Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

March 15, 2012

Left Forum: Natives 'Decolonize Occupy Movements' Defend Mother Earth

THE LEFT FORUM: Decolonize the 'Occupy' Movements: Defending Mother Earth and Confronting American Capitalism

Update: Article on Left Forum Gathering on March 17, 2012:

Listen to organizers of Left Forum,
including Debra White Plume:
First Voices Indigenous Radio today, Thurs., March 15, 2012, archive:
Date and Time:
Saturday, March 17, 2012
Conference participants come together to engage a wide range of critical perspectives on the world, to discuss differences, commonalities, and alternatives to current predicaments, and to share ideas for understanding and transforming the world.
@ PACE University - New York, NY - - Next to City Hall in New York City
3:00 pm -4:50 pm on Saturday the 17th
Room W615
Featuring: Debra White Plume (Lakota), Janene Yazzie-Collymore (Dine/Navajo), Kent Lebsock (Lakota), Tiokasin Ghosthorse (Lakota) and Sally Bermanzohn (Moderator)
PANEL: Examines the struggles of Indigenous peoples defending their lands, sources, seizure of land, expropriation, environmental degradation, exploitation, re-colonization and re-occupation. Participants discuss indigenous activism and the potential/ problems for unity with Occupy Wall Street. In what ways does the “Occupy” movements reinforce the structures of greed that Indigenous peoples stand against? What form would the movement have to take if it is reconciled with the realities behind the foundation of American exceptionalism and mobilizes against the continued rape of Mother Earth?
Janene Yazzie-Collymore Dine/ Navajo: An independent scholar and CEO of Sixth World Consultants, Janene works with her husband Kern Collymore on the Navajo Nation to help community chapters implement the Local Governance Act and pursue economic development in sustainable industries. While finishing her degree requirements in International Law with a concentration in Human Rights at Barnard College, Janene has also helped found a non-profit Indigenous Think Tank, Tecumseh Institute, in New York City. She is currently working with Owe Aku International Justice Project to help the organization get 501 (c) (3) status and daily continues down the path of her elders in Indigenous activism.
Debra White Plume Oglala Lakota author, artist, and activist from the Pine Ridge Homeland, has devoted her adult life to preserving her Lakota Way of Life, Treaty Rights and Human Rights. She works in all arenas, from the grassroots to the United Nations at Geneva and in NYC. Debra is the lead plaintiff against the uranium mining giant Cameco, Inc in its attempt to mine uranium 30 minutes from the southern border of the Pine Ridge. White Plume has engaged in sacred water protection for the past decade, and was recently arrested for trespassing at the White House in civil disobedience in order to raise the consciousness of America and President Obama to the threats posed by the Keystone XL oil pipeline against the drinking water of the Oglala Lakota Nation.
Tiokasin Ghosthorse is Mnicoujou, Itazipco and Oglala bands of the Lakota Nation. He spoke as a teenager at the UN in Lake Geneva and a life long-life Original Peoples activist. He has been involved and organized "occupations" in Lyle Point, Washington, Big Mountain, Arizona and Western Shoshone Defense Project, Crescent Valley, Nevada. He is a 20 yr. host of First Voices Indigenous Radio now heard on 41 stations internationally. He sits on a panel at Harvard University's Cultures On the Air. He has introduced dignitaries Pres. Evo Morales, Robert Kennedy Jr., and is presently working with Winona LaDuke to provide a truly "independent radio for an independent nation." He is a board member of several children's organizations that work with suicide, poverty, and Mother Earth cultural education through his musicianship. Ghosthorse is an author, university lecturer and scholar often presenting a dichotomous thinking process of Indigenous and non-Indigenous. He is a member of the Indigenous Think Tank, Tecumseh Institute, NYC.
Kent Lebsock or Tetuwan Okshila. He attended Boston University where he majored in International Relations. He has live in New York City since 1987 as an active member of the Native American community. Working at the American Indian Law Alliance since 1992, he became Executive Director of the Alliance in 2004. He has contributed to all aspects of its work on a local, national and international level. For example, beginning in 1992, Lebsock assisted the American Indian Community House in NYC with their HIV/AIDS Project, and helped to develop a prevention program culturally specific to Native American people. This work has contributed to international programs for health and environment consistent with an indigenous world view.

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