August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

New Ajo Border Patrol Station brings more misery for O'odham

New Ajo Border Patrol Station: More misery for O'odham

By Ofelia Rivas, O'odham
Censored News
Photo copyrights 1: Ofelia Rivas by Jason Jacks. Photos 2 and 3 by Ofelia Rivas.
O'odham Ofelia Rivas responds to the new construction of Border Patrol Headquarters on the western boundary of the Tohono O'odham Nation at Why, near Ajo, Arizona, which will bring 360 Border Patrol agents and staff here. Meanwhile, a new bar (photo below) is opening in Why. Conveniently on the south end of Why is the site of a Sports Bar due to open on May 1, 2011. The owner is ETW Group, Inc. (602) 397-5748.
WHY, Arizona -- It is a worrisome thought, we already have border patrol that disregard the safety of community members as they speed through our community. They play armed soldiers all day with various toys including three wheel all terrain vehicles, dirt bikes, hummer vehicles, four-wheel high clearance trucks, helicopters and airplanes and horses, and spy cameras and listening and sensoring equipment, out on our sacred lands disregarding our relatives the plants and animals as well as our sacred offering sites and burial places.
Now we will expect armed "sports bar" drunk border patrol tailgating the O'odham in their slow moving rez cars and drunk border patrols driving at 95 miles an hour on the highways and BIA roads. (New bar, photo on right)
The Tohono O'odham Nation seated on the east side of the reservation already neglect the safety of the O'odham members by allowing the border patrol and all other federal agents including non-O'odham tribal police free reign of the lands. The "sport bar" and the additional border patrol will quadruple the conditions for O'odham on the western side of the reservation.
With Tohono O'odham Nation elections coming up in May we wonder if it'll be the same old platform of the sellout political speak, our elders, our children, all together, our education, our Him'dag, despite the truth of the continued headlines of corruption and embezzling of tribal funds, from the district clerks and community representatives to housing authority directors and chief judges. Where is the real leadership that will support the O'odham way of life, that will get rid of out dated BIA schools and spend some of that annual bonus and salary money on providing our children with support of our language and protection of our lands and teaching our own history. Recently I was told about witnessing a non-O'odham sing in O'odham and speaking in O'odham. Meanwhile our own schools barely support one person to teach the language, much less have any O'odham teachers. The children in my village wait in the cold and heat at early morning hours to ride a two-hour bus ride to school because of poorly-funded BIA schools that have a lack of staff. The same school is forcing poor children out of the school system for non-compliance of a required dress code. The school buses, emergency vehicles and health transportation vehicles drive on a road that is just a big pothole. Many of us have learned to stay home during election time because we are witnesses to what is happening to our people.
In the news: Border Patrol breaks ground on new station in Why, AZ, Aug 19, 2010:
Tucson Sector Border Patrol leadership conducted a ground-breaking ceremony today in Why, Ariz., to begin construction on a new Ajo Border Patrol Station.
The 52,900 square-foot facility, scheduled for completion in July 2012, will accommodate more than 360 personnel and have room for future growth. It will draw power from the latest generation of solar panels. The station will also feature a Storm Water Pollution Prevention system, which ensures water that flows onto the facility will leave as clean as it was when it came into the facility.
The station's design is based on "economy of motion," following the agents' activities and natural movement to increase overall efficiency.
The Ajo Station, which was originally constructed in 1987, is located about 10 miles south of Ajo, Ariz., along State Route 85, and approximately 120 miles west of the Tucson Sector Headquarters. In its inception, the current facility was designed to accommodate 25 agents responsible for patrolling more than 7,000 square miles and 68 miles of the border between the United States and Mexico.

