August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Northern Paiute traditional gatherer fined by Nevada game warden

Paiute traditional tule gatherer fined by Nevada game warden
Statement by Wesley Dick, Northern Paiute
Censored News
NORTHERN PAIUTE STILLWATER INDIAN LAND, Nevada -- Northern Paiute Wesley Dick, known as “Kwassuh” by his people, was gathering tule in the ceremonial way when he was cited by a Nevada game warden and given fines of $800 in May.For the past 18 years Kwassuh, 45, has worked an average of 170 hides a year of deer, moose, elk, buffalo and antelope in the traditional style of brain-tanning. Many items are made for powwow dancers, including moccasins, fan handles and hair wraps. He also makes items for ceremonies such as various sized hand drums. No chemicals are used, only natural elements such as the sun, water, brains, fire and stretching the hide by hand. This direct hands-on experience keeps him in touch with the spirituality of the animal hide that he works with.
Hide work is not a hobby, it is a way of life.
Hunting and plant gathering are very sacred to Kwassuh and the tanning of the hide is the end result in giving an animal honor by using it for nutrition, clothing, tools and ceremonies. These traditional ways were taught to him by elders, friends and relatives who shared stories with him when he was a child, as well as many experiences from his youth into adulthood. Living on the Stillwater Indian Nation, Kwassuh has seen and experienced the loss of Native culture among his people and other tribal people at a drastically growing rate.
Demonstrations and workshops are the best way that he can reach many people at one time and he is always willing to teach whoever is willing to listen and learn. All ages have been successful and all the hard work and experience make it all worthwhile.
From start to finish, each hide is different and has its own individuality. Kwassuh has learned the dangers and extreme physical work that is needed in all seasonal conditions throughout the year. Full faith in the Creator has kept him safe and much thanks is given to the traditional people in his life that he has learned from.
On May 14, 2011, my son and I went to gather the tule plant in order to make some tule duck decoys for my youngest son’s elementary class demonstration. I was going to share the importance and use of what the Northern Paiute people did in the past and allow the class to realize and experience the importance of today’s usefulness of the tule plant. Also, to see and hear from a real “Toi-Ticutta” descendant (this means cattail eaters in the Northern Paiute language.)
At the end of gathering the tules on Saturday afternoon, we were confronted by a U.S. Fish and Game warden. When he asked, I let him know why I was out there. The officer ignored everything I said and proceeded to write his citations. I stated to the officer that there were no signs in sight indicating NO PLANT PICKING or DESIGNATED ROUTES ONLY. The officer still ignored what I said and proceeded with his citation writing.

I asked the officer if he acknowledged the American Indian Religious Freedom Act. The officer said "NO." I also asked the officer if he understood the Native culture, the officer said, "NO." I then let the officer know several times that a majority of the tules that I gathered were picked on the Stillwater Indian Nation and was still ignored.
I then advised the officer that he was interrupting the ceremonial tule plant gathering methods that were taught to me by my people. The end result was that the officer confiscated my bundle of tules -- which also included the bundles that was picked on Indian land. He then gave me two citations: “Take any animal or plant without authorization,” with a fine of $625.00 and “travel off a designated route,” with a fine of $175.00.
I have always known of this traditional area, by my grandmother and other elders, of a place where we can come and get what we need. Now I find that my aboriginal rights are being disregarded and this area has been taken over by non-Native people. Now, the tourists are more welcome. The non-Natives recognize my ancestors of the past. But now I face a punishment for doing as I was taught and am also being punished for traveling on my own aboriginal home territory.


The Marshes of Carson Sink
Home for the Numa People
Prehistoric and Historic Hunting, Fishing and Burial Grounds
Stillwater Marsh provided the Numa people with food, water and shelter in an otherwise desolate region. The Numa people caught fish, netted waterfowl, gathered seeds and buried their dead in the marsh. Cattails and bulrush supplied food and the raw material to build houses, duck decoys and boats. Ducks, coots and muskrats furnished meat and skins for clothing. In the uplands the Numa people gathered pinenuts and hunted bighorn sheep and rabbits. The furs from the rabbits were woven into blankets and capes. Stone for projectile points, knives, mortars and pestles was transported many miles from the mountains back to the marsh. Only Clues Remain
Archeological materials demonstrate that for thousands of years Stillwater Marsh was productive wildlife habitat. The ancient remains of houses, fire hearths and food and tool storage pits indicate that, for much of the year, the Numa people relied heavily on the bounty of the marsh. Archeologists have discovered offerings with human burials, suggesting that the people held a special reverence for the land and its wild animals. Help preserve our cultural heritage. Laws protect archeological sites and artifacts from illegal collection, excavation and vandalism.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior and the Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribes are currently working to unfold the mysteries of the past.


