August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Obama Hypocrisy: Back-handed slap for Lacrosse

The Obama Hypocrisy: Back-handed slap for Lacrosse

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News
Photo: John Kane

First Lady Michelle Obama’s use of Lacrosse for publicity at the White House was an act of hypocrisy by the Obama Administration, says Mohawk radio host John Kane.

The Washington Post carried an article on the demonstration of Lacrosse in the First Lady’s Let’s Move campaign, which comes one year after the Obama Administration refused to honor the passports of the Huadenosaunee, who created Lacrosse.
Kane said, "This would be the same White House that refused to recognize the Haudenosaunee Passports and kept the Iroquois Nationals from competing at the World Cup Games in Manchester, England last year.

“There is a huge difference between irony and hypocrisy,” said Kane, host of Let’s Talk Native Pride.

In the Washington Post, Mike Wise wrote about the Iroquois Nationals Lacrosse Team.

Wise said it was almost a year ago to the day when the team was forbidden from competing in the world championships in Manchester, England, because its members’ sovereign-nation passports were not honored.

Kane points out that it wasn’t a court that halted the Lacrosse team from traveling on their Haudenosaunee passports to compete in England, it was the Obama Administration.

Kane said, “This is the White House that refuses to recognize the Haudenosaunee Passports. It wasn’t a court or a state, and it wasn’t England, that kept them from going to Manchester last year. It was this administration that failed them.”

In a related story in the news, a Mohawk official is outraged that Canadian border guards called her Haudenosaunee passport a “fantasy document.”

The National Post reported: “Joyce King, director of the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne’s Justice Department, said she was traveling from New York State into Canada on June 18 when border officials refused to recognize her passport issued by the Iroquois Confederacy. The document made headlines last summer when a 47-person delegation of Iroquois athletes from Canada and the United States were turned away from their U.K.-bound flight.

“They called it a ‘fantasy document,’ but that’s my identity,” she said from her office on the Akwesasne reserve, the Canadian part of a Mohawk community that straddles the Ontario, Quebec and New York state borders. “If it’s a fantasy document, does that make me a fantasy person living in a fantasy country?”

Kane said identification cards produced by colonizers are not an option, including the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative ID for border crossers.

“If the Haudenosaunee go along with its production of the WHTI compliant IDs, they will have caved in. These 'hi tech' cards are U.S. Identification cards that we get to pay for and put our 'Indian' logos on. They require a scannable strip (for their purposes), an expiration date (for their purposes), hi tech photos specifically designed for facial recognition computer programs (for their purpose), an RFID chip for remote detection and scanning of the card (for their purpose) and a declaration of citizenship (U.S. or Canada).”

