August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Offshore Oil & Gas Activities Threaten Alaska’s Indigenous Peoples Cultural Survival                                                                                                                                                                  

Beluga whales
Offshore Oil & Gas Activities Threaten Alaska’s Indigenous Peoples Cultural Survival

By Alaska Big Village Network
January 26, 2012
Anchorage, Alaska  

As the U.S. Marine Mammal Commission meets with expert Scientific Advisors today to hear about the impacts of oil and gas development in the Arctic; Tribes, indigenous peoples and water advocates voice their opposition to offshore oil and gas activities.  The scientists and traditional indigenous elders, and Tribal governments have clearly stated the need for more research to identify baseline information and cumulative impacts on the coastal and marine ecosystems. A precautionary approach is necessary when federal agencies such as National Marine Fisheries Service evaluate requests for incidental takes of endangered and threatened marine mammals such as the endangered Bowhead and Cook Inlet beluga whales

The groups are concerned about the adverse, disproportionate, cumulative impacts of oil land gas activities on indigenous peoples, tribal citizens and Alaska Native villages.   Federal Agencies are permitting offshore oil and gas exploration and development in science-deprived,marine ecosystems without addressing the cumulative impacts of oil spills,effluent discharge, drilling mud disposal, methane and other gas releases,physical habitat disruption, ship strikes, chronic acoustical impacts and other industrial associated activities that follow exploration, development and production of oil and gas.

The aggregated and chronic industrial acoustics are the least understood impacts onmarine sea life and subsistence species, such as the endangered bowhead whale,and critically endangered Cook Inlet beluga whale.   Hydrocarbon exploration and extraction activities offshore are too risky, because environmental impacts which are poorly understood or as yet unknown.

“Thewell-being and health of the plants and animals in the aquatic and marine ecosystem are related to the well-being and health of the indigenous peoples whose culture and identity are intrinsically connected with the traditional tribal economies derived from the ecosystem.” Carl Wassilie, Yup’iaq Biologist.  “A large oil spill like the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill will severely disrupt and destroy cultural resources and cultural survival in such a sensitive environment like the Arctic and sub-Arctic.”

The actions by federal agencies to allow offshore drilling in the Arctic will cause irreversible harm to hundreds of indigenous communities with the inevitable harm upon subsistence resources by all phases of resource extraction.   The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill 22 years ago is a case example of an oil company telling folks that a very large oil spill will never happen; yet when it did, the people that survived the on-going catastrophe continue to suffer from lies, deceit and outright violations of human dignity and rights to subsistence.

Delice Calcote says, "Alaska Inter-Tribal Council has standing resolution 2005-08 opposing outer continental shelf oil and gas activities in the Outer Continental Shelf. Oil and gas mineral exploration & development activities pose an imminent threat to hundreds of coastal Tribal communities’ customary traditional cultural life ways of hunting, fishing, gathering, harvesting, barter, trade and navigation. The North Pacific Right Whale has been observed in lower Cook Inlet and no Oil and Gas Activities, including Lease sales should be permitted in Cook Inlet until the status of this whale is fully documented by Traditional Knowledge experts and independent assessments by experts."

Banned Books: Tucson Middle School Students Become Heroes

Suspension​s lifted for Tucson's "NiƱos Heroes" Wakefield M.S. students (And banned books petition)

Acoma Pueblo's Simon Ortiz speaks to students today

By Roberto Rodriguez
Censored News

Students who were suspended from Wakefield Middle School in Tucson for walking out earlier this week spent the day attending Mexican American Studies (MAS) classes at the University of Arizona. So did a suspended Pueblo High School student.

In the second class, they were treated to the words of world-renowned writer and poet Simon Ortiz. No sooner had they finished attending the last class of the day did the Wakefield students receive word that their suspensions had been lifted.

They walked out to protest the dismantling of the Mexican American Studies program.
Thanks to all who showed support for these courageous students. Separate from attending classes, they also presented at the Centro on campus, explaining why they walked out.
Another and bigger event is being planned on the UA campus to further educate the campus community re the dismantling of the Mexican American Studies --Tucson Unified District Schools program.