Copyright Censored News. To request permission to repost, please contact publisher Brenda Norrell


Columbus, Ohio Police Target Native Americans

Columbus, Ohio, area police target Native
American Long Walkers for the second time

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News
Photo 1: Long Walker stopped and searched on Friday. Photo by walkers. Photo 2: Luv arrested in 2008 by city, photo by Marie Littlemoon.

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Native American Long Walkers have once again been targeted, searched and harassed by police near Columbus, Ohio -- just as they were in 2008 when Native American Long Walkers were attacked by police in the City of Columbus.
"Columbus is alive in the City of Columbus," said the Western Shoshone driver of the vehicle that was targeted on Friday.
The two Native Americans had just walked across America, on the five-month Long Walk 3 for the Reversal of Diabetes, which departed Oregon in February. These two walkers crossed America in a spirit of prayer for American Indians, and humanity. Their names are not being given at this time in order to keep them safe on their journey.
On Friday, the passenger in the vehicle, a Native American from Warm Springs, Oregon, described what happened, by way of cellphone, to Censored News.
They were heading home from Washington, D.C., in the flow of traffic, traveling fifteen miles outside of Columbus, in the direction of Dayton. Ohio state troopers singled out their vehicle in the flow of traffic on the highway.
Ohio state troopers brought in a police dog to search their vehicle for drugs. After the dog scratched the vehicle, and found no drugs, police continued searching for drugs. The vehicle was searched three times, with police tearing out components in the door.
The two Native American men were separated and interrogated. They were questioned extensively about the sage in their vehicle, a wild plant in the west which is burned during ceremonies.
"They kept asking us about our sage, if we were smoking it," said the Long Walker from Warm Springs, pointing out that the police were unaware of how sage is burned during Native American prayers.
The driver was cited for speeding and paid the speeding ticket of $151.

As the Long Walkers walked into Washington, D.C. this week, their group was also stopped and harassed by police in Frederick, Maryland. They rerouted their walk and arrived at the US Capitol, where two of the walkers met with US Senators from their home states of Nevada and Oregon on Wednesday and Thursday.
This is the second time that Native American Long Walkers crossing America were targeted by Columbus, Ohio, area police. After an unwarranted physical attack by police in 2008, the City of Columbus apologized.
Unprovoked Columbus, Ohio, police attacked Long Walkers, by first pointing a taser at the head of Michael Lane and then forcing Luv the Mezenger to the ground and handcuffing him.
The Long Walk was walking this prayer through Columbus on Monday, June 2, 2008, when police squad cars and arrest wagons arrived. Without discussion of the purpose of the prayer walk, or verifying that the Ohio Department of Transportation had been notified of the prayer walk, city police attacked the walkers.
Michael Lane, who arrived on the walk with his wife, Sharon Heta, Maori, and their children from New Zealand, was targeted by police with a taser.
As dozens of police came at the walkers, a police officer pointed a taser at Lane's head.
Luv the Mezenger from Los Angeles went to the aid of Lane. At that point, police officers threw Luv on the ground and handcuffed him. Luv has been on the walk since it left California in February, walking on snowshoes over a stretch of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
Lane, who has a law degree from the Arizona State University, said the worst part of being targeted by a police officer with a taser was that it terrified his three daughters who only knew that a gun was being pointed at their father’s head.
Luv suffered minor injuries from the police attack. Police placed Luv under arrest and in the paddy wagon before releasing him.
Watch the video of the dramatic police attack, which airs the cries of the Native American children. Video by Long Walker Marie Littlemoon:
Traveling with the Long Walkers in 2008, were Earthcycles producer Govinda and Censored News publisher Brenda Norrell, cohosts of the five-month Long Walk Talk Radio in 2008. The attack was documented in audio interviews (below.)
Govinda said on the live radio show, “They came to arrest the walkers with paddy wagons without even having a discussion as to what the walk is about, or the fact that the Ohio Department of Transportation has already been contacted.”
The harassment by Ohio police continued, on Tuesday, June 3, 2008, when police ordered Longest Walk drummers off an area at the Ohio State Capitol. However, the Long Walkers continued with their press conference and aired statements on their loud speaker at the capitol.
It was four months after the prayer walk began on Alcatraz, on Feb. 11, 2008.
Prior to June 2, there had been no attacks on the walkers in 2008. In fact, the majority of the governors in the states that the northern route of walkers walked through issued proclamations of support for the Longest Walk 2.
The Longest Walk 2 for Mother Earth and protection of sacred places was carried out thirty years after the original 1978 Longest Walk, a prayer walk for Indian rights and the recognition of the inherent sovereignty of Indian people and Indian Nations.
The ACLU, in its report on Arizona's Racial Profiling, "Driving While Black or Brown," has documented that Native Americans in Arizona stopped by police are three times more likely to be searched by police than non-Indians.
Listen to the interviews about the prayer walkers attacked by Ohio police:
Earthcycles: Listen to interviews on Ohio police attack on Long Walkershttp://www.2008-06-04_luvthemezzenger.mp3/
audio two:
audo three:
audio four:
Copyright Censored News. Articles and photos may not be reposted without permission. For permission to reprint, please contact publisher Brenda Norrell at Censored News:

