August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Friday, September 23, 2011

'Precious Knowledge' Revolutionary Education in Tucson

FEATURE FILM: Watch trailer: Disenfranchised high school seniors become academic warriors and community leaders in Tucson, Arizona's embattled Ethnic Studies classes while state lawmakers attempt to eliminate the program. Director: Ari Palos Stars: Curtis Acosta and Jose Gonzalez Genre Feature Documentary Studio Dos Vatos Productions

TUCSON -- Precious Knowledge interweaves the transformative stories of seniors in the Mexican American Studies Program at Tucson High School. Inequalities in education continue to affect people of color. The ticking time bomb story of our time is that fewer than six in 10 Latino adults in the United States have a high school diploma. These alarming dropout rates will continue to have a serious impact on our nation. Our documentary goes further, however, by illustrating forms of critical pedagogy that can empower Latino youth and other youth of color and change this state of affairs. Precious Knowledge will illustrate to a nationwide audience a Mexican American Studies program that inspires 82% of its students to enroll in college. The themes of Precious Knowledge are embedded in the journey of each student as they: self reflect, seek out precious knowledge, begin to act, and ultimately transform, while nurturing positive images of Latino identity and embracing the dignity of all cultures and histories.
Description Music Composed by: Naim Amor,
Edited by: Jacob Bricca
Awards Audience Favorite and Special Jury Award, San Diego Latino Film Festival, 2011 Honorable Mention in the Best Documentary Category, Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival, 2011 Starring Curtis Acosta, Jose Gonzales, Crystal Terriquez, Pricila Skilla, Mariah Harvey, Gilbert Esparza Produced By Eren Isabel McGinnis Website

Anna Rondon: Navajo President Vetoes Navajo Green Economy Office

By Anna Rondon, Navajo
Anna Rondon at successful Career Day at Red Rock State Park
on Sept. 23. Thirty students e-mailed for more info on
renewables and the Green Jobs Handbook.
Photo Anna Rondon.
Censored News

It is a sad day for Navajo communities, youth and elders. Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly line-item vetoed Navajo Green Economy Office. Though I respect his opinion as President, this act is keeping the coal-based industries in control of our collective future.
It is time to begin balancing our development with earth friendly technologies. It needs true Navajo leadership to be bold. Just as how the 21st and 22nd Navajo Nation Council does have that vision for equitable and fair development at all levels.
Mr. Shelly has shut the doors on the viable and real greens jobs that can be created. If his division directors had the creative capacity to help our people we would be a better place. Onward, it is part of the process and we shall continue to work for our people and I look forward to working with the Speaker's Office and allied council delegates on the projects we do have in place.

This is my opinion and does not reflect other commissioners.

Note: President Shelly signed into law the budget on Thursday and line item vetoed funding for the Navajo Green Economy Office. The action follows his speech to the United Nation Human Rights Council in Geneva this week, urging protection of the earth and respect for the Dine' people. Navajos responding say he has failed the earth and betrayed the Navajo people.

Navajo President fails the Earth and the Navajo People

Navajo President fails the earth and the people

Navajo President Ben Shelly, who urged the protection of the earth and respect for Dine' culture at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva this week, has line item vetoed the Navajo Green  Economy Office.
President Shelly's words to the world will be meaningless if he continues to promote coal-fired power plants. The Navajo Nation already has three coal-fired power plants, with coal mines, and Shelly is pushing for another coal fired power plant.

By Calvin Johnson, Navajo from Leupp, Ariz.
Calvin Johnson
Censored News

This is a response to a video of Navajo President Ben Shelly at the United Nations making a plea for Protection of San Francisco Peaks. The Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly as a leader of Navajo Nation had a prime opportunity in February of 2011 to negotiate usage of reclaimed water of San Francisco Peaks. At the time, The City of Flagstaff wanted to drill 6 new wells utilizing C-Aquifer on Red Gap Ranch which is city-owned land near Winslow. Then Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly then threatened to file a suit against the City of Flagstaff. But then in May of 2011, Navajo Nation and City of Flagstaff agreed to a deal regarding C-Aquifer water usage of up to 2.6 trillion gallons a year.
Why would the Navajo Nation agree to such a deal when the City of Flagstaff is selling reclaimed water for skiing? The Navajo Nation President missed the prime opportunity to negotiate the taking of the reclaimed water usage off the table. This is so (bleeped) up!!!
The City of Flagstaff wants to use clean Navajo water underlying the Navajo Nation but the Nation buckles down to City of Flagstaff (Non-Natives including Corporations). I wished our Navajo Nation leaders would take a stand and defend human rights and protect sacred sites, period.
Now am watching the video of Ben Shelly pleading for help, it is sickening -- am sorry this is not defending human rights and protecting sacred sites. Maybe this will be a lesson learned from our leaders. But kudos for finally speaking up.
Calvin Johnson
PO Box 5527
Leupp, AZ 86035

Also see: Anna Rondon: Navajo president vetoes Navajo Green Economy Office funding

Dene Nation will be at Ottawa Protest against Keystone XL Pipeline

Dene Nation To Participate In Ottawa Protests Against Keystone XL Pipeline

Press statement
Posted at Censored News

YELLOWKNIFE, Northwest Territories -- The Dene Nation is supporting a day of civil disobedience and protests in Ottawa next week as part of its ongoing opposition to the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. Dene National Chief Bill Erasmus will be there to participate in the protests and to make sure the views of Dene are represented.