Lacrosse celebrates its Native American origins during visit to the White House

Ottawa in ‘explosive’ situation over rejected Iroquois passport

Let's Talk Native Pride

Justice for Oklahoma Women Rally, July 16, 2011

Justice for Oklahoma Women Rally set for Saturday July 16, 9 am, at the State Capitol South Plaza
By Brenda Golden
Censored News
OKLAHOMA CITY -- The Society to Preserve Indigenous Rights and Indigenous Treaties (S.P.I.R.I.T) is hosting a rally at the State Capitol to bring awareness to the need for action concerning the high incarceration rate of Oklahoma women.
Members of S.P.I.R.I.T. became incensed upon learning of the harsh and unjust sentencing of Patricia Spottedcrow, a young American Indian female who is the mother of four young children. Spottedcrow was sentenced to 10 years in prison for selling $31 worth of marijuana to an undercover police officer.
Ms. Spottedcrow’s case is indicative of the statewide injustice system that prefers to lock up our mothers, daughters, aunts, and sisters for mere infractions of the law. Over the last few years there have been conferences, task forces, forums and studies on the subject of why Oklahoma has the highest incarceration rate for women in the nation. Yet no changes have occurred to combat the root cause of this problem.
The “Justice for Oklahoma Women” Rally is to call all concerned citizens together for demanding action to keep our women home with their families where they belong. Philip Deere, noted Muscogee (Creek) elder and statesmen said, “Women are the backbone of our nation.” This S.P.I.R.I.T holds as truth.
Beginning at 9 am at the State Capitol, South Plaza, the Rally will feature State Senator Andrew Rice, Attorney for Spotted Crow, Josh Welch, and award winning poet Lauren Zuniga among other performers, musicians, and speakers. Senator Rice will speak on the issue of “smart on crime” policies going on at the Capitol. While Josh Welch will inform everyone of how unjust the sentencing of Patricia Spottedcrow is a small symptom of the larger issue. S.P.I.R.I.T. hopes that everyone who is concerned about the incarceration of Oklahoma women will stand together at the State Capitol on Saturday, July 16th to send a statement to the Judicial System, District Attorneys and Legislators. Stop the madness!
To date S.P.I.R.I.T has hosted a benefit concert at Istvan Gallery called “Singing for SpottedCrow” on July 10th that raised $245 for the Spottedcrow legal defense fund. The group is also sponsoring an online auction of donated art items such as signed prints by Dana Tiger and photos of Flaming Lips lead singer, Wayne Coyne, for the Spottedcrow legal defense fund.
S.P.I.R.I.T. is a grass roots movement that formed around the Oklahoma Centennial Counter Celebration in 2007. Their main platforms are to teach the truth in Oklahoma schools, end the land run re-enactments in public schools, stop the 89er day celebrations, and the removal of Indian type mascots in public schools. They can be found on facebook at S.P.I.R.I.T. has sponsored numerous rallies in the past for the purpose of educating the public and increase awareness on indigenous issues.
For more information about the “Justice for Oklahoma Women” Rally, contact Brenda Golden at 405-949-0893. She is a member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, is currently attending Oklahoma City University School of Law and holds an MBA and a BBA both from the University of Oklahoma.

Press Release for Immediate Release
July 16, 2011 – Oklahoma City, OK, State Capitol
“Justice for Oklahoma Women” Rally – 9:00 AM
Starting at 9 am tomorrow morning, Saturday July 16th, there will be a rally at the Oklahoma State Capitol, to bring attention to the outrageous over prosecution and incarceration of Oklahoma women. In attendance will be members of various Native American organizations, and other Non Indian groups and organizations, along with speakers representing Oklahoma State Government.

Featured speakers will be Oklahoma State Senator Andrew Rice, along with attorney Josh Welch, the legal representative of Patricia SpottedCrow a young American Indian female who is the mother of four young children that was sentenced to 10 years in prison for selling $31 worth of marijuana. There will also be various segments of communities in Oklahoma in attendance as well as other speakers and musicians.
9:00 AM - Call for Justice
9:15 AM - Welcome from members of SPIRIT
9:30 AM – State Senator Andrew Rice
9:45 AM – Music by Brent Blount
10:00 AM – Josh Welch, Attorney at Law
10:15 AM – Music by Kallo Hill
10:30 AM – Lauren Zuniga, Poet Laureate
10:45 AM – Demand for Justice
Dr. Susan Sharpe of the University of Oklahoma issued a statement in honor of this event that says, “Not only do we incarcerate women at an outrageous rate, but we fail to allocate money to help them deal with the traumas in their past that have led to their drug use, the most common reason for incarceration. It is past time for us to become smart on crime and work towards strengthening families and communities rather than destroying them.”
It is time for Oklahoma to take notice. It is time for Oklahoma to take action. It is time for Oklahoma to change.
For more information about the “Justice for Oklahoma Women” Rally, contact Brenda Golden at 405-949-0893 or Kathryn Hatcher at 405-830-0626.  