Deadly Coal Mining: Black Mesa Dine' and Appalachian Justice Exchange

From Black Mesa Indigenous Support
Censored News
Photo Snowy Hogan Black Mesa Indigenous Support

Dear Regional Coordinators and other interested folks,

During the 2010 Caravan on Black Mesa we listened to the Elders and second generation resisters and we came up with a few action plans. In terms of a letter writing campaign, we are in the process of researching and asking for direction from Indigenous led organizations.
In the mean time are working on two projects: one, we are looking to raise funds and awareness for two different events. First is an event that would support Elders and second generation resisters from Black Mesa to travel to the UN to speak at the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNFPII).
The other event would support Second generation resisters of relocation and large scale coal mining from Black Mesa to travel to Virginia to have a solidarity exchange with Mountain Justice activists and organizers also struggling against large scale coal mining.
The Mountain Justice crew is also planning on attending the UNFPII. The UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues is an advisory body to the Economic and Social Council, with a mandate to discuss indigenous issues related to economic and social development, culture, the environment, education, health and human rights. ( )
According to its mandate, the Permanent Forum will:provide expert advice and recommendations on indigenous issues to the Council, as well as to programmes, funds and agencies of the United Nations, through the Council raise awareness and promote the integration and coordination of activities related to indigenous issues within the UN system prepare and disseminate information on indigenous issues.
The Black Mesa Mountain Justice Exchange The Black Mesa/ Mountain Justice Exchange project is an effort to strengthen the connections between Dine’ and Appalachian communities impacted by extreme and invasive coal extraction. Both Dine’ and Appalachian cultures are rooted in a connection between the land and human communities.
This connection is threatened by massive scale coal extraction that is stealing and poisoning water supplies, paralyzing each region economically, and dehumanizing the people by disrupting their place-based identity. We hope exploring the similarities and differences between the struggles will offer more potential for collaboration and support.
As communities in Appalachia have different experiences of racism and colonialism, there can be much to learn from Black Mesa residents’ resistance to settler colonialism, in addition to corporate exploitation.
There is much to be learned from the visibility and coverage of mountain top removal as well as Mountain Justice’s coalition across a diversity of communities in a large region.
The ecological and economic impacts of extraction are often mentioned, but this project seeks to emphasize its cultural consequences. This project approaches extraction as more than just a facet of the global industrial economy. Instead it intends to illuminate and amplify the root causes of the problem- extraction as a mindset, a way of being in relation to land that is abusive and detrimental to all life.
We see fundamental change to this entrenched mindset as essential to abolishing extremely exploitative practices such as strip mining and mountaintop removal for coal.
We seek this fundamental change through honoring the identity of land-based cultures, such as in Appalachia and Black Mesa.
Our hope for this project is that bringing representatives of these two regions together will be another step in articulating a lasting cultural answer to problem of extractive economies that poison water, denude landscapes, and impoverish people of both regions.
We also see this as an opportunity to exchange skills and strategies between two communities who have developed their own approaches to organizing in resistance to industrial exploitation. The initial project of this work is for each group of people to meet each other in their home communities.
Our goal is to have a delegation of Dine’ people to visit Appalachia in May or June and to continue learning about each other’s approach to and understanding of the issue.
The purpose of each visit is to not only build long-term relationships, but to share practical skills and strategies useful to protecting the land and water in the short-term.
We hope that these initial visits build a foundation for an on-going and collaborative relationship in which both regions‘ efforts for sovereignty are strengthened.We look forward to hearing your thoughts about this exchange and collaborating with you on this endeavour.
In love and resistance, The BMIS Collective: Tree, Liza, Derek, Berkely, Dixie & Hallie
Comment from Michelle Cook, Navajo:

"Throughout the planet grass root communities struggle to protect their
land and resources from unsustainable extractive industries. This is
certainly the case for many Indigenous and Appalachian communities in
regards to coal mining and mountain top removal.
The need to create dialogue and solidarity within and between the
Mountain Justice Movement and Indigenous peoples is important for both
communities have and are vulnerable to industry and greed; both
communities have visions of building sustainable economies, and both
are fighting to protect what they love, their land, air, and water."

Another Warrior Gone: Jack D. Forbes

Jack D. Forbes:
An American Indian People's Resistance Movement of the 21st Century
Davis, California

Jack Forbes was one of the key people involved in the establishment of Deganawedah/Quetzalcoatl ("DQ") University.

He also inspired our movement to go into battle with the Davis City Council for over seven years (1989 to 2006) in the Affiliated Obsidian Nation;s successful campaign to persuade the council to change the name of the street once known as "Sutter Place."

We knew Jack and he knew us. He could always be counted on to stand up for his people. His is a powerful voice; one that will be sorely missed in the American Indian community.

by Steve Jerome-Wyatt,
Acknowledged Spokesman
UC Davis newsletter:

UC Davis scholar Jack Forbes advocated for indigenous peoples
February 25, 2011

Jack Forbes was a founding leader of the Department of Native American Studies at UC Davis. (Carolyn L. Forbes/photo)
Jack Forbes, acclaimed author, activist and professor emeritus of Native American studies at the University of California, Davis, died Feb. 23 at Sutter Davis Hospital. He was 77.
Services will be private, with a public memorial to be scheduled at a later date.
“Jack Forbes’ passing is not only a loss for UC Davis but for the Native American studies academic community across the country,” said UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi. “He was an inspirational and determined leader whose voice influenced the creation of Native American studies programs at UC Davis and around the country.”
“He bravely took positions that others might have deemed unpopular and risky, and he fought for what he believed in,” Katehi said. “He will be missed.”
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Ralph J. Hexter also noted the major impact that Forbes had on the campus. "UC Davis attained its position as a leader in the establishment of Native American studies thanks to Professor Forbes' vision, hard work and inspiration,” Hexter said.
Forbes was born Jan. 7, 1934, in Long Beach of Powhatan-Renapé and Delaware-Lenápe heritage. He grew up on a half-acre farm in El Monte and in Eagle Rock, where he wrote for the high school newspaper and later became its sports editor.
He received an associate’s degree in political science in 1953 from Glendale College and went on to the University of Southern California, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy in 1955, a master’s degree in history in 1956 and a doctorate in history and anthropology in 1959.
His doctoral dissertation, “The Apache, Navaho, and Spaniard” (1960), was published in a matter of months after he earned his doctorate.
Forbes joined the UC Davis faculty in 1969, emerging as one of the founding leaders of the campus’s Native American studies program, which began that year.
“He had already been advocating for the establishment of Native American subject matter but faced deaf ears and opposition from mainstream higher education,” noted a family obituary written by UC Davis professor Steven Crum, a past chair of the Department of Native American Studies.
“Due to the political times — affirmative action, the takeover of Alcatraz Island, the larger student protest movement of the 1960s — Jack and several others were able to establish Native American studies programs at different universities,” Crum wrote. “Thus, Native American studies came into existence at UC Davis when Jack was hired in 1969. At the time, he also influenced the creation of Native American studies at other universities, including UCLA, UC Berkeley and the University of Minnesota.
In 1966, Forbes wrote an article titled “An American Indian University: A Proposal for Survival,” published in the Journal of American Indian Education. Colleagues recall that the article, which set forth a proposal for an indigenous peoples university, helped ignite the tribal college movement.
From Forbes’ vision, Degoniwida-Quetzalcoatl University was founded in 1971, several miles west of UC Davis. The school, better known as D-Q University, was the first all-Native American college in California and the second tribal college in the United States. Today there are 35 tribal colleges that enroll approximately 33 percent of the nation’s Native American postsecondary population, according to Crum. D-Q University offered a two-year program until it closed in 2005. Forbes served on the board of D-Q University and taught there on a volunteer basis for more than 25 years.
In addition to his teaching, research and advocacy work, Forbes was a prolific writer. His numerous books, monographs and articles represented his path-finding scholarship and reflected the events and issues of the times in which they were written.
His book, “Columbus and Other Cannibals” (1992) was one of several books that focused on the Christopher Columbus quincentenary. Crum noted that the book marked the 500-year anniversary of “the supposed discovery of America or 500 years of survival, post-invasion.”
Forbes also wrote “The American Discovery of Europe” (2007), “Red Blood: A Novel” (1997), “Only Approved Indians” (1995), “Apache, Navaho and Spaniard” (1960 and 1994), and “Africans and Native Americans” (1993).