On Monday, hundreds of people will flood Parliament Hill to demand a future free of the destructive Alberta tar sands. Many of them will enter the Parliament building and risk arrest by staging a sit-in in protest of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline that, if built, will carry tar sands crude to refineries in the southern United States.

Chief Bill Erasmus at White House rally
to halt tarsands in Sept. 2011
Photo Josh Lopez
“This is part of ongoing activity that is directly related to opposition of the tar sands,” Erasmus said. “From northern Alberta to the Arctic Ocean, our communities are directly downstream from tar sands developments. Water pollution and climate changing greenhouse gases from the tar sands are impacting our rights - protected under Treaty 8 and Treaty 11 - to hunt, trap, and fish as we always have on our land. The Keystone XL pipeline expansion would facilitate a huge increase in tar sands expansion, and this pipeline must be stopped."

Canada’s federal government has approved the pipeline, and the final decision now lies with U.S. President Barrack Obama. Erasmus was recently in Washington, D.C. for massive protests against the pipeline in which many participants, including several renowned Canadians, were arrested.

The proposed Keystone XL pipeline would transport 1 million barrels of synthetic crude oil each day from Alberta’s tar sands to US refineries in the Gulf of Mexico. Construction of the 2,700 km pipeline would facilitate a massive expansion of Alberta’s tar sands, along with increased pollution, stress on water resources, and greenhouse gas emissions. Dene communities are downstream from the tar sands, and are threatened by the impacts of upstream water usage and pollution, and the impacts of climate change and
global warming.


For more information please contact: Barret Lenoir or Daniel T’seleie, at the Dene National Office (867) 873-4081.

First Nation Mercury Survivors visit Japanese Mercury Experts

First Nation Mercury Survivors Visit Japanese Mercury Experts

Press statement
Posted by Censored News

GRASSY NARROWS -- Three Indigenous peoples of Canada have just returned from speaking in three Japanese communities as part of the screening of Tadashi Orui's film titled "The Scars of Mercury,” hosted by the Kumamoto Gakuen University Minamata Research team.

Asubpeeschoseewagong and Wabaseemoong delegates were in Japan for September 6-18, 2011.
Chief Simon R. Fobister says that "We had an opportunity to share our mercury poisoning experience and symptoms of Minamata Disease with the people of Japan.  Some were surprised that Minamata Disease was so global.  Also, they had better compensation structured settlements and medical supports then our tw6 communities which inspired us to seek the same for our people."

“We are still fighting for justice for the mercury that was dumped in our river which continues to poison our bodies,” said Judy Da Silva, a delegate from Grassy Narrows.  “Our people require control over our lands and our lives in order to heal the damage that residential schools, mercury, resource extraction, and over-logging have done to our culture, or livelihood, and our bodies.”

“We are connected to the people of Minamata Japan through our experience of a shared history with industrial environmental destruction, as well as the present situation of the devastating mercury contamination which has touched our communities and continues to affect our way of life,” said Sylvia Morriseau, a delegate from Wabaseemong.  “The land, water, animals, people, and every thread of our way of life and living has been affected.”

Our days were solidly booked with visits to families affected by mercury, speaking in public forums, and meeting with renowned mercury expert Dr. Harada.

What we learned from this trip was inspiring and life changing:

We spent the first week in Kumamoto, Japan (southern part) where we met the hosting delegation from the Komamoto Gakuen University.  The hosting team included Doctor's, Assistant Researchers and families for the Minamata disease Research & committee members including Dr Harada and Dr Hanada. From there we spent a few more days in Minamata Japan and finally Tokyo, Japan.
We were treated with great honor, had fine accommodations and were well taken care of. We were able to make good contacts in Japan that we can communicate with in regards to the Minamata Disease and how similar our situations are.
We were able to be a witness and also get information through power point presentations and testimonies of the Minamata Disease (mercury poisoning) that occurred in Minamata Japan.  We saw we are truly linked by the Minamata Disease in our community.  The evidence of the alignment of our communities with the Minamata Disease was so clear to us.  The information that was handed to us by the Japanese doctors shows in detailed graphs and numbers the alignment of numbers from Dr. Harada's visit in 1975, 2004 and 2010 to Grassy Narrows.  We are hoping the Japanese doctors will come back to Wabaseemoong to further their studies on the affects of mercury poisoning on their people.  The benefits of our journey were tremendous and we will never forget this journey.