San Francisco Peaks 'Operation: Become the Media'

Operation: Become the Media

SAN FRANCISCO PEAKS -- Hello all you hard working supporters of sacred sites. We are quickly moving towards the critical mass of people prepared to move this to a full fledged sit-in. Eleven basecamps set and at least 15 more who have announced they have started travel, and growing. The CookShack affinity group has made a public call for joiners, and will be taking a public role. Here are the problems we are running into, especially here in Flagstaff. The destruction is not real or everyone is in some stage of denial. Petitions will not save us. The superhuman lawyer Howard Shanker has been neutralized. The coalition court case is now the perfect smokescreen for the Destruction. People sit thinking that a legal decision some time in September will stop destruction ALREADY HAPPENING. So join Operation: Become the Media today:1. Go to the peaks immediately and start filming the destruction. Post it on YouTube, Vimeo, and Facebook.
2. Everyone post the links for other to spread the word. Tweet them with #nopoopsnow on #sacredsites
3. Spread the word on Facebook by tagging your friends. This link will take you to Facebook Event with a note to help you get started tagging right away.
4. Become the media. Don't wait for Randy Wilson to mangle the story. Write the story. Give it to your friends. Who are they going to believe? You and your eyewitness reports or a half-spun version in a newspaper funded partly with Snowbowl money?
5. Help people snap out of it. I know, Tsunamis, Earthquakes, 20% house foreclosure rate, nearly 25% of the country out of work, massive fires from a century of forest abuse, war in the east, war in the west, etc. Yep It's all connected. But it feels really good right now to know that there is one place we can take a stand. We can make a difference. And it is right here, It's the Peaks. It's a start!
6. Spread the word! Petitions were used as toilet paper. Letters were thrown away. The lawsuits have become a smokescreen for the greedy to do their destruction. The destruction is real and it is time to interrupt our normally scheduled lives and converge on the peaks!
Grab your camera, grab a friend, go right up on your public lands and film it and let the world know! It's up to you now. Do not go alone, and if Arizona Snowbowl harasses you, call the police on them. You have the right to be there, it is your land! And film that too.

From the Cook Shack:Join the resistance and convergence on the Peaks!
Dear friends, family, neighbors, and allies,
The time is now! We are the people we've been hoping for! Join us in support of protecting the Holy San Francisco Peaks from further desecration and destruction.
A group of us, calling ourselves the Cook Shack, are starting a base camp in support of the current encampment and convergence on the Holy San Francisco Peaks on Friday, July 15th. We are an affinity based group who believe that the destruction and desecration must end now for the physical, emotional, and spiritual dignity, health and well-being of all people in the present and in future generations.
CookShack goals are very simple:
To be visibly and actively in resistance to corporate greed, state violence, environmental destruction, and spiritual desecration.
To not allow ourselves or others to look away - To bare witness to the atrocities being committed against the environment, indigenous people and community health, as well as bare witness to the resilience and power of the people!
To support other encampments and affinity groups by providing access to available food, gear, first aid, information and other supplies being offered and dropped off by supporters and community members. We will be transporting donations from drop places in Flagstaff to the CookShack base camp. 
To answer the calls to action to STOP CONSTRUCTION AND DESECRATION and to stand with people past and present fighting to protect the peaks and all sacred places.
Join us for a few hours, a day, a week or a month: If you find yourself in affinity with us and would like to join us or support us and other base camps, please stop by Taala Hooghan Infoshop (1704 N. 2nd St. East Flagstaff AZ 86004) or e-mail us at to drop off supplies and/or get more info. Connect with us before Friday morning and go with us to the mountain to set-up camp!!!  
We remind folks that this is a drug/alcohol/hater free encampment, and we support a diversity of tactics and strategies. Please come as self sufficient as possible.
We encourage everyone to answer the calls to action and start their own affinity groups and their own base camps!!! Please visit for the latest info.  
We need the following... please remember we're camping when making your donations!
To be able to survive:
- non-perishable foods (canned and dry foods are great!)
- lots of potable water in reusable/refillable containers
(Please DO NOT bring small plastic bottles)
To be able to camp:-tents
-sleeping bags
-rain gear
-ammo cans with securely fitting lids
-camp chairs
-flash lights
To be able to cook:-big pots
-propane stoves
-propane tanks
-disinfecting cleaning supplies (please nothing including triclosan)
-coffee pots
-tubs to wash dishes and other dish washing supplies
To be able to document and communicate:-still and video cameras
-People with stills and video cameras
-solar charging stations

To be able to support each other:
-First Aid supplies
-Medics with Skills
-support vehicle on the mountain
-support vehicles on call who can transport supplies and people
-banners to be visible!!!!

