August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Occupy Wall Street Los Angeles and Wichita

Occupy Wichita, Kansas, Oct. 2, 2011

Occupy Wichita, Kansas, Oct. 2, 2011

In Wichita, Kansas today, protesters rallied outside the
Bank of America, in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street.


The 36th Annual American Indian Film Festival 2011

'On the Ice'
Media Inquiries:
Cindy Benitez


By American Indian Film Festival
Posted at Censored News

SAN FRANCISCO -- The American Indian Film Institute (AIFI), proudly announces the 36th annual American Indian Film Festival,November 4-12, 2011 in San Francisco. The American Indian Film Festival will premiere over 70 innovative feature films, shorts, public service, music videos and documentaries of USA American Indian and Canada First Nation communities. Founded in 1975, AIFF has established itself as the premiere Native film festival in North America. This year’s selection continues to celebrate the Festival’s tradition for excellence and diversity with powerful performances and new cinematic expression by cutting-edge media makers.

Public screenings and events will be held for nine days, from Nov. 4-9 at the Landmark Embarcadero Center Cinema, One Embarcadero Center, Promenade Level; and conclude Nov. 10-12 at the Palace of Fine Arts, 3301 Lyon St.@Bay Street.

“The film festival and awards show are the cornerstone of what we do — provide an opportunity and national venue for emerging and established filmmakers, entertainers and performing artists to convene, renew their artistic spirit and share their gifts." - Founder/ Director Michael Smith.


Nov. 4
Every Emotion Costs -Darlene Naponse (Canada) U.S. Premiere
A dramatic feature that follows the reality of one woman’s journey of returning home to the reserve to face family, community, and the ceremony of death. Starring Michelle St. John, Tantoo Cardinal,Nathaniel Arcand,and Roseanne Supernault.

Nov. 5
The Thick Dark Fog – Randy Vasquez (U.S.) World Premiere
Documents the emotional journey of Walter Littlemoon, a 69 year-old Lakota man, who begins to heal himself, his community and his heritage after painful experiences at a Federal government boarding school.

Off the Rez - Jonathan Hock (U.S.)
A coming-of-age story that follows Shoni Schimmel, a Umatilla Indian, who is a rising basketball star that dreams of being the first from her tribe to get a college scholarship.

Nov. 6
Holy Man: The USA vs. Douglas White – Jennifer Jessum (U.S.)    San Francisco Premiere
The story of Douglas White, an 88 year-old Lakota Sioux medicine man from Pine Ridge Indian Reservation who spent 17 years in federal prison for a crime he did not commit. New evidence is uncovered and his case is brought back to Federal Court.

Nov. 7
Wild Horses & Renegades – James Anaquad-Kleinert (U.S.)
Examines the politics behind the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) controversial policies on public lands and questions the fate of America's wild horses and burros, whose very existence is in jeopardy.

Nov. 8
White Indians Walking– Andrew Genaille (Canada) U.S. Premiere
After twenty years, a mother returns home with her daughter after being ejected from her reserve, to find out why.  This starts a day of remembering the past, discussion of the present and hope for the future as they delve into family, politics and traditional food.

Nov. 9
Yellow Rock – Nick Vallelonga (U.S.) San Francisco Premiere
A gritty full-length Western that embarks on a group of six cowboys who must fight the elements, their greed, and uncover the truth behind their “Search and Rescue” mission. Starring Michael Spears, Eddie Spears, Zahn McClarnon, Michael Biehn, James Russo and Lenore Andriel.

Nov. 10
Shouting Secrets – Korinna Sehringer (U.S.) World Premiere
The universal story about an All-American family coming back together under the chaotic event of a parent's sudden illness. Starring  Chaske Spencer, Tyler Christopher, Tonantzin Carmelo Tantoo Cardinal, Gil Birmingham, and Rodney A. Grant.

On the Ice – Andrew Okpeaha MacLean (U.S.) San Francisco Premiere
A suspenseful feature-length drama that follows two teenage boys on the snow-covered Arctic tundra, who are trapped by a dark and tragic secret. Starring Josiah Patkotak and Frank Qutuq Irelan.  Best First Feature Award from the 2011 Berlin International Film Festival.

AIFI TRIBAL TOURING PROGRAM – Indian Youth screenings from Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation, CA; Nisqually Indian Tribe, WA; Puyallup Tribe of Indians, WA; and Lummi Nation, WA.

Nov. 12
Honors filmmakers, actors and showcases contemporary Native American talent. The performance line-up includes: Blues singer/songwriter Derek Miller, Punk/Indie band Miracle Dolls, and violinist Swil Kanim.

For more information visit our website All programs are open to the general public and will require tickets for admission.Advance Tickets available thru AIFI: 415-554-0525 Visa & Mastercard. On-site tickets available at the following theater venues (on day of show.)