After several years, the film ‘Scars of Mercury’, filmed by my friend Tadashi Orui, is finally on the Internet! I hope you will watch it carefully and  share it very far and wide with your friends and colleagues. You may actually see me for a tiny moment in this film as I was there during part of the filming. You might catch me if you do a few ‘Freeze Frames’ during the movie. Also, one of the very first people you see in the film is my very best friend Steve Fobister Sr. Sadly, Steve’s health problems have become much worse from when I first met him 33 years ago. Please help Grassy, Whitedog and Wabauskang People all you can.
For Land and Life,
John H.W. Hummel
Link to Film:
Chief Fobister, Judy Da Silva 807 925 2201    
Sylvia Morriseau 204 256 2237
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Dick Cheney to speak at Child Trafficking Center Vancouver BC

Dick Cheney to Speak at Notorious Child Trafficking Center in Vancouver on September 26:
A Statement from The International Tribunal into Crimes of Church and State

Accused war criminal former Vice President Dick Cheney is scheduled to speak at the infamous Vancouver Club on Monday, September 26.
ITCCS Photo: Rear entrance where children are brought for sex trafficking

By International Tribunal into Crimes of Church and State

VANCOUVER, B.C. -- The ITCCS supports the protest being called against Cheney's appearance for 5:30 pm that day at the Vancouver Club at 915 West Hastings street, and wishes to inform concerned citizens and the press of these facts:
1. Since the spring of 1994, lawyers and journalists have named the Vancouver Club as a site where children are routinely trafficked, exploited sexually and possibly killed. These crimes were documented, including with photographic proof, by Vancouver trial lawyer Jack Cram and his assistant Renate Andres-Auger, during 1994. Both of these lawyers attempted to bring a lawsuit against two Supreme Court judges in Vancouver for their proven complicity in this alleged pedophile ring, in April of 1994. Both of them were disbarred, and Jack Cram was arrested, drugged and jailed, and the evidence he had on the Club and these judges was stolen.
2. Aboriginal children have been a prime target of the Vancouver Club pedophile ring, which involves senior judges, church lawyers, businessmen and politicians. To quote Jack Cram's statement in the BC Supreme Court on April 26, 1994, "Indian children go into the Vancouver Club and are never seen again." As recently as the summer of 2009, aboriginal children have been observed being taken against their will into the rear entrance of the Vancouver Club at 915 West Hastings street from the Squamish Indian reserve in North Vancouver, during the hours of 1 and 3 am.
3. An attempt by reporters with the Vancouver Province and the North Shore News to investigate these claims and the Cram evidence was stopped by a threatened lawsuit against these newspapers from the two Supreme Court judges named by Cram, during 1996 and 1997.
4. One of the predecessors to our ITCCS, the U.N.-affiliated IHRAAM Tribunal into Indian Residential Schools, obtained considerable evidence during its June, 1998 hearings in Vancouver concerning the Vancouver Club pedophile ring. This included eyewitness accounts from an employee at the Club and from a retired RCMP officer, who was discouraged by his superiors from investigating the Club, where the RCMP Superintendent is a member. When one of the IHRAAM investigators, Kevin Annett, publicly surfaced this evidence, he became immediately targeted by a COINTELPRO-type "dirty tricks" campaign by the RCMP and its aboriginal agents that continues to the present day.
4. A United Nations conference on child trafficking, held in Vancouver in September, 1999, confirmed in its summary report that Vancouver is one of three cities in the world where "organized child prostitution and trafficking operates with unofficial police and judicial protection ... including at the elite Vancouver Club."
Considering these facts, we urge protesters to continue their actions against the Vancouver Club even after Dick Cheney has gone, and expose the reason why Cheney is appearing at this center where the proven rape, torture and possible murder of children goes on with impunity - and whether Cheney is himself connected to these crimes.
The ITCCS will be pursuing this investigation and will include its findings in its final report in January, 2012, and will seek an indictment against the Vancouver Club and Dick Cheney in international courts of justice.
Issued by ITCCS International - Brussels office
September 23, 2011

Read the truth of genocide in Canada and globally at:
This email is hosted by Jeremiah Jourdain on behalf of the International Tribunal into Crimes of Church and State (ITCCS) and Kevin Annett - Eagle Strong Voice (adopted May 2004 into the Anishinabe nation by Louis Daniels - Whispers Wind).
Kevin can be reached at or  - and phone messages can be left for him at 1-386-323-5774 (USA).

