Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

December 12, 2012

Mohawk John Kane 'Most censored issue 2012: The truth about UN Indigenous Rapporteur'

Mohawk John Kane: Most censored issue in 2012 was the truth about UN Rapporteur James Anaya

First in a series of the most censored issues of 2012

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

Updated with response from James Anaya

Also see: Censored 2012:
Thai activist says UN Rapporteur
caused extensive harm to the people

TUCSON, Ariz. -- What was most censored in Indian country in 2012?
John Kane, Mohawk, radio host of Let's Talk Native Pride, said the UN Special Rapporteur for Indigenous Peoples James Anaya was the most censored issue in 2012.
Kane said, "I think the story around James Anaya was the most mischaracterized and one of the most censored stories.
"Who he is, who he met with in his 'whirlwind tour' and his findings were pathetic. The primary observation about the overall condition of Native people was that we needed access to sacred sites?
"Poverty, suicides, domestic violence, violence against women, drop out rates, drug and alcohol issues, continued assimilation, puppet tribal governments, real land claims (not just the right to pray on a site) and he comes up with a recommendation for access and control of certain sacred sites.
"I have news for Mr. Anaya, it's all sacred.
"Perhaps he regards only certain parts of his mother sacred but I don't.
"Whatever a Special UN Rapporteur is supposed to be, I am sure he wasn't," Kane told Censored News.
UN Indigenous agenda co-opted in 2012
Ofelia Rivas, O'odham, agreed that Anaya's reports to the United Nations were "watered down." Rivas told Aljazeera's Inside Story in December that Anaya had failed to use the strong language necessary to uphold Indigenous Peoples' human rights.
Earlier, in the spring of 2012, Rivas said the traditional ceremonial O'odham were not invited to present at the UN Rapporteur's special session on Indigenous Issues in nearby Tucson. Rivas also pointed out that one person, who claims to be Cherokee and is misusing a sacred O'odham name for his non-profit, was listed as a presenter.
San Carlos Apache Wendsler Nosie said in his testimony at the same session that in order to attend, Nosie had to temporarily end his boycott of the University of Arizona. The university, along with the Pope, took the lead in constructing telescopes on sacred Mount Graham. Nosie was arrested by the university police as he prayed on the sacred mountain.
Other Native Americas questioned why Ford Foundation funding was used for the Tucson session. Anaya said in the announcement that the purpose of the meeting was for consultation with area Native Americans on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Frauds and embezzlement
Many grassroots Native Americans also cancelled plans to attend the UN session for Indigenous Peoples in New York in the spring of 2012. They said the agenda was controlled by non-Indian frauds and those seeking fame with academic rhetoric.
At the United Nations in Geneva, Alex White Plume of Owe Aku International, Lakota form Pine Ridge, S.D., challenged Indigenous representatives to speak their own Native languages. White Plume questioned whether they can truly represent grassroots Indigenous Peoples if they don't speak their own languages.
As the year grew to an end, Indigenous organizations claiming to represent Indigenous Peoples at the UN were exposed for fraud and embezzlement.
Still other organizations claiming to represent Indigenous Peoples at the UN have been taken over by frauds who secretly obtain large grant funding.
Frauds continue to receive funding based on the suffering of specific Indigenous groups, without notifying those groups. Among those are Yaquis in Sonora, Mexico, who said they were never told of the thousands of dollars in numerous non-profit grants allocated in the US for their projects.
Most Natives here unaware that Anaya lives in southern Arizona
Meanwhile, in southern Arizona, many Native Americans said they were unaware that Rapporteur Anaya has lived in Tucson for 13 years, since he has not maintained contact with traditional Native people here.
Anaya is also professor of Human Rights Law and Policy, at the University of Arizona in Tucson. He has been at the university here since 1999, according to the university website.
Co-hosted session with mining department
In the process of research for this article, Censored News, based in Tucson, was surprised to learn that Anaya had met with businesses involved in extractive industries in or near Indian lands here in November.
Anaya, as UN Rapporteur, co-hosted the session with the Lowell Institute for Mineral Resources at the University of Arizona. The Lowell Institute brags on its website about its upcoming workshop: "This course provides detailed background on the negotiation and acquisition strategies used in financing mineral resource development."
The question remains to Anaya: Were local Native human rights activists told of this meeting before or after it occurred? Were you posed as the UN Indigenous Rapporteur while working in collusion with a university department that promotes mining?
Anaya's press release after the fact:
UN Rapporteur James Anaya responds
James Anaya responded to Censored News with the following comment.
However, Anaya did not respond to those who said that Anaya had always identified himself as Chicano until he began working on Indigenous issues at the University of New Mexico. Students at UNM said Anaya stopped saying he was Chicano and began identifying himself as "Indian" at that time.
Anaya told Censored News, "I welcome comments on my work as United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. I invite all those interested to read my report on my official visit to the United States, which is available at:
"Information on me and my mandate from the UN Human Rights Council is available at the same web site.
"The Tucson consultation was one of several such consultations in several locations during my official visit to the United States. Detailed information on the Tucson consultation, including video of the entire conference, is available at:
"The more recent meeting on mining hosted by the University of Arizona's Lowell Institute is part of a series of meetings I have had to hear from all concerned, in the context of my study of extractive industries and indigenous peoples. I have had numerous other meetings, in various parts of the world, with indigenous peoples and organizations to hear their views on the subject. I continue to welcome input on this and other aspects of my work. I can be contacted at the following email address:

No comments: