August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Protect Glen Cove Day 14

Protect Glen Cove Day 14 Update

Two weeks have passed now since the sacred fire was lit at Sogorea Te.

Knutte, an elder of Saami descent who has been standing with us since Day 1, would like to share a message with our readers. He wants it known just how many different indigenous and earth-worshiping peoples from all over the world have visited our spiritual gathering over these past two weeks, offering their prayers and solidarity. Indigenous peoples everywhere can recognize the pain of desecration, and the disrespect of being “unrecognized” by the government. Read more ...

Uranium, Coal, Water and Sacred Sites in the Southwest

Uranium, Coal, Water and Sacred Sites in the Southwest

Thursday, April 28 · 5:30pm - 7:30pm

Location Labriola Center in Hayden Library, ASU Tempe Campus, Arizona

Please join us for a panel discussion on the shifting policies of domestic energy production and the detrimental effects it has on indigenous communities in the southwestern United States.
Community leaders Manny Pino (Acoma), Dr. David Martinez (Akimel O'odham), Dr. James Riding In (Pawnee) and Hertha Woody (Dine') will discuss the human and environmental costs of coal and uranium production, water settlement issues, and how indigenous perspectives of sacred sites affects our viewpoints of and relationships to all the above.
Manny Pino, Acoma Pueblo, is a professor of sociology and American Indian Studies at Scottsdale Community College. He possesses extensive knowledge about uranium mining's impact on Indigenous issues.
Hertha Woody is of the Diné (Navajo) Nation. She grew up on the Navajo reservation in Shiprock NM. Hertha earned her BS and a Masters in Secondary Education at NAU. She worked two years with the Native American Cancer Research Program at NAU as an undergraduate researcher studying the effects of how uranium interacts with DNA to cause mutations that may lead to cancer. Currently, Hertha is the uranium campaign coordinator at Grand Canyon Trust. She has been working closely with several tribes (Havasupai, Hualapai, Navajo, Hopi and Kaibab Paiute) in the northern Arizona region to promote awareness about uranium mining at the Grand Canyon.
Dr. James Riding In is a citizen of the Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma and an associate professor of American Indian Studies at Arizona State University. He received a Master’s in American Indian Studies and a Ph.D. in History from the University of California, Los Angeles. He has played a prominent role in the development of American Indian Studies at Arizona State University and he is the editor of Wicazo Sa Review: A Journal of Native American Studies. His research about repatriation, as well as historical and contemporary Indian issues has appeared in various books and scholarly journals.
Dr. David Martinez, Akimel O'odham, is a professor of American Indian Studies at Arizona State University, as well as the author of "Dakota Philosopher: Charles Eastman and American Indian Thought." He is knowledgeable in Indigenous spirituality and relationship to land.
The Council Advocating an Indigenous Manifesto (CAIM) is dedicated to increasing Indigenous peoples' knowledge of colonization and decolonization. Through actions oriented through decolonization, Indigenous peoples will become the primary protectors of the integrity of their communities.

IMPACT: Ofelia Rivas on Borders at University of Massachusetts

By The Border Crossed Us
Art Installation at the University of Massachusetts

UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS -- In conjunction with the Native Studies program. With guests Ofelia Rivas (Tohono O’odham), Solomon “Rocky” Bear (Maliseet), Curtis Lazore (Mohawk), and moderator Ramona Peters (Director, Cultural Survival Board, Cambridge MA). The panelists discussed their experiences of living on both sides of the “imaginary” borders of US-Canada and US-Mexico, being repeatedly asked to declare their citizenship, and the ways in which they subvert the border, initiate educational sessions with border patrol staff and assert their identities as original peoples of the land.

The sound alternates between a blessing sung by Ofelia Rivas of the Tohono O’odham and helicopter field recordings and construction sounds from the border. The sound comes from a large vent in the ground.

Native American Youth Media Workshop June 2011

Native Youth Media Workshop June 2011
By Censored News and Earthcycles
Earthcycles and Censored News are planning a Native Youth Media Workshop for June 2011. Native youths are invited to learn about broadcasting live, with audio and video, on the Internet. Native youths will also learn about circulating their news on the Internet, by way of digital cameras and blogging.
Govinda, producer of Earthcycles, and Brenda Norrell, publisher of Censored News, are creating a sharing workshop to inspire Native Youths to broadcast, and publicize, their own voices. Native Youths will learn of tools to share their news, news from their communities and their global concerns, ranging from local concerns such as protecting sacred places and water rights, to protecting Mother Earth and international human rights.
Sponsors are sought for expenses for Lakota, Mohawk, O'odham, Navajo and other Native American youths who want to attend and to cover the cost of the workshop. If sponsors are located, we could have more than one workshop in the west this summer.
Navajo Louise Benally has already volunteered to cook. Louise, longtime resister of forced relocation, is a voice for sustainable agriculture and sustainable communities.
Thanks! For more information: or

