August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Protect Peaks Golden, Colorado, Action, Aug. 25, 2011

Golden, Colorado, Protect the Peaks Action Aug. 25, 2011

Thursday, August 25 · 9:00am - 3:00pm
Location
Rocky Mountain Region 2 USDA Forest Service Building
740 Simms Street
Golden, Colorado
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 24th, 2011
Contact:
Shannon Francis
rezchix@gmail.com
Mano Cockrum (720) 448-2786

Protest Planned at Forest Service Regional Headquarters to Halt Sacred Site Desecration

GOLDEN, CO -- On Thursday August 25, 2011, a protest will be held at the US Forest Service's Rocky Mountain Region Headquarters located at 740 Simms Street. The demonstration is being organized as part of a National effort to call for an immediate halt to desecration of the Holy San Francisco Peaks, located in Northern Arizona.

Since May 25, 2011, the owners of Arizona Snowbowl, who lease part of the Peaks from the U.S. Forest Service, have laid over five miles of a 14.8 mile wastewater pipeline and have clearcut over 40 acres of rare alpine forest on the San Francisco Peaks. The ski business expansion includes a controversial plan to make snow from treated sewage on the Holy Mountain.
In 2005, the Southwestern Regional Forester permitted the development after a Coconino Forest Supervisor allowed the plan to go forward despite widespread Tribal and public opposition.
Lawsuits addressing religious freedom and environmental issues were previously filed by Tribes and environmental groups but failed to stop the plan. A current lawsuit against the Forest Service focusing on the human health impacts of wastewater snowmaking is still under appeal in the 9th Circuit Court. 
The Peaks are Holy to more than 13 Indigenous Nations. They are a place of worship, a place where deities reside, a place where offerings are made, where herbs are gathered, where emergence has occurred, and a location where other sacred religious practices take place.
On June 16, six people chained themselves to Snowbowl's construction equipment and locked themselves in pipeline trench to stop the desecration. Since then a total of 26 arrests have been made during efforts to halt the eco-cide and desecration of the Holy Mountain. Encampments have also been established to protect the Holy Mountain.
On August 5, 2011, the U.S. Forest Service released a draft report (http://www.fs.fed.us/spf/tribalrelations/sacredsites) outlining its policies and procedures for protecting Sacred Sites. Anyone can comment on the report, the deadline is Oct 4.
"How can the Obama administration's US Department of Agriculture engage in a process to fix sacred sites protection policies while the San Francisco Peaks, holy to 13 Indigenous Nations, are currently being desecrated by the same agency?" states Anna Rondon of Gallup. "We call for an immediate halt to desecration of the Holy Peaks."
On Friday, August 19, the Hopi Tribe has filed suit against the city of Flagstaff for the city's sale of reclaimed wastewater to Arizona Snowbowl. The tribe is asserting that the city's contract to sell water is illegal.
Kristopher Barney, Dine’ (Navajo) & one of the six who locked himself to an excavator on June 16, stated, “This is a continuation of years of prayers and resistance. It is our hope that all Indigenous Peoples, and all others, throughout the North, East, South and West come together to offer support to the San Francisco Peaks and help put a stop to Snowbowl’s plan to further destroy and desecrate such a sacred, beautiful and pristine mountain!”

Protests will be held nationwide this day at Regional USDA offices in Albuquerque, New Mexico;  Missoula, Montana; Portland, Oregon; and Vallejo, California.



What: Protect Sacred Sites, Defend Human Rights! Protect the Peaks protest.
Why: To call for an immediate halt to desecration of the Holy San Francisco Peaks. The Forest Service and USDA can stop this desecration and eco-cide!
When: Thursday, Aug 25th - 9:00am-3:00pm
Where: Rocky Mountain Region 2 USDA Forest Service Building, 740 Simms, Golden, CO 80401
For more information: www.TrueSnow.org



Photos: All Stars Tar Sands White House Protest

Photo Shadia Fayne Wood

Photo Ben Powless, Mohawk

Photo Ben Powless, Mohawk

Photo Ben Powless, Mohawk

Photo Ben Powless, Mohawk

Photo Ben Powless, Mohawk

Photo Josh Lopez
Photo Ben Powless, Mohawk
Day 5: Now 275 Arrests
Here's some of the All Stars of the Tar Sands Protest at the White House today, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 3011. To see the full cast, all those heroes arrested today, go to:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/tarsandsaction/
Special thanks to photographers Shadia Fayne Wood, Ben Powless and Josh Lopez, and to the Tar Sands Action!