OTTAWA Tar Sands Civil Disobedience Sept 26, 2011

Canadian First Nations, US-based Tribal Governments and Indigenous Advocacy Groups Endorse Mass Civil Disobedience Action to Protest Canadian Tar Sands
Press statement
Posted at Censored News

OTTAWA, Ontario – Canadian First Nations, American Indian Tribes, Territorial, Provincial and Federal First Nations Governments and Advocacy groups have added their support for a rally featuring a civil disobedience sit-in against the tar sands on September 26 in Ottawa.

"Current operations in the tar sands are violating our human and constitutionally protected treaty rights.  Our community is currently in court with some of these companies and plan to oppose any and all future development with similar legal action,” said Lionel Lepine of Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation “We demand free, prior and informed consent for development in our traditional territories as recognized by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”

Hundreds of people from across North America have endorsed the call to action for September 26, which is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. in front of the Centennial Flame on Parliament Hill. The action is to oppose the tar sands industry and push for a clean,green energy future that honors Indigenous rights and prioritizes the health of the environment and communities.

First Nations leaders from British Columbia, North West Territories and Alberta, three provinces most heavily affected by the tar sands development, will travel to Ottawa to lend their names and voices to raise awareness of the devastating environmental and social effects of the tar sands. US-based Native American Tribes and advocacy groups along with the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and the Yankton Sioux Tribe have also endorsed the day of action.

"Enbridge is trying to ram its tar sands pipeline right through our territories and the lands of many other First Nations,” said Chief Jackie Thomas of Saik’uz First Nation, amember of the Yinka Dene Alliance. “We have used our laws to forbid these pipelines in our lands. We will use every means available to us under Indigenous, Canadian and International law to enforce our decision and stop theEnbridge pipeline. If we take care of the land and water, it will take care of us. If we ruin our water with oil spills and once the tar sands kill the waters of our brother and sister nations, our people will be finished."

On September 16 and 17, on the Rosebud Sioux Tribe Reservation in South Dakota, an Accord was signedopposing the proposed Trans-Canada Keystone XL pipeline and endorsing the Ottawa Action.  The emergency Tribal meeting, which included Canadian First Nations and Native AmericanTribes affected by the proposed pipeline, focused on Tribal opposition to the Trans-Canada Keystone XL.  The Accord highlights the neglected concerns of First Nations in Canada regarding the Canadian tar sands, the industry’s disproportionate impacts on Treaty and Aboriginal rights and the detrimental health and social consequencesfor affected First Nations communities.

“The tar sands represent apath of broken treaties, eroded human rights, catastrophic climate change,poisoned air and water and the complete stripping of Canada’s morality in theinternational community,” said Clayton Thomas-Muller of the IndigenousEnvironmental Network. “Our communities should not be sacrificed on the altar of Canada’s addiction to dirty fossil fuel; wewant a new economic paradigm that protects our relationship to the sacredness of Mother Earth.”

Other First Nations groups endorsing the September 26 action include: Dene Nation, Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, Yinka Dene Alliance, Wet’suwet’en and Unis’tot’en Nations.

For more info: ClaytonThomas-Muller (English), Indigenous Tar Sands Campaigner, IndigenousEnvironmental Network (IEN), (613)297-7515
Join the IEN Newsletter!
Clayton Thomas-Muller
Indigenous Environmental Network
Canadian Indigenous Tar Sands Campaign
180 Metcalfe Street, Suite 500
Ottawa, ON, CND, K2P 1P5
Office: 613 237 1717 ext. 106
Cell: 613 297 7515 Please visit!!!!
Please visit Defenders of the Land:
Please visit Global Justice Ecology Project:

Flagstaff Public Hearing San Francisco Peaks Sept. 23, 2011

ST. MICHAELS, Ariz.—The Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission will hold a public hearing to give Navajo, non-Navajo and other indigenous peoples’ an opportunity to give oral testimony or written testimony to NNHRC about San Francisco Peaks as they relate to use, preservation and protection on Friday, September 23, 2011, at 5 p.m. at City Hall in Flagstaff, Ariz. It is open to the public.
WHO: General Public
WHAT:The Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission will hold a public hearing
to give Navajos and non-Navajos and other indigenous peoples’ an opportunity to give oral testimony, or written testimony to NNHRC about San Francisco Peaks as they relate to use, preservation and protection.
5 P.M. – 10 P.M.
WHERE: Flagstaff City Hall - Council Chambers
211 West Aspen Ave.
Flagstaff, AZ
Rachelle Todea,Public Information Officer
Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission
P.O. Box 1689
Window Rock, Navajo Nation (AZ)  86515
Phone: (928) 871-7436
Fax: (928) 871-7437
"Indigenous peoples have the right to self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development," according to the Article 3 of the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, G.A. Res. 61/295, U.N. Doc A/RES/295 (Sept. 13, 2007), 46 I.L.M 1013 (2007).

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