Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

March 18, 2012

They thought they would starve us out, but it didn't work

They thought they would starve us out, but it didn’t work

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

When the managing editor of Indian Country Today demanded that I stop writing about grassroots Native Americans, I had no idea at the time of the scope of this demand. I was first repeatedly censored, then terminated in 2006.

Even when I started Censored News in 2006, I had no idea of the scope of that demand. There was no way to foresee how the media would be manipulated and controlled by the corporations, non-Indian profiteers and the US government or foresee the hidden agendas of publishers and politicians.

It is clear now.

The only way for the coal fired power plants, uranium mining in Indian country, and non-Indian casino management companies to continue their exploitation and profiteering, is to silence grassroots Native people living on their lands.

The silence takes many forms.

The media avoids real issues by keeping people distracted with non-news. Then, also, the media publishes press releases based on lies. It continues the deceit by failing to question the legitimacy of wars and other US schemes. It publishes the columns of holocaust deniers instead of the facts of residential and boarding school abuse. Mediocre non-Indian reporters are used to distract and also to water down crucial issues in Indian country. Native reporters are hired who will plagiarize and rewrite others work, rather than be there.

Ultimately, editors and publishers only publish what they consider "safe."

The next horrifying issue on the horizon is this: Pro-coal mining, gas fracking and energy interests, and casinos, with their co-opted tribal partners, want to use the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to further their hold on Indian country. Instead of using the Declaration to further human rights, they want to use it to bolster their position, protect their greed, exploitation and profiteering. They use money in their schemes (as when they claim the rape of the earth is OK since it is for jobs and economic development.)

Corporations and US intelligence agencies "sponsor" events to get their feet in the door with organizations, or advertise with certain media to exert influence.

Meanwhile, some tribal politicians talk out of both sides of their mouths. On one hand, they defend a sacred place, while at the same time push for a coal fired power plant, gas well or toxic dump on another sacred place.

Now non-Indian profiteers and operatives have found the access to and control of money, is a way to take control of organizations and their members. One of the ways non-Indians take over NGOs or human rights organizations is to take on the key role in the fundraising. Eventually they take total control of the money and funding sources. In this way, they then take control of the people and the travel funds to board meetings. Finally, they take over the organization.

As for starving us out, the writers and voices at Censored News, our hunger has become our glory. It propels us forward.

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