Albuquerque Protect Peaks Action Aug. 25, 2011

Albuquerque Day of Action - Aug 25


When: Thursday, Aug 25th - All day 9am to 5pn

Where: Southwestern Regional Forester Office
333 Broadway SE, Albuquerque, NM

Why: Since May 25, 2011, the owners of Arizona Snowbowl, with the support of the U.S. Forest Service and the Flagstaff City Council, have laid over five miles of a 14.8 mile wastewater pipeline and have clearcut over 40 acres of rare alpine forest on the Holy San Francisco Peaks in Northern, AZ.
The Peaks are Holy to more than 13 Indigenous Nations.
They are a place of worship, a place where deities reside, a place where offerings are made, where herbs are gathered, where emergence has occurred, and a location where other sacred religious practices take place .
The USDA, the agency in charge of the Forest Service, has been holding hearings on protection of sacred places due in part to the Peaks controversy.
Urge the Forest Service's Regional Forester and USDA to immediately place an administrative hold on all development on the San Francisco Peaks!

The Forest Service and USDA can stop this desecration and eco-cide!
contact:
annarondon@msn.com

Protect Peaks Action Vallejo, Calif. Aug. 25,2010

Indigenous People and Supporters to Protest at US Forest Service Office in Vallejo, to Demand an End to Desecration of Sacred San Francisco Peaks in Northern Arizona

                                               
Thursday, August 25, 2011 2:30 pm  

Pacific Southwest Regional US Forest Service Office, 1323 Club Drive, Mare Island, Vallejo CA

Contact: Wounded Knee Deocampo/Sacred Site Protection & Rights of Indigenous Tribes 707-373-7195
Morning Star Gali/510-842-6719
Bradley Angel – Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice 415-284-5600 & 415-722-5270 (Cell)

VALLEJO, Calif. – Veterans of the successful struggle that protected the Native American sacred site at Glen Cove (Sogorea Te) in Vallejo will hold a protest at the US Forest Service’s Southwest Regional office in Vallejo on Thursday, August 25, 2011 beginning at 2:30 pm to demand an immediate halt to the desecration of the holy San Francisco Peaks, located in Northern Arizona.  While the protest takes place in Vallejo, simultaneous actions will be taking place at US Forest Service offices across the country, including Albuquerque, New Mexico, Portland, Oregon, Missoula, Montana and Golden, Colorado.
Since May 25, 2011, the owners of Arizona Snowbowl who lease part of the Peaks from the U.S. Forest Service have started laying a 14.8 mile wastewater pipeline and have clearcut over 40 acres of rare alpine forest on the San Francisco Peaks. The ski business expansion includes a controversial plan to use treated sewage water for making snow.
In 2005, the Southwestern Regional Forest Service permitted the development despite widespread Tribal and public opposition.  Indigenous activists and supporters have stopped work on the development several times in the last few months, and despite harassment and arrests, continue to defend the mountain.
The Peaks are Holy to more than 13 Indigenous Nations. They are a place of worship, a place where deities reside, a place where offerings are made, where herbs are gathered, where emergence has occurred, and a location where other sacred religious practices take place.
"How can the Obama administration's US Department of Agriculture engage in a process to fix sacred sites protection policies while the San Francisco Peaks, holy to 13 Indigenous Nations, are currently being desecrated by the same agency?" states Anna Rondon, Dine (Navajo) of Gallup, New Mexico. "We call for an immediate halt to the desecration of the Holy Peaks."
Wounded Knee Deocampo, a Vallejo resident and Indigenous leader of the effort to protect Glen Cove says: “Many sacred sites across this country are being desecrated, it is time that it comes to a halt.”  Protesters will deliver a letter to the Forest Service demanding they immediately stop work on the Snowbowl project, and respect sacred sites not destroy them.
Vallejo demonstrators will deliver a letter to Randy Moore, Pacific Southwest Regional Forester.  They will ask him to contact the Forest Service’s national office and the US Department of Agriculture urging them to stop the desecration of this sacred mountain, and revoke the permit issued to Arizona Snowbowl immediately.
For more info and updates about the Peaks:  http://www.truesnow.org

White House Day 5: Gulf Coast residents arrested halting tar sands

Gulf Coast residents arrested Aug 24/Photo Ben Powless, Mohawk
Gulf Coast residents arrested/Photo Shadia Fayne Wood

Gulf Coast residents Bryan Parras and Cherri Foytlin Sit-in at the White House.