It's a small victory, though a victory nonetheless. Oddly, the board member (Michael Hicks) who introduced the resolution to dismantle the MAS prorgam, kept playing hide and go seek, not introducing himself to the students or anyone else. He would have been welcomed to speak to the students as they are powerful and would have been able to answer any of his questions.
There is also an ongoing petition re the TUSD book banning. It can be found at:
The thing to remember is that they have actually dismantled a program, thrashed a discipline and banned not just the 7 boxed books. The actual number of books in the curriculum number more than 50. For a list, go to:
Roberto Dr. Cintli Rodriguez
Assistant professor
University of Arizona
PO BOX 210023
Tucson Arizona 85721

San Francisco: Indigenous Unity March to the UN

By Quanah Parker Brightman
United Native Americans,Inc

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Native American Community, with support from the Occupy Movement is taking action to demand President Obama to make law the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), to STOP the Home Foreclosures and to enforce a 30% Fair-Share Tax on millionaires. United Native Americans Inc. invites members of the press and community to join in
the Indigenous Unity March to the United Nations Plaza where we will present an Indigenous Rights March and Forum, Friday, January 27, 2012.

The Unity March and Rally begins at the Human Rights Commission, 25 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, to the United Nations Plaza. The Indigenous Forum at the UN Plaza echoes the world's support to recognize and protect all Indigenous communities and also demands reparations for the theft of Tribal Lands, ancestral remains, gold and other natural resources. Speakers to address unity to bring an end to civil rights violations, hate crimes, broken treaties, racial profiling laws like SB1070, the
desecration of our sacred sites and burial sites, as well as protecting ethnic studies and our traditional cultural teaching.

March rout in solidarity of the millions of families victim of home foreclosures targeting Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Chase Bank to STOP The Home Foreclosures and Echo the 30% millionaires fair-share tax addressed by Obama in the State of the Union to save homes and fund education and to keep promise of executive order, titled, “Improving American Indian and Alaska Native Education Opportunities and Strengthening Tribal Colleges and Universities.”

We are DEMANDING that President Obama recognize and sign into Federal Law, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People protecting Sacred Sites and Repatriation for stolen ancestral remains and resources.

We are  DEMANDING that Governor Jerry Brown sign into California Law, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, making California the first state in the Union to adopt the UNDRIP.

We DEMANDING  tha Obama pass the 30% FAIR-SHARE TAX ON MILLIONAIRS to fix broken economy and keep his promise of Improving American Indian and Alaska Native Education Opportunities and Strengthening Tribal Colleges and Universities.

We are DEMANDING that ALL treaties made with the Indigenous Peoples of the World be Recognized and Honored.

And We are In Solidarity with the 99% Movement, DEMANDING BAIL OUT FAMILIES! -- STOP THE HOME FORECLOSURES !

Oglala Vice President: Continued Resistance to Keystone XL Pipeline

Oglala VP: Continued Resistance to Keystone XL Pipeline

Dineh Louise Benally: Arizona racism and coal fired power plants

Louise Benally during Salt River Project protest,
speaking out against the coal fired Navajo
Generating Station. Photo: Resist ALEC
By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

On First Voices Indigenous Radio today, WBAI New York, Louise Benally, Dineh, resisting relocation at Big Mountain, described the detriment of coal fired power plants and racism in Arizona.

Louise said regardless of the struggles, Dineh living on the land still live in harmony with the land. Louise described the natural herbs and healing ceremonies that come from the wild, now being contaminated by pollution. "It is doing a lot of destruction." She spoke on the chemical trails settling in the water and environment.

"Those are real problems we are faced with now, because a lot of the vegetation is being wiped out." She said Peabody coal mine releases pollution to the regional watershed on Black Mesa. "It is just devastating," she said, to live in this situation.

Louise Benally confronts Salt River Project staff.
Photo Resist ALEC.
She also described the three coal fired power plants on the Navajo Nation. There are the two in the Four Corners area near Farmington NM which leave a grey haze over the skies. Then there is the Navajo Generating Station near Page, Ariz., producing more contamination. These coal fired power plants carry electricity to cities like Phoenix and Tucson while Navajos suffer with disease and pollution.

"We can't just continue to produce, produce and produce pollution," said Louise, adding that these coal fired power plants are making the ice melt in the Arctic.

Louise described the changes to the climate and how development is creating this. If the land is not healthy, then life is not healthy either, Louise said, describing the Navajos respiratory problems and cancer.