If you think of something else that isn't on this list that we or other base camps might need, please don't hesitate to donate.

We thank you for all your love, support and spirit!

The CookShack Base Camp!

E-mail us -
Follow us on Twitter - @ptpcookshack
Friend us on Facebook - Peaks CookShack

Justice for Palestine: Indigenous and Women of Color

Justice for Palestine: Indigenous and Women of Color
Censored News

Indigenous and Women of Color activists stand in solidarity with the Palestinian resistance movement
Between June 14 and June 23, 2011, a delegation of 11 scholars, activists, and artists visited occupied Palestine. As indigenous and women of color feminists involved in multiple social justice struggles, we sought to affirm our association with the growing international movement for a free Palestine. We wanted to see for ourselves the conditions under which Palestinian people live and struggle against what we can now confidently name as the Israeli project of apartheid and ethnic cleansing. Each and every one of us—including those members of our delegation who grew up in the Jim Crow South, in apartheid South Africa, and on Indian reservations in the U.S.—was shocked by what we saw. In this statement we describe some of our experiences and issue an urgent call to others who share our commitment to racial justice, equality, and freedom.
During our short stay in Palestine, we met with academics, students, youth, leaders of civic organizations, elected officials, trade unionists, political leaders, artists, and civil society activists, as well as residents of refugee camps and villages that have been recently attacked by Israeli soldiers and settlers. Everyone we encountered—in Nablus, Awarta, Balata, Jerusalem, Hebron, Dheisheh, Bethlehem, Birzeit, Ramallah, Um el-Fahem, and Haifa—asked us to tell the truth about life under occupation and about their unwavering commitment to a free Palestine. We were deeply impressed by people’s insistence on the linkages between the movement for a free Palestine and struggles for justice throughout the world; as Martin Luther King, Jr. insisted throughout his life, “Justice is indivisible. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
Traveling by bus throughout the country, we saw vast numbers of Israeli settlements ominously perched in the hills, bearing witness to the systematic confiscation of Palestinian land in flagrant violation of international law and United Nations resolutions. We met with refugees across the country whose families had been evicted from their homes by Zionist forces, their land confiscated, their villages and olive groves razed. As a consequence of this ongoing displacement, Palestinians comprise the largest refugee population in the world (over five million), the majority living within 100 kilometers of their natal homes, villages, and farmlands. In defiance of United Nations Resolution 194, Israel has an active policy of opposing the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their ancestral homes and lands on the grounds that they are not entitled to exercise the Israeli Law of Return, which is reserved for Jews.
In Sheikh Jarrah, a neighborhood in eastern occupied Jerusalem, we met an 88-year-old woman who was forcibly evicted in the middle of the night; she watched as the Israeli military moved settlers into her house a mere two hours later. Now living in the small back rooms of what was once her large family residence, she defiantly asserted that neither Israel’s courts nor its military could ever force her from her home. In the city of Hebron, we were stunned by the conspicuous presence of Israeli soldiers, who maintain veritable conditions of apartheid for the city’s Palestinian population of almost 200,000, as against its 700 Jewish settlers. We crossed several Israeli checkpoints designed to control Palestinian movement on West Bank roads and along the Green Line. Throughout our stay, we met Palestinians who, because of Israel’s annexation of Jerusalem and plans to remove its native population, have been denied entry to the Holy City. We spoke to a man who lives ten minutes away from Jerusalem but who has not been able to enter the city for twenty-seven years. The Israeli government thus continues to wage a demographic war for Jewish dominance over the Palestinian population.
We were never able to escape the jarring sight of the ubiquitous apartheid wall, which stands in contempt of international law and human rights principles. Constructed of twenty-five-foot-high concrete slabs, electrified cyclone fencing, and winding razor wire, it almost completely encloses the West Bank and extends well east of the Green Line marking Israel’s pre-1967 borders. It snakes its way through ancient olive groves, destroying the beauty of the landscape, dividing communities and families, severing farmers from their fields and depriving them of their livelihood. In Abu Dis, the wall cuts across the campus of Al Quds University through the soccer field. In Qalqiliya, we saw massive gates built to control the entry and access of Palestinians to their lands and homes, including a gated corridor through which Palestinians with increasingly rare Israeli-issued permits are processed as they enter Israel for work, sustaining the very state that has displaced them. Palestinian children are forced through similar corridors, lining-up for hours twice each day to attend school. As one Palestinian colleague put it, “Occupied Palestine is the largest prison in the world.”