Nation’s Largest Environmental Organizations Stand Together To Oppose Oil Pipeline
By Tar Sands Action
Photo by Shadia Fayne Wood
Censored News

Washington, DC — The heads of the nation’s largest environmental organizations—often at odds on the best strategy for combating climate change—released a letter today calling on President Obama to block the Keystone XL oil pipeline, which would span from the tar sands of Alberta to the Gulf of Mexico.
As another 56 people headed to jail today in the largest civil disobedience protests in the environmental movement’s recent history, the leaders of groups as diverse as Greenpeace and the Environmental Defense Fund told the president, “there is not an inch of daylight between our policy position on the Keystone XL pipeline, and those of the protesters being arrested daily outside the White House.”
“On an issue as complicated as climate, there will often be disagreements over tactics and goals—just recall the differences over the Senate climate bill this time last year,” said Bill McKibben, one of the organizers of the protests for tarsandsaction.org. “But there are some projects so obviously dangerous that they unify everyone, and the Keystone XL pipeline is the best example yet.”
The leaders of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club, the Environmental Defense Fund, the National Wildlife Federation, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, and the Rainforest Action Network also made it clear they counted on President Obama to take decisive action to block the pipeline. Read more at Tar Sands Action:

Tar Sands, Obama and the New Censorship in Indian Country

Heather Milton Lightening, Tantoo Cardinal, Margot Kidder and Joshua Kahn Russell, after Cardinal and Kidder's arrest and release from jail on Tuesday. Photo Joshua Kahn Russell/Censored News.
By Brenda Norrell
Censored News
WASHINGTON -- Cree actress Tantoo Cardinal was arrested on Tuesday at the White House, defending her homeland from the tar sands excavation that is destroying the land, air and water. Tantoo Cardinal was arrested with Superman's Lois Lane, Margot Kidder, born in Yellowknife, Canada, in the protest to halt the Keystone XL Pipeline from Alberta to Texas.
Normally, the American Indian news media rushes to post these stories, which are free and easily available online.

However, on Wednesday morning, Tantoo Cardinal's arrest was censored by five leading Native American online websites in the US. There was no mention of her arrest or of the ongoing protests.

What was the motive? Are Native American online news websites attempting to protect Obama from criticism?

Obama went on a 10-day vacation when the two weeks of protests and arrests began at the White House.

Today's censorship is disturbing because it continues the pattern of censorship in Indian country that has recently accelerated.

When Indigenous Peoples came together for the Protecting Mother Earth Gathering, the last week of July, on the land of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara in North Dakota, Indian newspapers did not cover it. Then, Indian Country Today carried out a counter campaign by publishing the press publicity of the tribal leader, Fort Berthold President Tex Hall, who is promoting the oil and gas drilling. The gangbuster drilling has turned the area into a disaster zone of dust, heavy trucks, spills, environmental destruction and deaths on the highways.

Then, the Arizona Daily Sun censored the dramatic protests of Native Americans in their struggle to protect the sacred San Francisco Peaks. The Snowbowl ski resort plans to use wastewater for tourists snowmaking on the sacred mountain. The clearcutting of the old growth forests has already resulted in extensive destruction.

The Arizona Daily Sun also censored the fact that Native American organizers of a peaceful march were dragged into the streets downtown by Flagstaff police and arrested. Then, the Arizona Daily Sun censored the dramatic lockdowns of protesters on Snowbowl Road, including the protest of Klee Benally, Navajo, who chained himself to an excavator. The Arizona Daily Sun's agenda is clear: It will protect the corporations and coverup for the police. It has made it clear that the newspaper's priority is not Native Americans, who both live and shop in Flagstaff.

The fragile environment of the Arctic is also under attack by the oil and gas industry and the Obama administration, threatening the precious Beluga Whales.
Although the Canadian press did cover Tantoo Cardinal's arrest on Tuesday, the Native American online news media in the United States censored it. Since the national Native websites do not actually go out and cover news stories in most cases, but simply link to the articles of others, or in other cases plagiarize or rewrite those articles, the question remains why there is no coverage today. It takes only minutes to link to a news story.