Describing how Arizona just banned ethnic studies, she said, "It is just really sad."

Radio show host Tiokasin Ghosthorse described how the scheme was to make it look like the so called land dispute was between Hopi and Navajo. This scheme kept people from getting involved because they were led to believe it was an internal dispute between the two nations, rather than what it was: A carefully designed scheme to remove thousands of Navajos from Black Mesa to make way for Peabody coal mining, which continues today.

Louise said, "They were pitting tribe against tribe to get at the resources," explaining how they did this to get at the coal and resources.

Louise said the Navajo tribe is not realizing the depletion of the resources, and what Peabody is doing. However, she said the Hopi tribe is beginning to realize the detriment to the natural resources.

She said Native people need to revitalize the old ways and sustainable food. "We can still use the earth as our healing substance."

Tiokasin closed by pointing out that in the city, people don't take responsibility for taking care of the land and say it is the US government's responsibility to deal with it.

Listen to archive later today, Thursday at:

Mohawk Nation News: Tok'ni:Kon That's It!


Mohawk Nation News

MNN. Jan. 25, 2012. That dance between Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his top Indian CEO, Shawn Atleo, at the phony First Nations Summit in Ottawa sends the same old “we’re-gonna-get-dem-Injuns” message.

This was the first public face-to-face meeting of Harper and his 400 corporate Injuns in Canada. Their job is to continue the illusion that Canada is a legal country while helping the corporation make money from the extraction of Indigenous resources.

Harper got his Indians to threaten an Arab Style uprising so the military can come in and keep us in line. Is Atleo, of the Assembly of First Nations, going to stand in the bush and start tweeting to get the revolution going? Canada wants someone to sell off our mother, Great Turtle Island, to the international bankers, pocketing the money, of course.

The Mohawk Crisis of 1990, a true resistance, is always trotted out as a threat. They want a controlled uprising “like the US Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s”. Are they kidding? It was anything but. AIM stopped the army bloodbath at Wounded Knee. Many went to jail, were killed, and Leonard Peltier has been in jail for 38 years.

Here’s the script. Harper, the foreigner, sets up the First Nations Land Management Act to privatize Great Turtle Island with the help of his fake Indians. Meantime Harper pushes third world living conditions on the rest of us. Out of desperation, we will be forced to sell our land to stay alive. Then they cry about the integrity of the Crown! What? The crown is a corporation that took over the monarchy in a hostile takeover bid. The first "reservations" were created in 1924 with the Ontario Indian Land Act; a backroom deal between the Minister of Mines in Ontario and the architect of the residential school holocaust, Minister of Indian Affairs D.C. Scott

As Etowokam said in 1710 when he returned from Queen Anne’s Court, England: “They rely on the written word. That is how they will be judged”. We rely on the wampum and the rule of law.

Harper left Tuesday night January 24th for the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland. The world’s elite were anxiously waiting to hear that we had been put back to sleep so they can continue their theft. Instead we are louder than ever. Canada and the world should answer to us, as everything they want is ours.

Yes, let’s discuss our birthright and that Mother Earth cannot be sold. Sure, put an end to the illegal Indian Act. Then respect the real relationship between us and the foreigners. Instead the foreign usurpers are sitting in the high chairs like babies bawling at the land and resource owners. Their fake Indian idols complain we can’t use our land as collateral for loans from the foreign corporations that are squatting on our land. Yet the Canadian government and corporations use our unsurrendered land as collateral to raise money on the global stock markets. That’s theft, fraud and genocide. Everyone in the world is on to their bad act.

Those fake Indians who want to be part of this foreign entity cannot usurp our sovereignty. They have already signed on with the immigrants and became property of the shareholders of Canada, just like other Canadians.

There will be no “Aboriginal” Spring. Seasons change but not our minds or the dreaded truth.

As the song Waltzing Matilda portrays: all the women [fake Indians] are standing around waiting to dance with the jolly swagman [Harper}. “You’ll come a’waltzing, Malilda, with me!”

MNN Mohawk Nation News For more news, books, to donate to maintain the website [PayPal] and to sign up for MNN newsletters go to More stories at MNN Categories “COLONIALISM/ART/CULTURE”. Address: Box 991, Kahnawake [Quebec, Canada] J0L 1B0