An extensive prison system bolsters the occupation and suppresses resistance. Everywhere we went we met people who had either been imprisoned themselves or had relatives who had been incarcerated. Twenty thousand Palestinians are locked inside Israeli prisons, at least 8,000 of them are political prisoners and more than 300 are children. In Jerusalem, we met with members of the Palestinian Legislative Council who are being protected from arrest by the International Committee of the Red Cross. In Um el-Fahem, we met with an Islamist leader just after his release from prison and heard a riveting account of his experience on the Mavi Marmara and the 2010 Gaza Flotilla. The criminalization of their political activity, and that of the many Palestinians we met, was a constant and harrowing theme.
We also came to understand how overt repression is buttressed by deceptive representations of the state of Israel as the most developed social democracy in the region. As feminists, we deplore the Israeli practice of “pink-washing,” the state’s use of ostensible support for gender and sexual equality to dress-up its occupation. In Palestine, we consistently found evidence and analyses of a more substantive approach to an indivisible justice. We met the President and the leadership of the Arab Feminist Union and several other women’s groups in Nablus who spoke about the role and struggles of Palestinian women on several fronts. We visited one of the oldest women’s empowerment centers in Palestine, In’ash al-Usra, and learned about various income-generating cultural projects. We also spoke with Palestinian Queers for BDS [Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions], young organizers who frame the struggle for gender and sexual justice as part and parcel of a comprehensive framework for self-determination and liberation. Feminist colleagues at Birzeit University, An-Najah University, and Mada al-Carmel spoke to us about the organic linkage of anti-colonial resistance with gender and sexual equality, as well as about the transformative role Palestinian institutions of higher education play in these struggles.
We were continually inspired by the deep and abiding spirit of resistance in the stories people told us, in the murals inside buildings such as Ibdaa Center in Dheisheh Refugee Camp, in slogans painted on the apartheid wall in Qalqiliya, Bethlehem, and Abu Dis, in the education of young children, and in the commitment to emancipatory knowledge production. At our meeting with the Boycott National Committee—an umbrella alliance of over 200 Palestinian civil society organizations, including the General Union of Palestinian Women, the General Union of Palestinian Workers, the Palestinian Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel [PACBI], and the Palestinian Network of NGOs—we were humbled by their appeal: “We are not asking you for heroic action or to form freedom brigades. We are simply asking you not to be complicit in perpetuating the crimes of the Israeli state.”
Therefore, we unequivocally endorse the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Campaign. The purpose of this campaign is to pressure Israeli state-sponsored institutions to adhere to international law, basic human rights, and democratic principles as a condition for just and equitable social relations. We reject the argument that to criticize the State of Israel is anti-Semitic. We stand with Palestinians, an increasing number of Jews, and other human rights activists all over the world in condemning the flagrant injustices of the Israeli occupation.
We call upon all of our academic and activist colleagues in the U.S. and elsewhere to join us by endorsing the BDS campaign and by working to end U.S. financial support, at $8.2 million daily, for the Israeli state and its occupation. We call upon all people of conscience to engage in serious dialogue about Palestine and to acknowledge connections between the Palestinian cause and other struggles for justice. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
Rabab Abdulhadi, San Francisco State University*
Ayoka Chenzira, artist and filmmaker, Atlanta, GA
Angela Y. Davis, University of California, Santa Cruz*
Gina Dent, University of California, Santa Cruz*
G. Melissa Garcia, Ph.D. Candidate, Yale University*
Anna Romina Guevarra, author and sociologist, Chicago, IL
Beverly Guy-Sheftall, author, Atlanta, GA
Premilla Nadasen, author, New York, NY
Barbara Ransby, author and historian, Chicago, IL
Chandra Talpade Mohanty, Syracuse University*
Waziyatawin, University of Victoria*
*For identification purposes only
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