It only takes a quick glance at these websites to see that rather than protecting Mother Earth, the focus has become on destroying Mother Earth with drilling, mining, power plants and fracking. The spin doctors for corporations and politicians have found ways to influence the Native news publishers, editors and writers.

It is time to say 'No more!' to both the destruction and the manipulation of the truth as it appears in the news. It is time to stop allowing news websites with advertising to exploit the work of writers and photographers. It is time to hold the news media accountable for censorship, plagiarism and profiteering.

It is time to demand some dignity in death from the old guard newspapers that are now dying.

The online news media can not thrive on plagiarism and advertising alone, it needs readers.

It needs readers like you.

More at Tar Sands Action
http://www.tarsandsaction.org

PHOTO Cree Actress Tantoo Cardinal released from the tar sands jail


Cree actress Tantoo Cardinal was arrested with Superman's Lois Lane, Margot Kidder, on Tuesday at the White House, protesting the Alberta tar sands destroying her homeland. Cardinal and Kidder are shown with Heather Milton Lightning and Joshua Kahn Russell.
Thousands have agreed to be arrested to halt the tar sands and the Keystone XL Pipestone which would bring this filthy oil from Canada to Texas.
Thanks to Joshua Kahn Russell for sharing this photo and allowing Censored News to publish it!
More photos and video of Tantoo's reasons for protesting and arrest:

Cook Inlet Tribes: Oil rush threatens Beluga Whales


Alaska's Big Village Network, Center for Water Advocacy, Cook Inlet Tribes, hunters, fisher peoples, and citizens are concerned about the critical habitat and actual recovery of Cook Inlet Beluga Whales in Escopeta's rush for oil and gas activity. Questions of profound concern linger over the decline of Cook Inlet eulachon fishes since the Exxon Valdez oil spill. These fish are one of the major food species for humans and Cook Inlet Beluga Whales

By Nikos Pastos
Center for Water Advocacy, Homer Alaska
Censored News
http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com

ANCHORAGE -- Today, the Pacific States/BC Oil spill task force meetings are taking place in Anchorage. These meetings will address the Pacific States and British Columbia, US and Canadian preparedness for preventing oil spills and blowouts offshore. This meeting is setting the framework for and emerging discussion amongst Native Villages, Tribal governments, conservation organizations and other stakeholders about oil spill and blow out preparedness in Cook Inlet.

MaryAnn Mills, chair of Cook Inlet Treaty Tribes, said, "The Cook Inlet Tribes have not been formally notified or consulted with regard to the Escopeta Company activity in the Cook Inlet. The traditional hunters have not hunted for many years and the beluga numbers have not significantly changed. This leads many to realize other things are going on in the Cook Inlet that is stressing the beluga and other ocean life. The traditional hunters cannot hunt but it seems that industry has no problem on permits to incidental take, and to harass endangered Cook Inlet Beluga Whales."

John French PhD., Pegasus Environmental Solutions, Alaska, said, “Between March 2010 and July 2011, 438 dead bottlenose dolphins have been found stranded in the area of the BP Deepwater Horizon event. This compares to an average of104.7 for normal years. Also from January to July 2011, 85 of these were premature, stillborn, or neonatal bottlenose dolphins as compared to only 12.5 for the average of normal years. These calves would have been fetuses during the oil release and response. The cause of this Unusual Mortality Event is still listed as unknown. We should not ignore the possibility that these marine mammals deaths were caused by the spilled oil, or by spill response activities. We should not proceed with oil and gas development activities in critical habitat areas for protected marine mammal species until we know for certain this UME was not caused by these activities.”

Escopeta Company is rushing oil and gas activity by pushing a jack –up Spartan 151 drill rig into critical Cook Inlet Beluga Whale Habitat for a "Cash Prize" from the State of Alaska with little or no Federal or State oversight, especially considering the State of Alaska recently dumped the Alaska Coastal Management Program. Oil spill contingency plans are thus questioned in Cook Inlet, and in the Arctic Beaufort and Chukchi Seas.

