Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

August 13, 2012

Beware of frauds in Indian country

Grant writers in Indian country seldom tell the grassroots people about their grants, and the media is part of the hoax

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

It seems a number of people who are suddenly Indians, continue to take over the stage and agenda in public forums, such as at the United Nations, and local gatherings.
This takeover includes those engaged in the repetition of academic rhetoric, which distracts from real grassroots issues like mining, fracking and Border Patrol abuse.
Censored News does not promote those who disrespect Indigenous sacred names, or appropriate the hard work of others for personal gain, including those receiving grant funding for others struggles, and those who are 'suddenly-Indians' seeking media attention.
Ofelia Rivas, O'odham, made a formal complaint to the UN Rapporteur for Indigenous Peoples during the April 2012 session in Tucson. Rivas reported that a person in Tucson has violated one of the most sacred names of the O'odham and is using it for his 'non-profit.'
Unfortunately, UN Rapporteur James Anaya had the same person listed as a featured speaker at the session.
Meanwhile, Amnesty International continues to promote this person, even after a complaint has been made concerning the violations of using the O'odham sacred name and appropriating the work of others for self gain.
Wannabe frauds appropriate the hard work of people like O'odham Ofelia Rivas for their 'non-profits,' which of course are extremely profitable for the grant writers. The grants are usually kept secret from the grassroots communities who are targeted to be used and abused.
In another case, organizations have been taken over by non-Indian wannabe frauds, who are receiving huge grants that the people are never told about. Many of these can be located by way of Google Internet searches, using the organization's name plus the word 'grants.'
For instance, you can search and see who received a $40,000 grant for traditional 'food sovereignty' workshops in Indian communities. Ask the grassroots communities in Canada, Mexico, Alaska and elsewhere if they were ever told about this $40,000 grant.
Often, not only are Indigenous Peoples never told about these huge grants, but they are told that there is no funding for the event. The grassroots people are required to both provide the food and sleep on the floor -- while the speakers stay in pricey hotels.
The media also plays a role. Currently, some reporters and editors in Indian country rely on plagiarism and phone calls, and mimic press releases and self-promoters, instead of having reporters present.
The armchair reporters promote academic grandstanders and the corrupt politicians with good press release writers, along with the reporters and editors own personal friends. The grant writers and corporations profit from the reporters failure to be present, as they spin out their press statements for self gain. The publishers who could afford to hire real reporters to be present, instead are hiring plagiarizers.
As for one of these armchair reporters in Indian country, I haven't seen her actually out on a news story in the last 30 years.
Far removed from the backroads, these reporters and editors continue to perpetuate the injustice and fraud.
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