His numerous honors and awards included the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas in 2009, the American Book Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Before Columbus Foundation in 1997 and the Wordcraft Circle Writer of the Year award in prose and nonfiction in 1999.
Forbes extended his academic career beyond the United States. In 1980-81 he served as a visiting Fulbright professor at the University of Warwick, England. He received the Tinbergen Chair at the Erasmus University of Rotterdam in 1984; was a visiting scholar at Oxford University, England, in 1985-86; and a senior Fulbright scholar at the University of Essex, England in 1985-86. He also served as a guest lecturer in Russia, Japan, Britain, Netherlands, Germany, Italy, France, Canada, Belgium, Switzerland, Norway, Mexico and elsewhere.
At UC Davis, Forbes developed a graduate seminar in the 1980s entitled “Native American Ethnohistory,” which still exists today, and advocated for another seminar, “Basic Concepts in Native American Studies,” first taught in 1994. He also began the creation of a graduate program in Native American studies, which became a reality in 1999.
Thanks in large part to Forbes' leadership and collaboration with other faculty members, Native American studies became an academic department in 1993, just one year before Forbes retired. It was then one of only a few such departments at major universities nationwide, with faculty members focusing on Mayan civilization, ethno-history of indigenous peoples in Middle and South America, and native higher education, art and literature.
At the time the Native America studies program became a department, Forbes wrote that the faculty had "pioneered the hemispheric approach to studying indigenous people, believing much of the culture has a common thread and that existing nation-state boundaries cut across native nationalities.”
Following his retirement, Forbes served on committees of Native American graduate students at UC Davis, UC Berkeley and other universities. Colleagues recall that students held Forbes in high regard for his rich ideas and guidance. He taught as recently as winter quarter 2009, when he was the instructor for a Native American studies graduate seminar on “termination policies” and their impact upon Native American populations.
“Jack Forbes nominally retired in 1994, but he continued to be a very productive scholar and teacher, teaching a freshman seminar and a graduate seminar last winter,” said Jessie Ann Owens, dean of UC Davis’ Division of Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studies.
“He was generous in advising me about the importance of Native American studies and about its history at UC Davis,” Owens said. “A time I will always remember was the chance to walk with him — just the two of us — in the newly completed Native American Contemplative Garden in the UC Davis Arboretum.”
Inés Hernández-Avila, current chair of the UC Davis Department of Native American Studies, noted: “Jack was a man of magnificent vision, with a poet’s heart. He devoted his life’s work, passionately, brilliantly, as a true great spirit, with all the power of his words and actions, to finding indigenous peoples, recognizing them, and celebrating their faces and hearts in all their colors.”
Forbes is survived by his wife Carolyn, son Kenneth Forbes, daughter Nancy O’Hearn, son-in-law Bill O’Hearn and grandson Jack O’Hearn.
“We will miss Jack,” Crum wrote. “We respect him for his courage, humor, intelligence and humanity. He will always remain in our hearts.”
Flowers and cards may be sent to Wiscombe Funeral Home, 116 D St., Davis CA 95616. Donations to the Jack D. Forbes Memorial Fund in Native American Studies may be sent to Native American Studies, UC Davis, One Shields Ave., Davis CA 95616, made payable to the UC Regents.
More information about the fund may be obtained by calling (530) 754-9497.
Media contact(s):
Pat Bailey, UC Davis News Service, (530) 752-9843,

VIDEO: Long Walk 3 for diabetes Pendleton, Oregon

Christina Akaquiqui begins the video, the photographer who provided Censored News with so many beautiful photos of Long Walk 3 northern route. Thank you.
(Wed., March 2, 2011) The northern route is in Lapwai, Idaho, and will leave the base camp there in the direction of Missoula, Montana, in a day or two.
IDAHO: Update from Long Walk 3 northern route: (Tuesday night, March 1, 2011) from coordinator Chris Francisco, Navajo from Shiprock, N.M.
"Today we ran from Pomeroy to Clearwater Casino. Tomorrow we will be walking with the Nez Perce tribe into Lapwai. Come out and join us. We are still at Clearwater Casino for another nite room 208. Have a good evening people, thanks for supporting us. We need you."
Clearwater River Casino-Hotel, Lewiston, ID, phone: 208-746-0723, room 208
Thanks to all the runners, walkers, supporters, photographers and videomakers from Censored News!

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