Alaska's Big Village Network, Center for Water Advocacy, Cook Inlet Tribes, hunters, fisher peoples, and citizens are concerned about the critical habitat and actual recovery of Cook Inlet Beluga Whales in Escopeta’s rush for oil and gas activity. Questions of profound concern linger over the decline of Cook Inlet eulachon fishes since the Exxon Valdez oil spill. These fish are one of the major food species for humans and Cook Inlet Beluga Whales.

The Escopeta Company activity in Cook Inlet is significant oil and gas activity that warrants public participation and review. The drrilling is located in the middle of the Endangered Species Act listed endangered Cook Inlet Beluga Whale migratory pathways. These pathways are critical to the recovery of Cook Inlet Beluga Whale habitat.

Carl Wassailed Biologist of Alaska’s Big Village Network said, “Scientist have yet to determine Marine noise pollution impacts, like new drilling rigs, on young Cook Inlet Beluga Whales that frequent inland waters to escape natural predation by killer whales. And this time of year many belugas are foraging on multiple species of salmon as they migrate to spawning rivers and streams in Cook Inlet."

Walt Parker, former Chairman of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Commission, said, “Lessons learned from the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill and the BP Deepwater Horizon should be implemented in oil spill contingency plans. There should be a public review of the oil spill contingency plans for Cook Inlet and the Beaufort and Chuckchi Seas,"

Harold Shepherd Water Policy Consultant said, “Until just recently it appeared National Marine Fisheries Service was the only governmental agency that was concerned about an oil spill blowout regarding the Cook Inlet Beluga Whales and suddenly we hear yesterday that Senator Begich and NOAA Director Dr. Lubchenko are meeting with the stakeholders of the oil and gas industry to streamline the permitting process. It sounds like NMFS has done an about face on oil spill contingency planning in Cook Inlet."

"Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) were done on our Beluga Whale hunters, even after 10 years of standing down on the harvest; why does Escopeta get to rush a drilling rig with NO updated Environmental Impact Statement, and no notification to Tribal governments or Tribal communities? This action clearly and disproportionately burdens the indigenous peoples of Cook Inlet whom have used and occupied the historic waters of Cook Inlet for customary and traditional hunting, fishing and gathering, commerce and navigation since time immemorial."

The adverse cumulative impacts, risk assessments and oil spill contingency plans are inadequate for Cook Inlet, an Historical Bay. There is national and international interest in following federal in protecting invaluable natural resources.

Nikos Pastos, Center for Water Advocacy, said Federal Agencies have an obligation to implement federal acts such as NEPA, MMPA, ESA, and Executive Order 13175 on government to government Consultation, and Executive Order 12898 Environmental Justice and President Obama’s Executive Order 13366 Section 1B Committee on Ocean Policy which states, “to facilitate , as appropriate, coordination and consultation regarding ocean related matters among the Federal, State, Tribal governments, the private sector , foreign governments and international organizations."

Contact:
Nikos Pastos Board Treasurer Center for Water Advocacy, Homer Alaska http://www.centerforwateradvocacy.org/
907-764-2561
Carl Wassilie Biologist Alaska’s Big Village Network Anchorage, Alaska http://www.akbigvillagenetwork.blogspot.com/
907-382-3403
FOOTNOTES:
ESCOPETA notice requirements were supposed to have been provided to the Cook Inlet Villages and their Cook Inlet Marine Mammal Council regarding the Spartan 151 Jack-up rig. This requirement is contained in the Alaska Coastal Management Programs' Escopeta North Cook Inlet (Offshore), Kitchen Prospect Exploration State ID N0, and AK2006-0201OG Final Consistency Determination which states on page 6:
"2. Escopeta Oil & Gas Corporation will coordination with the Native Village of Tyrone, The Kenai Peninsula Borough Coastal Management Program, the Cook Inlet Marine Mammal Council (and others as per Escopeta's Plan of Operations) to ensure that Escopeta's activities avoid and minimize potential adverse impacts to Beluga whales; the availability of fish and wildlife for commercial and subsistence uses; as well as the quality of life for Alaskans.
3. Commercial, sport and subsistence interests stakeholders who have expressed interest during the company's outreach programs will be notified by Escopeta at least 48 hours before transport of the drilling vessel in Cook Inlet waters...."

Beluga Whale Picture http://carinbondar.com/2010/12/baby-belugas-are-right-brained-just-like-me/
 “Application of Best Available Technology & the Zero Discharge Standard to Cook Inlet Oil and Gas Development “