US Boat to Gaza Seized by Greek Authorities, Captain Jailed

U.S. Boat to Gaza Seized by Greek Authorities and Captain Jailed
Passengers Determined to Free Captain and Set Sail Again

By US to Gaza
published at Censored News
ATHENS --After a two-hour stand off at sea, the U.S. Boat to Gaza, The Audacity of Hope, was seized by the Greek Coast Guard and forced to return to the port of Piraeus under military escort. The boat's captain has been put in jail, charged with disturbing sea traffic -- which includes endangering the lives of those on the ships -- and disobeying a police order to remain at dock. The crew is being detained on the boat, which is being held at a military dock just outside Athens. Most of the 36 passengers remain on the ship in solidarity with the captain and crew.

Ann Wright, retired U.S. Army Colonel, responded strongly to the arrest of the American captain of the U.S. Boat to Gaza. "I think it's outrageous what the Greek government is doing to our captain who was taking a group of Americans to challenge the illegal Israeli blockade. We call on the Greek government to release our Captain and dismiss all charges."

Yonatan Shapira, a crew member on The Audacity of Hope and former Israeli Air Force captain, said the captain of the U.S. Boat should be praised, not condemned for his actions. "The captain acted out of concern for the safety of the passengers and boat by taking us away from the Greek port where other flotilla boats are being sabotaged," Shapira said.

After five days of stalling, the Greek authorities produced the results of the inspection of the boat, which took place on Monday, June 27. The Greek government inspected the boat on the basis of an anonymous complaint alleging that the boat is not seaworthy. The anonymous complaint later turned out to have been filed by the Israel Law Center. The list of infractions cited on the inspection report included such things as technical details regarding the construction material of the hull and the fact that the private inspection report emailed to the authorities was unsigned. "None of these alleged infractions are actually regulations that boats are required to meet," said group's Greek lawyer Emmanuel Stephanakis. "It's obvious that these are politically motivated, baseless charges calculated to stop the U.S. Boat to Gaza from sailing."

"This shameful chapter in Greek history is symbolized by Prime Minister Netanyahu thanking his Greek counterpart Prime MInister Papandreou for his cooperation in helping thwart the flotilla, and by the fully-armed and masked Greek commandos at sea, pointing their guns at unarmed American civilians singing "We are a gentle, loving people," says passenger Medea Benjamin.

The other boats in the flotilla that are docked in Greece have been denied permission to sail due to a variety of bureaucratic obstacles the Greek authorities have thrown in their way. Greece's Civil Protection Authority confirmed Saturday the ban on departures of ships "with Greek and foreign flags from Greek ports to the maritime area of Gaza" was in place until further notice. Two of the boats have had physical damage done to them as well. All vow to pressure the Greek government to grant them permission to sail, and have activated their international networks. In the United States, the phones at the Greek Embassy and Consulates were so busy that callers could not get through.

While deeply disappointed that they have not yet been able to sail to Gaza, the passengers feel they have been successful at exposing the ongoing plight of the people of Gaza and the inhumanity of the Israeli government. "The success of the flotilla is shown by the huge expenditure of financial and personnel resources by the Israeli government to counter 10 civilian, unarmed ships with 300 citizen activists who simply want to sail to Gaza out of concern for the people of Gaza," says jazz musician and passenger Richard Lopez.
For regular updates follow the US Boat to Gaza on Twitter: and visit the US Boat to Gaza website.
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Leonard Peltier Thrown in the Hole

Leonard Peltier Offense Defense Committee
Censored News

On June 27, Leonard Peltier was removed from the general population at USP-Lewisburg and thrown in the hole. Little else is known at this time. Due to his age and health status, please join us in demanding his immediate return to general population.
Thomas Kane, Acting Director
Federal Bureau of Prisons
Web Site:
Phone: (202) 307-3198
Fax: (202) 514-6620
Address: 320 1st Street, NW
Washington, DC 20534
Launched into cyberspace by the Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee, PO Box 7488, Fargo, ND 58106

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