Earthcycles and Censored News have broadcast live from the Americas. From the climate summit in Cochabamba, Bolivia, in 2010, to the Indigenous Peoples Border Summits in San Xavier on the Tohono O'odham Nation in 2006 and 2007. Broadcasting live audio, and now video, the voices of Native people were broadcast from Navajo and Western Shoshone lands to the Dakotas.
In 2008, Earthcycles and Censored News broadcast live on the five month Longest Walk 2 northern route, followed by live broadcasts in 2009 to halt uranium mining in the lands of the Havasupai and Pueblos. The AIM West gatherings in San Francisco and the Detroit Social Forum were among the broadcasts.
Most recently, Govinda has helped set up a new radio station on the Crow Nation in April! Censored News, now in its fifth year with readers in 195 countries, was able to locate sponsors for five Native Americans to attend the climate summits in Cochabama, Bolivia, and Cancun, Mexico, in 2010.

Earthcycles and Censored News have no advertising and continue this work as a labor of love. and
Photo: Govinda on the Earthcycles bus at the end of the Longest Walk 2 nothern route 2008. Earthcycles and Censored News broadcast live for five months. Photo by Lenny Foster, Navajo.

Black Hills Sioux Nation Treaty Council Meeting April 28-29, 2011

Black Hills Sioux Nation Treaty Council
By Alex White Plume
Censored News

The Black Hills Sioux Nation Treaty Council meeting is April 28 -- 29 at the Billy Mills Hall in Pine Ridge, South Dakota. Many bands are coming together. It is the 143rd Anniversary of the Ft. Laramie Treaty of 1868 and we will hold an honoring. We held a meeting in January, with a quorum. The elders have many questions that will be answered.
Challenging the Doctrine of Discovery: Owe Aku International Justice Report on Phoenix meeting, March 2011:
Owe Aku: Indigenous Caucus Gathering California 2011:
Owe Aku statement and resolutions meeting January 2011:

Japan's Radioactive Nightmare Hits Home for Navajos

Japan's Radioactive Nightmare Hits Home for Navajos

By Groundswell Films
Censored News

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- As Japan struggles to contain radioactive contamination, Groundswell is reminding Americans that over a thousand abandoned Cold War-era uranium mines still contaminate the American Southwest. The US Department of Energy will feature The Return of Navajo Boy project as a case study in film, media, public engagement and measurable impacts at its State of Environmental Justice Conference on April 28th and 29th in Washington, DC. This month, the US Environmental Protection Agency began clean up at Skyline Mine, the site featured in the documentary.

Since 2000, when the film's cautionary tale stunned Sundance Film Festival audiences, Groundswell Educational Films has brought it and Navajo activists across the country to advocate for a clean up of radioactive waste in the Navajo Nation. The filmmaker, Jeff Spitz, and Navajo participants triggered a federal investigation into uranium houses.  Many Navajos, including the grandmother in the film, Elsie Mae Begay, built their homes with uranium rocks from the abandoned mines.  The US government failed to warn Navajos about the dangers of radioactive waste.

Decades after ceasing operations, the radiation from more than 1,000 abandoned uranium mines continues to impact homes, livestock, land, and water across the 27,000 square mile reservation. The Navajo Nation is home to approximately 200,000 people. It holds the largest uranium deposits in the United States and suffers from the highest cancer rates in the Southwest region.

Partially as a response to the Groundswell advocacy campaign, the US Environmental Protection Agency has now begun to clean up the area around the abandoned Skyline Mine, including Elsie Mae Begay's yard spotlighted in the documentary. This month tractors and heavy equipment rolled into Elsie's yard eleven years after the film's debut.

"Americans have been rightfully horrified by the unfolding nuclear disaster in Japan. But we forget that there is highly dangerous radioactive waste poisoning communities right here in America," said Groundswell co-founder Jeff Spitz, who directed the film. "This clean up of the Skyline Mine and Elsie Begay's yard offers a ray of hope to other families living in remote areas hoping for the same attention.  We show how to get it."

Groundswell's unique model of film and public awareness campaign empowers Navajos to get attention by equipping them with Flip video cameras, multi-media tools, and opportunities to speak at film events, conferences, on campuses, and in the media nationwide.  Navajos upload footage and Groundswell edits short videos that allow thousands of followers to stay engaged in the story unfolding online at

"Using our own video cameras to document what we are struggling with every day gives us hope that the world has not forgotten about us. It gives us a voice," said Mary Helen Begay, Elsie's daughter in law and creator of two recent webisodes.  "Our hearts go out to the people of Japan. We hope that they won't have to live with radioactive waste as we have for more than 50 years now."

 About Groundswell: Groundswell Educational Films is a nonprofit organization with a mission to collaborate cross-culturally in all facets of documentary filmmaking, transfer media skills into disadvantaged communities, and partner with stakeholders to leverage changes that address the social justice issues raised in our films.
Groundswell Educational Films, NFP
100 N. LaSalle St, Suite 300
Chicago, IL 60602

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