, Now Charges

First a heart attack, now charges
National News 16. Sep, 2010 by jbarrera 1 Comment

(Kahentihetha Horn lies in hospital recovering from a heart attack following confrontation with border agents. Photo courtesy of Kahentinetha Horn.)

APTN National News
KAHNAWAKE, Que.–A long time Mohawk activist is facing trial on two-year old charges stemming from an incident at the Canada-U.S. border that left her recovering in hospital from a heart attack.

Kahentinetha Horn, 70, is facing charges of assaulting a peace officer and obstructing a peace officer in relation to a June 14, 2008, confrontation with border guards at the border crossing on Cornwall Island, Ont., in the Akwesasne Mohawk reserve.

Horn, who runs the website Mohawk Nation News, was arrested this past July 19 near Montreal on a Canada-wide warrant that had been issued by the Akwesasne Mohawk police force.

She was eventually released and her lawyer appeared in a Cornwall, Ont., court on Sept. 10. Her next court date is scheduled for Sept. 27, said her lawyer Phil Schneider.

Schneider said he received the disclosure file from the Crown on the case Wednesday but hadn’t examined it determine what the case is against Horn.

The Akwesasne Mohawk police could only confirm the charges were laid.

Horn said she is looking forward to trial to have the “truth” come out about the incident.

“I didn’t not do anything wrong. I was the one that almost died,” she said.

Horn tried to seek legal action in federal court against the Canda Border Services Agency, but the effort failed. She said the court wouldn’t hear her case because they didn’t consider her a “resident of Canada.”

According to Horn, the day of the incident began with a trip with two other people across the border to St. Regis Village, which is on the Canadian side of Akwesasne, but only accessible through the U.S., to visit the daughter of one of the passengers.

At the customs border crossing, Horn said they were all identified and then surrounded by border agents wearing flak jackets and leather gloves.

One of the passengers, Katenies, was allegedly “dragged violently from the back seat of the car” who “knocked her down, pinned her to the ground and forced their knees into their heads and back,” according to a court document filed in federal court by Horn.

The court document states that border agents, then “handcuffed her and smashed and rubbed her face into the pavement.”

Horn said in an interview with APTN National News Thursday that she was terrified after witnessing Katenies’ treatment and she refused to leave the car despite orders from border agents.

Horn was then “yanked out of the car” and “thrown around, assaulted, handcuffed and imprisoned” in a cell inside the customs post, the document alleges.

In the cell, Horn said agents tightened the handcuffs, cutting “circulation to her hands. Pain shot up her arms. She saw flashes of light and felt sharp pains in the middle of her chest and back,” the document said.

Horn yelled for help, but the “guards ignored her and tightened the handcuffs more. They yelled threats and kept ordering her down. A man stood behind her and had his hands on her pants.”

At that point, her brother, lawyer Frank Horn, who had been in line at the border post, asked to see his sister.

“My brother started yelling, she is having a heart attack and the ambulance came and took me to the hospital,” said Horn.

She was taken to a hospital in Cornwall and then transferred to the Ottawa Heart Institute.

“She remained in hospital for 5 days in the trauma unit and intensive care unit. The doctors told her she had had a trauma induced heart attack,” said the document.