Mike Bruised Head: Another Dark Day in the History of the Blood Reserve

Another Dark Day in the History of the Blood Reserve

by Mike Bruised Head
( Ninna Piiksii Chief Bird)

St Paul's School/Blood Reserve
This morning which is Sunday October 2, 2011, I woke up with the same sad feeling I had yesterday when a relative of mine was instructed by his boss for us to take our rented tent down and for all of us to clear out or he would call the police on me and all of the other  people. Saturday was set-aside for a prayer day and drumming for the safety of all human beings in southern Alberta and in Alberta. The name for the day that the planning group came up with was ”Drumming for the Earth Gathering”. People from the Blood Reserve who were coming out were elders from all the different districts and communities on the Blood Reserve. There were going to be people from all of the different sacred societies coming out to pray. Also, coming out were drum groups to perform during the day and to all go home peacefully by 4 pm. People who have been having bad dreams since the fall of 2010 were also going to come out and tell their story and offer tobacco the earth.

What was most disappointing is that I received in good faith from the Blood Tribe Chief his approval and to honor his request for the elders to pray for the people of the Blood Reserve. It was also most disturbing when we were told to leave at approximately a little after nine am when the messenger informed us that his boss and committee had given him instructions and that the Manager of the Potato Farm was also going to come out to make sure were left. The manager of the potato farm is a non-native permitted to farm on the reserve. We questioned, if the Chief had been over ruled by some members of council or the administrative department who over sees the ranch and farm economic development operations of the reserve. I thought who is running this reserve, there seems to be so much fragmentation in the whole Blood Reserve-governing system?

The elders and people already in attendance could not comprehend that the Blood Tribe Ranch Lands were and have always been considered Tribal Lands where people have always hunted, fished and traveled about. I felt as if I was a foreigner on my own lands and that I could not pray and put tobacco on the ground without being charged. This I will never forget. We were all somewhat shocked  at the turn of events. The messenger waited on us until we left . I made the decision to just leave because I did not want the elderly and the very young children traumatized or injured should the police be called to start handcuffing people. I went to prayer site with the most peaceful mind that I could carry in my being. There were never any intentions of confronting the drilling site, to shout at anybody or to go against the law.

Many more people arrived at the prayer site after the initial group had left. I received so many calls last evening from people upset that a few people can shut down a prayer gathering. They questioned the integrity of those responsible.

Going back to the early morning on Saturday,  My mind went back to the days of the Indian Agent, the Residential School period and Dictatorship happening in other parts of the world and yet I was standing on the grasslands of the Blood Indian Reserve. I asked my self “how can a few people totally disrespect elders, women, children, and sacred society people who only wanted to pray and come to a peaceful resolve in this whole drilling matter”. All the people wanted to do was to pray that no one gets sick from the out come of drillings. They only wanted to pray that the Blood Reserve lands don’t sink in and gases not to evaporated into the air and last but not least that all the communities will have safe drinking water for centuries to come. That was all, there was never any negative thoughts to anyone. It would have been the most peaceful day since the announcement of the oil and gas agreements.

Unfortunately, all has been lost because of the threats to call the police by the messenger. I will continue to pray at home and ask the elder spirits who came to me one night during the summer to get the people together. I honestly with a peaceful heart attempted to just to that. I will continue to pray to the old people who have gone before us to forgive me and to protect me. I will never forget Saturday October 1, 2011, it was a very sad day.
Also see: Traditional Drumming Gathering Halted

Blood Traditional Drummers Gathering Halted at Blood Band Ranch

Incident at Prayer Gathering by Friends of Blood Lands

Press statement from Drumming for Earth Gathering
Censored News
Image: Painting by George Catlin of Buffalo Bull's Back Fat, head chief, Blood Tribe, 1832
BLOOD RESERVE -- “Drumming for the Earth Gathering” scheduled for Saturday October 1, 2011 at the North End of the Blood Reserve in Southern Alberta was short lived when the manager of the Blood Band Ranch informed elders, drummers and children to take down their tent and leave the tribal lands, early Saturday morning. The Ranch Manager threatened that Blood Tribe Police will be called in to take action against a large group of people who set this day aside for prayers and traditional drumming. The prayer day was planned to have people pray for the protection of Mother Earth due to all the oil and gas exploration happening on the Blood Reserve. The organizers followed elder’s guidance and protocol and received prior approval from the Blood Tribe Chief to have this peaceful gathering.

Supposed, the Ranch Manager was given instructions from his supervisor who in turn received orders from the committee who over sees the ranch and farm operations of the reserve to remove the peaceful gathering. There was no protest or directed action against the drill sites. The elders and people present did however offer prayers, tobacco and sang sacred Blackfoot songs before leaving the designated sight.

The gathering was to allow people from the reserve to share spiritual dreams, which were about the oil and gas drillings happening on the reserve. Many of the elders questioned why as tribal members they could not pray on Blood Reserve tribal lands. People in attendance made reference to the Elders Declaration from many years ago that gave people the right and the freedom to pray. As one elder commented, “Now tribal leaders and employees are taking away the right to pray on mother earth”. Another comment over heard was, “ who is running this reserve”? One of the organizers, Mike Bruised Head stated that this is another sad day in the history of the Blood Reserve that he will never forget, when he was threatened that police will be called to arrest him for praying and drumming on tribal land. All of the people who attended were very disappointed on the outcome. Mr. Bruised Head will be seeking legal advise on the following UN Declaration articles..

The Universal Declarations For Human Rights
Article 2.
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.
Article 18
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

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