August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Protesters: NAU get off Mount Graham!
Protesters: NAU Get Off Mount Graham!
Winona LaDuke, 'It's Time to say NO'
Article and photo by Klee Benally and MT Garcia

FLAGSTAFF, AZ -- On Tuesday, February 1, a dozen people including students and community members gathered at Northern Arizona University to protest the college's partnership with a telescope development located on a sacred site.

NAU is listed on the telescope project's website as a "project partner" along with University of Arizona and Arizona State University at 25% of the development's partnership.

Mount Graham, located near Tucson, Arizona, is holy to San Carlos Apache, White Mountain Apache, Pascua Yaqui, Chiracahua and other Indigenous Nations who have struggled for years to stop the development with support of environmental groups.

The protest started at 5pm on the corner of Butler and Milton. The demonstrators held banners that read, "Stop desecration and extinction on Mount Graham," and "Protect sacred sites, defend human rights."

At the Highcountry conference center parking garage, a banner was dropped that read, "NAU off Mount Graham, protect sacred places".

At 6pm the group started marching to Ardry Auditorium where it planned to support prominent Indigenous activist and author, Winona LaDuke's speech for Holocaust Remembrance Day. On the way to the Auditorium, the protesters marched and chanted through the Union surprising NAU students.

The march grew to more than 30 people, who at times took to the streets and were chanting, "NAU off Mount Graham," and connecting the struggle to protect the San Francisco Peaks with "Save the Peaks, save Mount Graham."

"This is an issue of Indigenous People's religious freedom and protection of sacred places. We're here to address NAU's complicity in desecrating a very sacred site." said Bobby Lynn, a student at NAU who was part of the protest and march, "NAU should know better than to partner with the Mount Graham telescope. Here in Northern Arizona, Snowbowl ski area is attempting to further it's desecration by expanding and making snow from treated sewage. This issue has divided our community and caused so much harm. We are in solidarity with those struggling to protect Mount Graham!" said Lynn.

Winona LaDuke urged everyone in attendance to "deconstruct empire" and addressed issues in Arizona, such as the Arizona Snowbowl ski resort, Mount Graham telescope, uranium mining, and copper mining. "I wanna encourage you all, to do good work, to make things better. I want to encourage you, whether it is the uranium mining at the Grand Canyon, leave it in the ground. Whether it is the Snowbowl. Whether it's the copper mining, and the sacred lands of the Apache or the telescope project that this University here became complicity in. Its time to say no."

Contact NAU President Haeger and urge him to respect the Apache, to save the Mount
Graham red squirrel and to get NAU out of the Mount Graham telescope project.
Phone: (928) 523-3232

Easter Island: Rapa Nui surrounded by Chilean Troops

Aloha to our families and friends
The battle being fought by our Polynesian brothers and sisters on Rapa Nui (Easter Island) continues

On Tuesday, February 8, 2011, the Hitorangi Clan will be violently evicted and criminalized for the occupation of their
ancestral lands.

Heavily armed Chilean troops have surrounded the Hanga Roa Hotel where the families have housed themselves and the troops are keeping anyone from entering or leaving; the Clan has no communication with their families or attorneys.

Our goal and urgent request is to raise $6,000 by FEBRUARY 5TH. Even the smallest amounts of donations are desperately needed; $10, $20, etc. all of which will go to help cover the legal fees of the Hitorangi Clan; the cost to cover filing fees, attorney travel costs to and from the island to the mainland, etc. All other legal fees are being providde pro bono by the
Indian Law Center. You can make your donation by going to the website at The Indian Law Center has provided access through their 501(c)(3) nonprofit status to
accept donations to pay for the lawyers; when donating, please donate "in honor of Rapanui;" it is entirely tax deductible.
There is no applicable court system on Rapa Nui to hear this kind of case so the costs to travel back and forth between the island and the mainland (continental Chile) is mounting. We are urgently seeking your support and the support of your networks as the battle is ongoing.
Time is of the essence. Our 'ohana on Rapa Nui needs our help . Your donation will assure the safety and legal protection of the removal of the Hitorangi Clan from their rightful occupation of their home and ensure the protection of the Rapa Nui people from the heavy-handed assault by Chilean troops on an unarmed population. It will help to prevent their culture and people from being lost forever.
Please visit the website for updated information which is posted as it is received. There you will be able to view a video of the attacks being harbored against the people of Rapa Nui and other information relative to the plight of the Rapa Nui people. The need is urgent; we are LESS THAN A WEEK AWAY from the FEBRUARY 8TH eviction proceedings. Please help to get the message out. Your support is greatly appreciated.
Auntie Sharon
He Hawai'i Au Mau A Mau
Sharon Ku'uipo Kana'e-Paulo
Commission Executive Assistant
City of Los Angeles DCA Board of Commissioners
201 North Figueroa Street, Suite 1400
Los Angeles CA 90012

Navajo Larry Emerson: Wish list for headlines in 2011

By Larry W. Emerson
Censored News

Dine' farmer and scholar Larry W. Emerson shares his wishlist for 2011 with Censored News. "It is a wishful thinking - and I hope thought provoking - article regarding five Indian news headlines I'd like to read in 2011," Emerson said. Emerson lives in Tsedaak'aan, Diné Nation, near Shiprock, NM. He is a farmer, artist, activist, and scholar.

Five Navajo Times headlines I'd like to read in 2011
1. Navajo Nation Council sets new principles for self-governance: healing, decolonization, transformation and mobilization. Leaders agreed that the days of blind-faith assimilation and modern world seductions regarding power, greed, control, conquest and egotism were the true evils of colonialized Navajo self governance. In a related action, leaders agreed to restore the sacred circle and to reject the unhealthy political hierarchy copied from western politicians and bureaucrats.

2. Navajo Nation adopts democratic measures to include rights of the Natural World. Opening clause reads: “We, the People and the Natural World…” Navajo communities agreed that ancient Indigenous knowledge regarding harmony, beauty, happiness, peace and balance were the real imperatives that sustain a healthy democracy.

3. Navajo Nation adopts principles of hozho and k’é as the truest measures of family, clan and community sustainability. The new Navajo leadership declared that colonization was destructive and useless to contemporary Navajo society. The new Council also rejected notions of the American dream if it means more fossil fuel burning, more environmental degradation, more environmental refugees, more water shortages, & more exploitation. ”The ‘Dream’ is really a self-destructive candle burning at both ends and a terrible nightmare,” the leaders declared. “One can squeeze just so much juice from an orange and the Navajo Nation refuses to participate in ecocide of this sort.”

4. Chapter governments agree to collaborate under new districting system. In a historic set of local meetings, the Navajo people elected to begin formal collaboration between communities by restoring and regenerating age-old principles of identity, place, kinship, community, respect and generosity. Chapters also agreed to adopt Navajo principles of decision-making because of the need to be accountable to and respectful of all people and all life forms.

5. Navajo Nation sets new economic priorities to empower informal private sector. Leaders cited this layer of society as the truest expression of Indigenous–style economic thinking. The new Council declared this layer of Navajo society to be the best experts regarding needs to build strong local economies. “They speak the Navajo language and understand how to integrate principles of k’é and economics," one leader was heard to say.

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